Navigating the intricate landscape of immigration can be daunting. Whether you’re a Canadian or Mexican professional seeking to bring your skills and expertise to the United States under the TN-1 or TN-2 Visas, the challenges can seem endless. But your pursuit of new opportunities, your desire to contribute to the US economy, and your courage to step outside your comfort zone represent the very spirit that makes the American Dream so inspiring.
The TN-1 (for Canadian citizens) and TN-2 (for Mexican citizens) Visas fall under the provisions of the USMCA (NAFTA), enabling professionals from these countries to work in the U.S.
The TN-1 and TN-2 Visas are nonimmigrant classifications that allow qualified Canadian and Mexican professionals, respectively, to seek temporary employment in the U.S. They are issued for initially up to three years but can be extended indefinitely.
The TN Visa application process is typically less arduous than that for an H1-B Visa, with the ability to apply directly at the border or airport if traveling to the U.S.
The role of a visa attorney in the TN-1 and TN-2 visa process is pivotal. They guide Canadian and Mexican citizens through the intricate legal landscape, helping to avoid common pitfalls and enhance the chances of a successful application.
Visa attorneys assist with document preparation, ensuring they meet U.S. immigration standards, and provide representation during interviews or in case of any legal complications.
To qualify for a TN-1 Visa as a Canadian citizen, the applicant must meet certain eligibility criteria:
Profession on the USMCA (NAFTA) List: The applicant’s occupation must be on the NAFTA professional job series list. This includes, but is not limited to, fields such as accounting, engineering, sciences, medical/healthcare, and teaching.
Qualification to Work in the Profession: The applicant must demonstrate they have the necessary qualifications to work in their chosen profession. This could be evidenced through degrees, professional licenses, certificates, or relevant work experience.
Offer of Employment: The applicant must have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer. Self-employment is not permitted.
Intent to Depart: The applicant must provide evidence of their intent to depart the U.S. once the TN visa status expires.
Citizenship: The applicant must provide proof of Canadian citizenship.
The application process for the TN-1 Visa involves several critical steps:
Proof of Canadian Citizenship: This could be a passport or birth certificate.
Employment Contract: A detailed letter from the prospective U.S. employer outlining the specifics of the job offer, including job duties, purpose of employment, length of stay, and educational qualifications of the applicant.
Professional Qualifications: Evidence of professional qualifications, such as copies of relevant diplomas, degrees, certificates, professional licenses, or membership in a professional organization. In some cases, proof of work experience might also be required.
Fee Payment: The payment of the required application fee at the time of application.
Interview at the U.S. Border: Lastly, the applicant should prepare for an interview at the U.S. border or pre-flight clearance, where an immigration officer will evaluate the application and make a decision.
You are not required to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate if you are a Canadian citizen.
It’s important to note that each application is evaluated on an individual basis, and additional documentation may be requested at the officer’s discretion. Always consider seeking the help of a visa attorney to ensure a smooth application process.
To qualify for a TN2 Visa as a Mexican citizen, the applicant must fulfill certain qualification requirements:
Profession on the USMCA (NAFTA) List: The applicant’s profession should be listed on the NAFTA professional job series list. It encompasses a variety of fields, including but not limited to accounting, engineering, medical/healthcare, sciences, and teaching.
Qualification to Practice the Profession: The applicant must show that they possess the necessary qualifications to work in their chosen profession. This could be verified through degrees, professional licenses, certificates, or relevant work experience.
Offer of Employment: The applicant should have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer. Self-employment is not allowed.
Intent to Depart: The applicant must present evidence of their intention to leave the U.S. when the TN-2 status expires.
Citizenship: The applicant must provide proof of Mexican citizenship.
The application process for the TN-2 Visa includes several essential steps:
Proof of Mexican Citizenship: This could be a passport or birth certificate.
Employment Contract: A detailed letter from the prospective U.S. employer that highlights the specifics of the job offer, job duties, purpose of employment, length of stay, and the applicant’s educational qualifications.
Professional Qualifications: Documentation of professional qualifications, such as copies of relevant diplomas, degrees, certificates, professional licenses, or membership in a professional organization. In some cases, proof of work experience may also be necessary.
Fee Payment: The relevant application fee must be paid at the time of application.
Consulate Interview: Unlike the TN-1 Visa, the TN-2 Visa application process involves an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in Mexico. An immigration officer will evaluate the application and make a decision during this interview.
It’s crucial to remember that each application is evaluated individually, and additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the immigration officer. Applicants should consider seeking assistance from a visa attorney to ensure a seamless application process.
The TN Visa provides numerous benefits to TN visa holders, including:
Ease of Application: Compared to most other visas, the TN Visa application process is straightforward and easier to navigate. TN nonimmigrant status is generally more readily available than other temporary visas.
Renewable Indefinitely: The TN Visa can be renewed indefinitely in three-year increments for Mexican or Canadian citizens, provided the visa holder continues to meet the eligibility requirements for TN status. However, some professionals who hold TN status for an extended period of time might have difficulty proving that they ultimately have the intention of returning to their home country.
No Annual Limit: There is no annual cap on the number of TN Visas issued, unlike the H1B visa, increasing the likelihood of acceptance.
Includes Immediate Family: The TN Visa holder’s immediate family, including spouse and children under 21, can accompany them under TD Nonimmigrant Visa status.
Work Full Time or Part Time: The TN visa holder can work either full-time or part-time for a U.S. employer.
Flexibility of Professional Fields: A wide range of professions, from healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, sciences, teaching, and work in the hospitality industry are included in the NAFTA professional job series list.
While the TN Visa is not a dual-intent visa, meaning it’s not designed as a stepping stone to permanent residency, there is no rule that prohibits TN Visa holders from applying for a green card. However, it can be a delicate process because while you are stating you have no intention of staying permanently when you apply for the TN Visa, you are stating the opposite when applying for a green card. Effective strategy is required for TN visa holders who wish to pursue permanent residency.
Yes, TN Visa holders can bring their families to the U.S. The spouse and children under the age of 21 of a TN visa holder are eligible to apply for a TD (Trade Dependent) nonimmigrant visa. Family members under the TD visa status are allowed to study in the U.S. However, they are not authorized to work while in the country.
If a TN Visa holder loses their job, they technically lose their TN status immediately. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) usually allows a grace period of up to 60 days or until the existing status expires, whichever comes first. During this period, the visa holder can look for another job, change to a different nonimmigrant status, or leave the country.
TN Visa holders cannot engage in self-employment or start their own business in the U.S. They are only authorized to work for the employer specified in their TN Visa application.
Yes, TN Visa status can be extended indefinitely in three-year increments as long as the visa holder continues to fulfill the requirements for TN status.
Application processing times for a TN Visa can vary. If applying at a U.S. border crossing or airport pre-flight inspection, the process can often be completed on the same day. If applying within the U.S. with USCIS, it generally takes several months.
Remember, it’s always wise to seek legal advice when dealing with immigration matters to ensure a smooth and successful application process.
If you need assistance navigating the complexities of the TN Visa application process, or if you have any concerns or questions about your immigration status, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Bashy Global LLP. Our experienced team of work visa lawyers is committed to providing comprehensive legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Our goal is to guide you smoothly through your immigration journey. Contact us online or call us at 919-833-0840 today, and let us help you secure your future in the U.S.