If you are either a Canadian national or Mexican national and seek to work in the U.S., you may look into the Trade National (“TN”) Visa. The TN was established pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. If your profession is listed under the NAFTA and you have a job offer from a company, you may be eligible to apply for the TN Visa.
Pros and Cons of TN Visa:
There are several key advantages of this type of work visa. First, you do not have to go through the formal company sponsorship that other work visas require. Another distinct advantage is that you may apply at the border and your immigration status can be approved instantly without first filing with USCIS. A border official will usually conduct a brief interview and allow you in upon approval to work the next day. If already in the U.S. you have an option to apply at USCIS.
Additionally, Canadians do not have a visa cap for this type of visa, although Mexican nationals are subject to a 5,500 TN Visa cap. TN Visa can also be renewed for an indefinite time period in three year increments with no maximum number of years.
Your family members, spouse and minor children may also join you to live in the U.S. Although, your spouse and dependent children will not be able to apply for work authorization based on your status as TN Visa holder.
One major disadvantage is that the TN Visa is considered a temporary visa, meaning you must show intent to leave the U.S. once your Visa expires. If you seek to obtain a Green Card, you generally must convert to another type of Visa prior to applying.
What Documents do you need to apply for TN Visa?
You must provide a letter from your U.S. employer that states your job offer and details how the job offered is included in the list of qualifying NAFTA professional occupations. You will also be required to show proof of your degree, license, and any other employment records related to your job position. You should also provide proof of your Canadian or Mexican citizenship, such as either a passport or Birth Certificate. Our Portland Immigration Lawyer can assist you with including a letter that describes how you qualify for each requirement set forth in the laws to make you eligible for TN Visa. Please contact our office at (503)951-8209 with any additional questions you may have about the TN Visa process.