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.
- 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
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.
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!