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:
- 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
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:
- 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:
- 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
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.
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.