- how to apply for TN visa
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What is a TN Visa
Are you a Mexican or Canadian citizen and would like to work in the United States? Do you have a professional occupation that is recognized in the U.S. under the NAFTA agreement? Are you curious or unclear on how to apply or start working in the U.S.? This process is referred to as a TN Visa. Specifically, in the U.S., a TN Visa is defined as a visa that allows nonimmigrant NAFTA professionals, such as Mexican and Canadian citizens, to be authorized to work in the U.S. for a U.S. employer. Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA, Canadians and Mexicans are able to create an economic relationship with the U.S. Thus, the TN Visa gives Mexican and Canadian citizens the opportunity to either pursue business or career opportunities or business activities within the U.S. for an authorized period of time. The process can seem confusing if you’re not familiar with immigration; however in this article, I will explain the processes and steps required in order to obtain a TN Visa in the United States.
Am I Eligible for a TN Visa
The NAFTA agreement between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico requires that professionals come to either country to better their economy. Professionals that are eligible for the TN visa can include professions such as accountants, lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientists, pharmacists, and more. If you fall under one of these categories, there are still some more requirements that you must consider before applying for a TN visa. For instance, you may be eligible for a TN nonimmigrant status if: you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico; your profession is listed within the regulations; an employment opportunity in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional; you have obtained a prearranged job opportunity in the U.S. with a U.S. employer; and you have the appropriate qualifications to work under the designated profession. Please note that if you are self-employed wanting to work in the U.S., you will not qualify as the employer issuing you the employment must not be yourself.
There is a difference between a Canadian citizen applying for a TN visa compared to a Mexican citizen applying for a TN visa. Canadian citizens generally do not need a visa for admission to the U.S.; however, Mexican citizens do. Similarly, for a TN Visa, Canadian citizens are not required to apply either. Keep in mind, NAFTA will ultimately determine which evidence is required from Canadian and Mexican citizens to prove whether they are a professional that is qualified.
How to Apply for a TN Visa
As a Canadian citizen, as aforementioned, you do not need to apply for a TN visa in the U.S. Be that as it may, if you would like to qualify for the TN classification, you will need to present the appropriate documentation to the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) officer at certain ports of entry or at a pre-clearance inspection station. Specifically, the documentation that you must provide to the officer is listed below.
You may want to apply yourself and submit the requested documentation on your behalf. Or, alternatively, you may allow your prospect employer to submit the application on your behalf from inside the U.S. However, the employer would have to submit their own applications forms as well, if they do submit on your behalf. If the application your employer submitted is approved, then you will have to also submit an approval notice from USCIS. Both you and your employer should have a record of the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker form to provide to the CBP officer, in addition to the required documents, should the officer ask you any follow up questions.
Unlike Canadian citizens, Mexican citizens must obtain a visa prior to entering the U.S. as a TN nonimmigrant. In order to obtain the visa, Mexican citizens are required to apply at a U.S. embassy or the consulate within Mexico. After submitting the application at either location, and should the application be approved, then you are able to apply for admission at certain ports of entry or at a pre-clearance inspection station.
- Certification of Canadian citizenship
- Employment letter describing your job title, description, duties, length of employment and educational qualifications while in the U.S.
- Evaluation of Credentials (if this applies to you)
- Proof of payment of application fees
Period of Stay for TN Visa
When you finally receive your TN Visa to enter the U.S., the initial period of stay can be up to a 3 year period. There are ways for extending your period of stay in the U.S. while you are still working. You must first apply for an extension. The extension application can be submitted by you or your employer. In contrast, if you have already left the U.S. before your period of stay expired; you may once again apply, using the same initial application and documentation, for a TN visa at certain ports of entry or at a pre-clearance inspection station using.
Contact Akrami & Associates to Apply for a TN Visa
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to apply for a TN Visa. TN Visas are difficult applications to pursue on your own, if you are unfamiliar, and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients travel to the U.S. for business matters through the TN visa and they are now happily working in the U.S. If you believe that you may be eligible for a TN visa, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!
What is a TN Visa?
Do you have a job offer from United States and wondering which visa is right for you to apply? Most professionals from Mexico, America and Canada do not know how to get through the visa process when it comes to transferring themselves from any of these countries to work and fulfill their professional duties. Under NAFTA (North American free trade agreement) you can apply for a category called TN visa. TN Visa is created through the North American Free Trade Agreement for the sake of business and travel purposes for the three counties that are borderly well connected. Also, this agreement enables them to be able to have rapid exchange of professionals easily through a not so complicated immigration procedure. TN visa is for non-immigrants, so other individuals apart from citizen’s category are not allowed to apply as employees in the United States as foreign workers. A lot of professionals are acknowledged into the United States at the border. This particular visa is similar to another visa called an “H-1B visa”. The TN visa is most easy for professional Canadians and Mexicans to obtain, but they will not be subject to a yearly control for the H-1B visa. This article will just explain the basics of a TN visa such as what it does, what is the use of it, what the requirements are, eligibility criteria and so on.
A TN visa or as it is called a TN status is a distinctive non-immigrant category that they use in the U.S., and is inclusive to individuals of Canada and residents of Mexico. This visa basically grants any Canadian and Mexican individual the opportunity to work in each other’s countries in specific specialized professions. This visa is pretty similar to another visa in the United States that is called H-1B visa, but a little bit different from each other. With the TN visa, an Canadian citizen, and a Mexican citizen can be employed up to three years but after that the visa must be renewed.
TN Visa Eligibility
The professionals who are intending to work in any of these countries under NAFTA agreement, has to meet eligibility criteria. In order to be eligible for a TN Visa an individual must meet the requirements. Some of the requirements are listed below:
- the individual must be a citizen
- the occupation that they are employed under must qualify under the NAFTA regulation
- must have a full-time or part-time job in United States
- also must have some sort of experience or qualification in the profession that you will be undertakin
Can a Canadian citizen work in U.S. with a TN visa?
A Canadian individual may be allowed to work in U.S. if:
There are certain jobs and occupation that is only eligible for TN visa. Some examples of those jobs that would be available on this list are:
- the individual qualifies under something called the “Professionals under the North American Free Trade Agreement” document
- a citizen who is Canadian will work in U.S. for an employer
- a Canadian citizen fits that certain criteria for that profession
- Accountant: Baccalaureate of Degree
- Computer Systems Analyst: Baccalaureate of Licenciatura Degree
- Engineer: Baccalaureate of Liceniatura Degree
- Librarian: M.L.S. or B.L.S
TN Visa Applying at the Port of Entry
If a Canadian wants to apply for a status and wants to apply at the U.S. Port of Entry, the individual must:
After they show all required documents at the port of entry, the constable or consultant will arbitrate the application and will allow either approval or denial.
- apply under TN category
- show proof of Canadian citizenship
- show proof of their employment offer
- show some kind of document with their education, and experience from the past
Mexican Citizens applying for TN Visa
Mexican citizen are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. As a Mexican citizen, you should apply for a TN visa directly at a consulate in Mexico or U.S. embassy. You will have to check the U.S. Department of State webpage under the “Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker.”
Once you get approval for a TN visa, then you may apply for admission at CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station. You will have to refer to CBP’s website for additional information and requirements and to apply for admission to the United States. If a CBP officer considers you eligible for admission, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant.
How long could you remain in U.S. with your TN visa?
A TN visa or TN status should be good for three years, but this only refers to certain employees for which it was initially requested. If by any chance a company changes their employer, it will necessitate them to start the TN application from scratch. All visa’s and work permit must be renewed after a certain period of time. The TN visa would be renewed by mail within United States, or you as an individual must return to the border and present the new application to them. In certain situations the TN status may be renewable indeterminately for additional period of time.
If you wish to stay longer in the United States beyond expiry date or your initial period of stay without leaving the United States, you must seek an extension to stay. If you are an employee in the United States, your employer may file Form I-129 on your behalf. Also, as an alternative you may depart from the United States before the expiry date of your status, and after that, once you are abroad, you may apply at a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry or you can also apply at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station. You can use the same application and documentation procedures that are required at the time of your initial application for admission.
Dependents of TN Nonimmigrants
Working in a different country does not mean that you cannot live with your loved ones. When people talk about TN visa, they assume that it can only be obtained individually and their family cannot qualify to accompany them. There is good news for people who want their family members to accompany them for as long as they are working abroad. The good news is that any accompanying or “following to join” spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. There are conditions for family members if they want to be considered eligible to stay together as a family while the principle visa holder is working abroad. The conditions are listed below:
- no family member is permitted to work while in the United States, but they are permitted to study
- family members are granted TD status for no longer than the period of time the TN visa is granted to the principal TN nonimmigrant
Benefits of TN Visa
- There are pros and cons in having a TN visa. The Pros of a TN visa is that the visa is valid for three years and the procedure is somewhat similar to the H-B1 visa. Another plus side is that the visa is really simple to apply for unlike other work visas such as LMIA and H-B1. Another way of applying for the TN visa would be by submitting the application and documents to the USCIS.
Disadvantages of TN Visa
- There are also some cons to this visa category. Some of the cons of TN visa are things like, it applies to specific group of professions, which will make plenty of individuals unqualified. Not everyone is as qualified individual to be able to apply under this category. Everyone must qualify with a profession under the occupational list in order to be eligible for the TN visa. Just like everywhere else in the world for the most part, a lot of professions require advance qualification like degrees or bachelor’s etc.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you want TN visa and want to accompany any of your family members or If you just want to work in the United States alone as an employee and need assistance with your TN visa application, please do consider Akrami & Associates for all your legal needs. Our team of dedicated consultants and lawyers will take good care of you by presenting the best possible case for you and your loved ones.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way.