Canadians and Mexicans can apply for a TN visa, a non-immigrant visa category that allows employment in select US professional fields. The TN visa was created as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to facilitate the movement of professionals between the three member countries.
Application Process of TN Visa
The TN visa is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who are seeking employment in one of the approved TN visa professional occupations. Applicants must have the educational qualifications, work experience, or licensure required for the specific profession.
Obtain a Job Offer
A job offer from a U.S. employer is required to apply for a TN visa. The employer must provide a letter detailing the position being offered, the duties to be performed, the applicant's qualifications, and the proposed compensation.
Complete the DS-160 Form
The DS-160 form is an online nonimmigrant visa application. It must be completed and submitted electronically.
Pay the Application Fee
The TN visa application fee must be paid online using a credit or debit card.
Schedule a Visa Interview
The applicant must schedule an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Canada or Mexico.
Attend the Visa Interview
The applicant must attend the visa interview with all required documentation, including the job offer letter, educational certificates, and proof of citizenship.
Receive the TN Visa
If approved, the applicant's passport will be stamped with the TN visa, allowing entry into the U.S. for the specified period.
It is important to note that the TN visa application process can be complex, and it is recommended that applicants seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to ensure a successful outcome.
How to Modify TN Visa
- Change of Employer : If you want to change your employer while on a TN visa, you must apply for a new TN visa with your new employer. Your new employer must provide you with a job offer letter and supporting documentation. You must submit a new TN visa application at your home country's U.S. consulate or embassy.
- Change of Job or Position : If you want to change your job or position within the same company while on a TN visa, you do not need to apply for a new TN visa. However, you must ensure that the new job or position still qualifies under the TN visa category and that you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
- Extension of Stay: If you need to extend your stay in the United States on a TN visa, you can request an extension with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before your current TN status expires. You must provide evidence of your continued employment and eligibility for TN status.
- Change of Status : If you want to change your status to a different visa category, you must file a new visa application with USCIS. You cannot change your status from TN to another nonimmigrant status while in the United States, but you may be able to change to an immigrant status.
It is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine the best course of action for your specific situation and ensure that you follow the correct procedures for modifying your TN visa.
Cost Details of the TN Visa
The cost of the TN visa application varies depending on several factors, including the applicant's country of citizenship and the location where the visa interview will be conducted.
As of March 2023, the filing fee for a TN visa application is $160. In addition to the filing fee, applicants may also be required to pay additional fees for other services, such as visa issuance or medical examinations.
It is important to note that the TN visa application process may involve additional expenses, such as obtaining educational transcripts, obtaining a job offer letter, and travel expenses associated with attending the visa interview.
It is recommended that applicants consult with an experienced immigration attorney to understand the full range of costs associated with the TN visa application process.
Key Terms for TN Visas
- NAFTA: The North American Free Trade Agreement is between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The TN visa was created as part of NAFTA to facilitate the temporary movement of professionals between the three countries.
- Professional Occupation: The TN visa is available to individuals seeking employment in one of the approved TN visa professional occupations. These occupations require specialized knowledge and educational qualifications.
- Labor Condition Application (LCA): The LCA is a document required for TN visa applicants working in the U.S. It is issued by the U.S. Department of Labor and contains information about the wages and working conditions for the TN visa holder.
- Port of Entry: The port of entry is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility where the TN visa holder enters the United States. The TN visa holder must present their passport and TN visa at the port of entry to gain entry into the U.S.
- I-129 Petition: The I-129 petition is a form filed by the U.S. employer on behalf of the TN visa applicant. It requests that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approve the TN visa application.
Final Thoughts on TN Visas
The TN visa is valuable for Canadian and Mexican citizens seeking temporary employment in the United States. It offers a faster and less cumbersome process than other work visa types, making it a popular choice for U.S. employers seeking highly-skilled workers from Canada and Mexico.
However, it is important to note that the TN visa application process can be complex, and applicants must meet specific requirements to be eligible. Additionally, it is essential to work with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure a successful outcome. With careful planning and preparation, the TN visa can provide an excellent opportunity for professionals to gain valuable work experience in the United States.
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