The TN NAFTA Visa grants non-immigrant status to qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens who wish to obtain lawful employment in the United States. Because it is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, the TN visa is the preferred US work visa for Canadians and Mexicans.
TN NAFTA Visa Requirements
Your application for TN NAFTA visa will be submitted in person and processed right on the U.S. port of entry or border, and requires the submission of these documents:
• Proof of Canadian Citizenship
• Letter from your US employer specifying your employment details
• Professional Credentials to support your employment case
While the requirements seem benign enough, your application should also sufficiently demonstrate that you have a pre-arranged employment with a U.S. employer. Your intended profession should also qualify for a TN status and the position you intend to fill also requires a NAFTA professional.
The TN status is an offshoot of the North America Free Trade Agreement, which introduces special economic and trade relationships among Canada, the United States and Mexico. Part of this is the opening up of employment opportunities for key professions in the United States through the TN NAFTA visa classification. Among the eligible professions are:
• Medical and Allied Health
• General Professions such as Accountancy, Architecture and the like
Key to the approval of your TN Visa is to prove that you have no intention of remaining in the U.S. on a permanent basis. You must show evidence of maintaining links to Canada and a willingness to return upon the expiry of your TN visa status. Many people often fail to anticipate this requirement and have their applications denied.
TN Visa Renewal and Green Card
An initial TN NAFTA visa allows for one to three years of legal stay in the United States, but it can be renewed for as long as your need to be employed in the United States. The renewal process is done on TN visa service centers and may require some additional paperwork.
Even as it disallows immigration intent, obtaining a green card is a possibility for TN visa holders. The process is often very thorough and may lead to a lot of stress if not done right.
Should You Ask for Legal Assistance?
Yes, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer for your TN status application. An immigration attorney should be able to assess your case, identify potential roadblocks, coach you on dealing with immigration personnel and assist you in preparing evidence to back your application. They are especially important if you think you have a complex case such as having previous denials, U.S. citizen relatives, evident immigration intent and other hurdles.