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TN VISA UNDER UNITED STATES-MEXICO-CANADA AGREEMENT

A TN Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily work in the United States.

On July 1, 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The criteria for TN admission under the USMCA are the same as under the previous TN NAFTA criteria.

There are numerous benefits of the TN classification:

    • It can be a quick process
    • If you apply through USCIS you can apply for premium processing
    • Port of entry usually only takes a few hours
    • There is no annual limit on number of applicants – all qualified persons can apply
    • Does not require company sponsorship
    • Allows Canadian/Mexican citizens the opportunity to work
    • Does not need to be for a full-time job – it can be for part-time work
    • There are no prevailing wage requirements – wages must just be reasonable
    • Can stay an initial 3-years + there are no limits to renewing for future 3-year increments
    • Can bring spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 (spouse and children cannot work – but can study)
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Attorney Joseph Tsang presents the legal strategies behind two successful TN visa cases!

TN VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING

TN-1 CANADIAN CITIZENS

  • You are not required to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate. You have two options:
    • Option 1: You may apply for TN classification at a designated CBP port of entry when you seek admission to the U.S.
    • Option 2: Your prospective TN employer can file on your behalf by submitting Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to USCIS. You will then only need to provide Proof of Canadian citizenship and USCIS Approval Notice for Form I-129 at a CBP-designated port of entry when entering the U.S.

TN-2 MEXICAN CITIZENS

    • You are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You must follow this procedure:
    • Step 1: You may only obtain a TN visa through a U.S. Embassy or consulate in Mexico;
    • Step 2: Once your TN visa is approved, you may apply for admission at a designated U.S. port of entry with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard TN visa is $1,500, not including, governmental fee and third-party extensions.  We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk you through what a standard TN visa case looks like.  Please see below for more information.

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: Strategy Session for TN Visa

This is the most crucial step for your entire TN visa. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit the TN Visa, whether it's at a Port of Entry or through USCIS Submission

Our attorneys will craft your TN argument and complete all forms, organize supporting documents, and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats. After a thorough review, we will then submit the application to USCIS.

Step 3: File the TN Visa application with USCIS or Prepare the client for visa interview with CBP at a port of entry or at U.S. embassy or consulate

We will submit the complete TN visa application with supporting documents to USCIS.

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Interview Guidance

We will help guide the client in his/her preparation for the interview at a port of entry or at a U.S. consulate or embassy by simulating the interview and ensuring the client is well-versed in the application material. Our services include a comprehensive strategy for answering inquiries posed, practice questions, thorough feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed during the interview.

Step 4: Responding to additional USCIS or CBP Requests, if necessary

If additional documents/evidence are needed upon the submission of the TN case and after the interview, our office will ensure that all necessary documents are submitted to the USCIS or CBP offices in a timely manner. We will assist the client to the best of our ability until the case gets approved or the client no longer wants to continue forward with the case.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

TN-1 Visa Requirements & Checklist For Canadian Citizens

The required documents can vary based on your country of origin and the route you are taking to obtain your TN1 classification.

CANADIAN CITIZENS (TN-1 VISA REQUIREMENTS)

Option 1. USCIS

A prospective TN employer may choose to file on behalf of a Canadian citizen by submitting Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to USCIS. General information requested in the form includes:

    • Applicant’s biographical information
    • Prospective employer information
    • Details of the prospective employment offer including position, duties, and dates

You can find more from USCIS’s instructions for Form I-129 by visiting the USCIS website.

After Form I-129 is filed by the prospective Employer and approved by USCIS, the applicant must provide the following documentation to a CBP Officer at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry:

    • Proof of Canadian citizenship;
    • Approval Notice from USCIS for Form I-129.

Option 2. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

If you are preparing to apply for TN classification at the time you seek entry to the United States, gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

    • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport;
    • Proof of Canadian citizenship;
    • A contract or letter of employment in the United States on company letterhead and signed in wet ink – To show that you have a job offer, provide a contract or employment letter from your employer in the United States confirming your upcoming employment in one of the professional occupations listed in Appendix 1306.d.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16. The letter should also include:
      • Your purpose of entry;
      • A detailed description of your anticipated business activities or job responsibilities;
      • Your anticipated length of stay in the United States;
      • Your educational qualifications or appropriate credentials demonstrating professional status;
      • Evidence of your compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations and/or state laws; and
      • Arrangements for your pay.
    • Documentation proving that you meet the minimum education and/or work experience requirements set forth in USMCA Chapter 16 Appendix 2 – Professionals. Evidence of education would include degrees, diplomas, certificates, professional licenses, and /or membership in professional organizations. To demonstrate your experience, present letters from former employers. If you were self-employed, provide your business records.
    • Any applicable fees.

Here is an example CBP Checklist for TN-1 visas.

TN-2 Visa Requirements & Checklist for Mexican Citizens

The required documents can vary based on your country of origin and the route you are taking to obtain your TN2 classification.

MEXICAN CITIZENS (TN-2 VISA REQUIRMENTS)

If you are a Mexican National applying for a TN visa at a Mexican Consulate, gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

    • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
    • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
    • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
    • A contract or letter of employment in the United States on company letterhead and signed in wet ink – To show that you have a job offer, provide a contract or employment letter from your employer in the United States confirming your upcoming employment in one of the professional occupations listed in Appendix 1306.d.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16. The letter should also include:
      • Your purpose of entry;
      • A detailed description of your anticipated business activities or job responsibilities;
      • Your anticipated length of stay in the United States;
      • Your educational qualifications or appropriate credentials demonstrating professional status;
      • Evidence of your compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations and/or state laws; and
      • Arrangements for your pay.
    • Documentation proving that you meet the minimum education and/or work experience requirements set forth in USMCA Chapter 16 Appendix 2 – Professionals. Evidence of education would include degrees, diplomas, certificates, professional licenses, and /or membership in professional organizations. To demonstrate your experience, present letters from former employers. If you were self-employed, provide your business records.

Common TN Visa Interview Questions

The following is a list of common questions you should be prepared to answer.

  1. Why do you want to visit the United States?
  2. When was the last time you were present in the United States?
  3. What was the purpose of that visit?
  4. How long did you stay?
  5. Who did you stay with?
  6. Have you ever overstayed a previous U.S. visa?
  7. Have you broken any U.S. laws?
  8. Why are you applying for TN status at this time?
  9. How did you get this job offer?
  10. What will you be working on in the United States?
  11. Who is your employer?
  12. How did you find your employer?
  13. Did you go through an interview?
  14. Who is you direct supervisor?
  15. Where will you be working?
  16. What are the terms of compensation?
  17. Explain your position at the company?
  18. Why do they need this position now?
  19. How are you qualified to be this position?
  20. How long is your assignment?
  21. Do you have family in the United States?
  22. Do you have family in Canada?
  23. Where are you going to reside in the U.S.?
  24. How long do you plan to stay in the United States?
  25. When you finish your employment in the U.S., where will you go?
  26. What will you do when you return to your home?
  27. Is your family okay with work arrangement?

Filing Fee

The updated TN Visa filing fee can be found on the USCIS website.

General TN Visa Requirements & Limitations

TN Visa Requirements:

  1. Applicant must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  2. Applicant’s profession must qualify under the regulations;
  3. Applicant’s position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
  4. Applicant has a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment);
  5. Applicant has the qualifications to practice in the profession in question;
  6. Applicant must intend to depart the U.S. upon completion of his/her authorized status.

TN Visa Limitations:

  1. Initial period of stay is up to 3 years;
  2. If applicant desires to seek an extension of stay, they must either:
    • Stay in the U.S. and have their employer file Form I-129 on their behalf;
    • Depart from the U.S. before their status expires, and apply at a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of initial application.

TN Family Members

The TN visa holder may bring his/her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years.  They must file under the TD nonimmigrant status and will typically be granted the same period of stay as the TN visa holder. TD visa holders are not permitted to work while in the U.S., but are permitted to study full-time.

Requirements:

  1. The spouse or parent of the TD visa holder must continue to hold their TN status during the duration of the TD visa holder’s stay;
  2. In order to extend the TD status, each family member must apply separately;

To obtain the TD status, individuals may petition by:

  1. Applying for the TD at a U.S. consulate in a foreign country; or
  2. Applying for a change of status if he or she is currently staying in the U.S. under a different visa classification.

TN Visa Laws

The relevant laws pertaining to TN visas can be found here.

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SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

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Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-129 petition.

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Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-129 petition.

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Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.

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Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS

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Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.

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USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.

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USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.

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USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.

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ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is eligible for TN visa sponsorship?

Qualifying TN visa professions include:

1. Accountant
2. Architect
3. Computer Systems Analyst
4. Economist
5. Engineer
6. Forester
7. Graphic Designer
8. Hotel Manager
9. Industrial Designer
10. Interior Designer
11. Land Surveyor
12. Landscape Architect
13. Lawyer
14. Librarian
15. Management Consultant
16. Mathematician
17. Range Manager
18. Research Assistant
19. Scientific Technician
20. Social Worker
21. Technical Publications Writer
22. Urban Planner
23. Vocational Counselor
24. Dentist
25. Dietitian
26. Medical Laboratory Technologist
27. Nutritionist
28. Occupational Therapist
29. Pharmacist
30. Physician
31. Physiotherapist
32. Psychologist
33. Recreational Therapist
34. Registered Nurse
35. Veterinarian
36. Agriculturist
37. Animal Breeder/Scientist
38. Astronomer
39. Biochemist
40. Biologist
41. Chemist
42. Dairy Scientist
43. Entomologist
44. Epidemiologist
45. Geneticist
46. Geochemist
47. Geologist
48. Geophysicist
49. Horticulturist
50. Meteorologist
51. Pharmacologist
52. Physicist
53. Plant Breeder
54. Poultry Scientist
55. Soil Scientist
56. Zoologist
57. College Professor
58. Seminary Professor
59. University Professor

An official list of TN professions, including corresponding educational and professional experience for each profession, can be found here.

Is the TN visa a dual-intent visa?

No. TN visas are not dual intent, meaning holders may face international travel complications if they file a green card petition under this status. It’s recommended they switch to a dual intent visa, such as an H-1B Person in Specialty Occupation visa or an L-1 Intracompany Transfer visa, before applying for legal permanent residency.

TD visa for dependents of TN holders?

Employees may be accompanied by their spouses and unmarried children 21 years and under with a TD nonimmigrant dependent visa classification. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Canada or Mexico to be eligible for TD status. Dependents are not authorized to work, but they are allowed to study.

    Can I extend my stay under TN Visa?

    If you wish to remain in the United States beyond your initial 3 year period of stay without first departing from the United States, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the United States, your employer may file Form I-129 on your behalf.

    Alternatively, you may depart from the United States before the date your status expires, and then, once abroad, you may apply at a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial application for admission as a TN nonimmigrant.

    How many times can I extend my TN Visa?

    In contrast to the similar H-1B nonimmigrant visa that can only be renewed for up to six years after the initial 3-year period, the TN Visa can be renewed an indefinite amount of times.

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    SCHEDULE A SESSION

    Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.

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