What is a TN Visa?

The TN Visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico who received a job offer from an American employer to work in a professional occupation in the U.S.

The TN Visa was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This treaty was signed in 1994 by Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Likewise, if you are an Australian highly-skilled worker, you may fall into the E3 special occupation list.

How can IAS support you?

The eligible professions for this permit are defined by the immigration law. However, sometimes the TN Visa requirements can be open to interpretation.

IAS is a team of highly experienced immigration lawyers who can assist you with your application process. We can assess your eligibility and to define the best way to submit your forms to the immigration department.

You lawyer will liaise with the USCIS to support your non-immigrant intent. We can also provide legal guidance if you wish to apply for your TN visa directly at a US port of entry.

With our help, getting your TN Visa can be less stressful. Get in touch today to find out more about our services. You can call us on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form.


Who is eligible for a TN Visa?

The TN Visa is tailored to a list of eligible professions, listed on the USCIS website. Most of these occupations require an advanced degree and expertise in a particular area. However, only citizens from Canada and Mexico can apply for this visa. Furthermore, they must already have a legitimate offer to work in the U.S.

This permit allows applicants to work with only one employer. If you wish or intend to work for more organizations, you need to file a separate TN visa request for each company.

What are the TN Visa requirements?

There are two different TN Visa tiers: N-1 Visa for Canadian citizens, and TN-2 Visa for applicants from Mexico. Both visa categories are targeted at highly skilled professionals. The list of eligible jobs includes architects, accountants, economist, and engineers.

There are additional TN Visa requirements you need to meet:

  • You must prove your intent to return to your home country when your visa expires (or after nine years of total stay);
  • You need to demonstrate your strong ties with your home country (proof of having a spouse or owning a real estate is usually recommended);
  • You must hold a professional license;
  • You must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Work experience cannot be used as a substitute for educational qualifications;
  • Your job in the U.S. is going to be either full-time or part-time. Self-employment is not accepted.

How to apply for a TN Visa?

The process to apply for a TN Visa varies depending on where you submit your request from.

If you are already in the U.S. under a different visa status, you can submit your new application directly to the USCIS.

If you are outside the U.S., you can either apply in person at a U.S. port of entry (POE) or submit your application by email.

It is usually recommended to apply at a POE. In this case, the application fee is considerably lower, and you can instantly know the response. If your TN visa is denied, you can even attempt to correct your application immediately.

Unlike TN-1 Visa applicants, if you are a Mexican petitioner, you cannot apply at a POE. You must submit your request to your local consulate and fill in the DS-156 or DS-157 form.

How long does it take to get a TN Visa?

If you apply at a U.S. POE, you may be able to get your decision in a few hours. However, if you are petitioning online, your TN visa processing time will take longer.

The USCIS usually needs about six months to process each petition. Your employer can pay for a premium processing service to get your response within 15 calendar days.

How much does the TN Visa cost?

If you are a citizen of Canada, you can directly gain your status at a U.S. port of entry. This will cost you $50, plus an additional fee of $6 for your I-94 Card.

If you are from Mexico, or if you choose to petition by mail, your application fees are higher. It will cost you $460 to file and submit your I-129 petition.

How to get a TN Visa renewal?

Your permit can be valid for up to three years. At the end of this period, you can apply for a TN Visa renewal.

In such cases, your company needs to file an I-129 extension petition at least six months before your visa expires. Your TN Visa renewal usually takes from 2 to 7 months to be processed.

If your visa expires while you are still waiting for your extension, you may need to leave the U.S. and then reapply at the border.

Can you bring your family in the U.S. under a TN Visa?

If you hold a TN visa, you can bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 into the U.S.

However, you must first prove your relationship with them. The USCIS needs to access to evidence of your marriage and your children’s birth certificates.

Your relatives will then get a TN dependent Visa. While in the country, they cannot seek employment.

What are the differences between the TN and the H-1B Visas?

Since the TN Visa is not held to an annual cap, it is the most recommended path for Mexican and Canadian citizens. In addition, there is no limit of the permit renewals you can get.

On the other side, the H-1B Visa status is initially valid for three years, and it can be extended to a maximum of six years. Nevertheless, it is considered a “dual intent” permit, meaning that you can seek a green card status while under it.

The best option for you depends on your unique case. Your immigration lawyer can help you determine the best route to follow to enter the U.S.

What service do IAS lawyers offer?

Our immigration lawyers can provide you with expert guidance. We have a proven track of cases of professionals that got their TN Visas.

We are happy to support you through each step of the process. Our advisors will:

  • Perform a full document check to ensure that you meet the TN Visa requirements;
  • Check if you have adequate professional qualifications to emigrate to the U.S.;
  • Liaise with the USCIS and your U.S.-based sponsor;
  • Provide complete support if you want to apply at a U.S. POE;
  • Complete your DS-156 Form to the highest possible standard.

Contact us today to learn more about our tailored immigration guidance. Use our online contact form or call us on +1844 290 6312 to arrange a meeting with your IAS advisor.

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