What Is a TN Visa?
TN stands for “Trade NAFTA.” A TN visa allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the Unites States in certain professional occupations.
Some of the qualifying jobs: accountants, architects, systems analysts, engineers, graphic designers, lawyers, management consultants, research physicians, social workers, dentists, chemists, and college teachers. There are over 60 occupations listed.
Who qualifies for a TN visa?
Eligibility is met when the following occur:
- The job offered is one of the professional occupations listed in NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 103, Appendix 1602.d.1,
- The job is “temporary.” “Temporary” means that the job has a reasonable, finite end that does not equate to permanent residence.
- The worker meets the educational and/or licensing requirements for the job.
What are the benefits of applying under this visa category?
There is no quota on the number of TN visas that may be issued every year; therefore it can be obtained any time of the year. Another advantage of the TN visa is that it may be renewed indefinitely in 3-year increments, although it is important to express that the job will end at a finite period. A final advantage is that your spouse and unmarried, minor children are entitled to enter the U.S. on derivative TD status.
How can an attorney help in this process?
TN is not the most difficult visa to apply for and document; however, an attorney will be able to quickly and effectively write a TN job letter that should be convincing to even the most skeptical immigration officer that the job is temporary and legitimate. In cases that are to be filed with USCIS, an attorney can counteract any misapplications law that may occur. Also, the work product of the attorney is also reusable when the TN worker applies for future extensions (simply change the dates of employment on the updated TN job letter). In other words, it’s advisable to have an attorney make sure all the documentation for the particular occupation is in order so that the application is done right the first time, thereby allowing the TN holder to do it right on their own in the future.