What is the TN Visa?
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement that came into force on January 1, 1994. Its primary goal is to remove all barriers to trade and investment between Canada, Mexico, and the US.
The TN Visa is intended for NAFTA Professionals who have a prearranged job in the US and who want to come to the US to engage in business activities. That is why self-employed individuals cannot apply for the TN Visa.
Citizens of both Mexico and Canada might be eligible for the TN Visa but the application process is much easier and quicker for those who have Canadian citizenship. Unlike Mexican citizens, Canadian citizens do not have to apply for a US visa prior to their arrival in the US.
What are the eligibility requirements for the TN Visa?
Citizens of Canada or Mexico have to be qualified in one of the NAFTA accepted professions to qualify for the TN Visa. Occupations eligible for it include lawyers, accountants, nurses, dentists, teachers, mathematicians, graphic designers, architects. There are, however, many other professions that might make you eligible for the TN Visa. Talk to our immigration lawyers to find out if the field you specialise in is approved by NAFTA.
Those who work in a NAFTA accepted professions and want to apply for the TN Visa have to meet the following requirements:
- Have citizenship of either Canada or Mexico
- Be able to provide evidence showing that they have adequate professional and educational qualifications
- Be able to prove that a NAFTA professional is needed to do the job they want to do in the US
- Have a part-time or full-time prearranged job in the US.
If you are not sure whether you can apply for the TN Visa, get in touch with our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility for it and will help you submit your application.
How can Canadian citizens apply for the TN Visa?
If you are a Canadian Citizen, you do not have to apply for the TN Visa before you arrive in the UK. You can prove your eligibility for it at the time of seeking admission to the US. To do so, you will have to show the following evidence to the officer working at a US port of entry where you arrive:
- Proof of your Canadian citizenship
- Letter from your US employer that explains what your tasks and length of stay will be
- Proof of your educational qualifications
- Credentials evaluation (if applicable).
If the officer determines that you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be able to enter the US with the TN status.
It is also possible for a US employer to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker and submit it to USCIS on behalf of the Canadian citizen. Once the petition is approved, you can apply for admission to the US as a TN nonimmigrant. You will also need to submit proof of your Canadian citizenship and notice from USCIS confirming that the petition was approved.
Then, immigration officers will assess your documents. If they find you eligible for admission to the US, you will be able to enter the country as a TN nonimmigrant.
How can Mexican citizens apply for the TN Visa?
The application process for the TN Visa for Mexican citizens is more complicated as they are required to obtain the TN Visa before they arrive in the US. To do so they need to apply at a US Embassy or Consulate in Mexico.
If you are a Mexican citizen, you have to:
- File Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Schedule a visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in Mexico
- Pay the visa application fee of $160
- Gather documents that prove your eligibility for the TN Visa
- Attend your visa interview.
If your TN Visa application is approved, you will be able to enter the US as a TN nonimmigrant.
How long is the TN Visa valid for?
TN nonimmigrants can stay in the US for up to three years. Those who wish to stay in the US longer can apply for a TN Visa extension.
To apply for it, you have to file Form I-129, Extension Petition. Then, USCIS will assess whether your job requires you to stay in the US for longer. The duration of the extension varies depending on how much time you need to complete your work activities in the US. Nevertheless, the maximum period that the extension can be granted for is three years. There is no limit on how many extensions a TN nonimmigrant can get.
Keep in mind, however, that during the application process immigration officials look at how long your employment in the US will last so the validity of your TN Visa might be shorter than three years. To avoid problems and the risk of not getting an extension, make sure that the employment dates included in the letter from your US employer are accurate.
What is the processing time of the TN Visa?
How long you will have to wait for your TN Visa to be processed depends on whether you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen.
As Canadian citizens do not need to apply for the TN Visa before they arrive in the US, they only need to wait a few hours before they receive their TN status and can enter the country.
Mexican citizens, however, have to be prepared to wait several months as their TN Visa application needs to be processed by USCIS before they can be admitted to the US. Most Mexican citizens receive the decision within six months.
If your application is urgent, you can pay $2,500 for Premium Processing. Then your application will be processed within fifteen business days.
How can Total Law help?
As there are different requirements and procedures for the TN Visa depending on whether you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen, applying for it can be a complex process. If you get in touch with our immigration lawyers, they can assess your eligibility for the TN Visa and tell you in detail how you can apply for it.
Our lawyers can also help you gather all the required documents and fill all the forms. Here at Total Law, we have expert knowledge of US immigration law and we have helped many clients successfully apply for US visas.
If you hire one of our lawyers, you will receive professional advice and support during each step of the application process.
To find out more about how we can help, call us today on +1 844 290 6312.
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The TN Visa is relatively inexpensive but the cost varies depending on whether you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen. The total cost for Canadian citizens is just $56, which covers $50 for the filing fee and $6 for the filing of Form I-94. These fees can be paid at the border at the time of applying for the TN Visa. Mexican citizens, on the other hand, have to pay the visa application fee of $160. This fee needs to be paid at a US Embassy or Consulate in Mexico.
TN Visa holders can bring their dependents to the US with them. To be able to join you, however, your family has to apply for the TD Visa for Immediate Relatives. If their application is approved, they will be able to stay in the US for as long as your TN Visa is valid.
Alternatively, if your family only wants to come to visit you in the US for a short while, they can apply for a B2 Tourist Visa.
The TN Visa is a nonimmigrant, multiple entry visa for NAFTA professionals. It allows Canadian and Mexican citizens who work in NAFTA-approved professions to come to the US to engage in prearranged business activities.
Throughout the duration of their visa, TN nonimmigrants can leave and reenter the US several times without losing their status. Nevertheless, once their visa expires, they must leave the country.
Yes, NAFTA professionals can obtain the TN Visa to work for more than one US employer at the same time. If you receive a job offer with a different employer while in the US on the TN Visa, you can accept it provided that they file Form I-129, Extension Petition for you.