A TN visa is a non-immigrant visa for qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to come to the United States temporarily in order to engage in business activities at a professional level. The TN visa was created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as part of the special economic and trade relationship between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Which TN Visa Will I Need?
The TN-1 visa is for Canadian citizens who are coming to the United States to work under NAFTA. Whereas, the TN-2 visa is for Mexican citizens who are coming to the United States to work under NAFTA.
What Are the Requirements to Obtain a TN Visa?
In order to qualify for a TN visa, you will need to meet certain requirements. These include:
- Be a Mexican or Canadian citizen
- Intend to work in an approved profession
- Have an offer of employment
- Possess the necessary credentials to be considered a professional in the approved profession, such as a bachelor’s degree or higher or any required licensing
- Intend to stay in the U.S. for only a temporary period
What Are the Permitted Professions for a TN Visa Applicant?
In order to obtain a TN visa, you must meet certain requirements for an approved profession. The position offered to you must be with a U.S. employer and must require someone in your professional capacity. The following is a list of some of the professions that qualify for a TN visa:
- Accountant, Economist
- Research Assistant
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
- Graphic Designer
- Hotel Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Land Surveyor, Landscape Architect
- Lawyer (including Notary in the province of Quebec)
- Management Consultant
- Range Manager/Range Conservationist
- Research Assistant
- Scientific Technician/Technologist
- Social Worker, Vocational Counselor
- Technical Publications Writer
- Urban Planner (including Geographer)
- Dentist, Physicians (teaching or research only), Pharmacist, Psychologist
- Dietician, Nutritionist
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
- Recreational Therapist
- Registered Nurse
- Agriculturist, Horticulturist
- Animal Breeder
- Entomologist, Epidemiologist
- Chemist, Geneticist, Geologist, Geochemist, Geophysicist, Biologist, Physicist
- Meteorologist, Astronomer
- Teacher (college, seminary, university)
- Veterinarian, Zoologist
What Are the Requirements for the TN Visa Employer?
You must have a job offer from a U.S. employer in order to obtain a TN visa. You will need to provide certain documentation about your prospective position, such as:
- Evidence that you have a valid employee-employer relationship
- A letter of support that includes your TN profession, offered position, start date, salary, length of stay, your educational qualifications, and other relevant details
You may work as an independent contractor or for multiple employers while on a TN visa. However, you would need to obtain a valid TN status for each employer for which you work.
Where Do I Apply for a TN Visa?
Canadian citizens have the option of applying for a TN visa at the U.S. border port of entry. You will need to bring all relevant documents and information with you, including proof of Canadian citizenship, letter from your employer, any credentials evaluation, and visa fees. Mexican citizens, and Canadian citizens who do not wish to apply at the border, should submit their TN visa application directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
For How Long is the TN Visa Valid?
The TN visa is initially granted for a period of three years. However, there is no limit to the number of renewals you may receive. Therefore, it is possible to maintain your TN visa status indefinitely if you continue to qualify, timely submit your application for renewal, and pay the renewal fees. There is also no annual quota for TN visas.
Can You Bring Your Spouse and Children to the U.S. While on a TN Visa?
Your spouse and any children under the age of 21 may accompany you or follow you in order to join you in the U.S. while you are on your TN visa status. They would need to receive TD non-immigrant status. While in the U.S., your dependents are not allowed to work, but they are allowed to study. Their TD visa status will end when your TN visa status ends.
Common Problems with a TN Visa Petition
A TN visa application could be denied for numerous reasons. Some potential reasons for denial include:
- Certain grounds of inadmissibility
- Previous criminal conviction
- Working in the U.S. without authorization
- Security reasons
- Any period of stay in the U.S. without valid status
- Fraud or misrepresentation in prior immigration petitions
There is a higher frequency of TN visa denials for applications that:
- Have no exact match between the job offer, the TN profession, and your degree or credentials
- Are for certain TN professionals, such as management consultants and scientific technicians/technologists
- Are for highly technical or specialized job duties
If your TN visa application is denied, it is unlikely that an officer will overturn the denial and you will likely need to resubmit your application. But any application that you resubmit will be reviewed with heightened scrutiny.
If you change your employer while on a TN visa, you will need to submit a new TN visa application. If you are fired by your TN employer, your TN status will immediately expire. You will need to file a TN visa petition with a new employer or you will be required to return to your home country. If you overstay your approved valid visa status, you risk being removed from the U.S. and possibly being banned from re-entry.
How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help Your TN Visa Case
If you are filing a TN visa petition in Los Angeles County, we can help. At the Law Offices of Joshua Goldstein, our immigration lawyers are highly experienced and have successfully prepared and obtained approval for numerous TN visa petitions. We will guide you through this complex immigration process and help find and resolve any issues that may only be apparent to an experienced immigration lawyer.
Call us today at (213) 262-2000. Schedule a consultation to learn more about the TN visa and how our immigration lawyers can help you.