Citizens of Canada and Mexico may be eligible under the North American free trade agreement (formerly NAFTA) to enter the U.S. under TN status to work at certain specialized occupations. Petitioning for TN status (commonly referred to as a TN visa) is a relatively simple process; however, an error, omission or poorly worded statement on supporting documentation may result in denial of the application. Therefore, it is extremely important that a petition is meticulously prepared.
At U.S. Law Center, we focus extensively on nonimmigrant work visas. If you would like to discuss a TN visa application with one of our attorneys, please contact our office to arrange a complimentary consultation.
Entry from Canada to work at a profession under the trade agreement is deceptively simple. The employee simply arrives at the border and presents documentation of an offer of employment from a U.S. employer, along with copies of college transcripts and other evidence that the employee is qualified for the position. The U.S. immigration officer at the border then grants or denies TN status. If a petition is denied, there is no appeal forum. A border official can revoke a TN visa at any time.
A Mexican citizen must obtain a U.S. TN visa at a U.S. consulate, generally in Mexico. Once the TN visa stamp is recorded in the Mexican citizen’s passport, the process for acquiring TN status is similar to that for a Canadian.
Unlike the H-1B visa, TN status does not provide for dual intent and a path to a green card. If permanent residency is your goal, our lawyers will work with you to craft an appropriate multistage strategy.
A professional may qualify for a TN visa in a broad range of professions, including accounting, science, health care, education and computer science. It is important that an application and the letter of intent from the employer describe the position and qualifications in terms that meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) standards.
Denial of TN status is more common for some professions, including management consultants and computer analysts, than others. An immigration officer might also deny an application for renewal of TN status if it appears that the applicant is using renewal in lieu of an H-1B visa.
Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of a TN visa holder are eligible to enter the U.S. under the derivative TD-1 and TD-2 visas. The spouse and children are not required to be Canadian or Mexican citizens and are eligible to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the TN visa holder’s stay.
If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers about the TN visa program for Canadian and Mexican nationals or have another question about our immigration law practice, please email or call our Riverside County office at to arrange a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. Our fees are competitive and we accept credit cards. Se habla español.
If you are a prospective employee, you may have as a final goal employment-based residency (a green card) or U.S. citizenship. Our immigration lawyers will craft a multistage strategy toward that goal. We also help employees with family-based visa applications for their spouses and children.