How to Apply for a TN Visa
What is a TN Visa?
The TN visa1 is a special visa for certain “NAFTA Professionals” under the North American Free Trade Agreement and is available only for citizens of Canada and Mexico.
If you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico covered under NAFTA you may be permitted to work in a professional occupation in the United States so long as:
1- you will working part time of full time for an employer within the United States; and
2- the prospective position requires one to have the requisite criteria for TN professionals under NAFTA; and
3- you in fact possess the requisite professional qualifications; and
4- your profession is on the recognized list of TN visa professions under NAFTA must be included in Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA
Can I bring my family to the United States if I am approved for a TN visa /status?
Yes, if you are married and/or have minor unmarried children and you are approved for the TN visa status your spouse and children may obtain derivative TD visa status to travel to and live in the United States with you during your authorized of stay.
May my derivative family members work while in the United States?
No, unfortunately while your family may live with you in the U.S. they are not eligible to obtain employment authorization. However, if your family members independently qualify they may apply for an employment related visa (including a TN).
Steps to Obtaining a TN Visa / Status
1- Determine your eligibility
2- Prepare and organize a TN eligibility package (We can help…)
3- Appear before a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at a U.S. Port of Entry . Or, in some cases it may be required (or preferable) to schedule a consular interview for you and/or your eligible family members obtain a TN/TD visa. Please speak with a competent immigration attorney before proceeding.
4- Request “TN” “TD” status.
5- Present your TN eligibility package including original documentary evidence of your qualifications as specified on the “List of TN Professions” such as a copy of the your college degree and employment records establishing the requisite qualifications for the prospective employment.
Note that most TN professions require a bachelor’s degree from a certified undergraduate institution. Other jobs require a specified amount of work experience. You have the burden to prove to the adjudicating consular officer that they have the required educational and/or work experience for the TN visa. (We can help)
6- Present a proper employment offer letter from your prospective employer in the United States.
7- Pay the requisite fees.
Note: We can arrange for an immigration attorney to meet you at a port of entry or consular office to present your case to the CBP officer (or consular officer) to assist you.
For how long will my TN visa status be valid?
TN status, under the current regulations, may be authorized for a period of one to three years and is renewable for one to three-year increments.
Is there a limit to how often I may renew my TN visa status?
No, there is no limit to the number of times you may apply for renewal.
Must I leave the United States to extend my TN visa status?
You do not necessarily have to exit the United States in order to apply to extend your authorized stay. One option is to have your employer file for an extension with the appropriate Department of Homeland Security / USCIS office. If approved, your TN status may be extended without the need to depart the U.S. It is highly recommended that you seek competent legal advice to assure proper compliance with the terms of your stay.
However, if you wish, you may also elect to exit to and, when ready, simply re-apply at a U.S. port of entry or consular office with an updated TN eligibility package.
1 In many cases, (more frequently for Canadian citizens), you do not need to actually obtain a TN visa but rather obtain TN status for their authorized temporary period of stay in the United States.Please seek the advice of a competent immigration attorney
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