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Document Preparation: PETITION FOR ALIEN RELATIVE
TN VISA Classification for Canadian Professionals
Temporary Employment: TN-1 Visa Classification
Under the NAFTA treaty, Canadian citizens enjoy certain special U.S. immigration privileges pursuant to international treaties between the U.S.
Canada and Mexican governments. Among these privileges is a special nonimmigrant visa
category for Canadian citizens, the TN ("TN" stands for "Treaty/NAFTA"). The TN nonimmigrant visa classification was created by the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), and applies to Canadian citizens temporarily entering the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Unlike the more common H-1B visa classification, the
TN category is only open to Canadian
or Mexican citizens who shall work in certain pre-designated professions. A
complete list of commonly used TN visa job categories / occupations can be viewed by clicking
The great advantage of the TN process is the relative speed with which this visa status can be acquired. Most
TN visa applications may be made
at the port of entry. Typically, Canadian citizens flying to the United States from Canada will apply for their
TN visa applications at designated "Pre-Flight Inspection stations" - located within major Canadian international airports - before leaving Canada. Many U.S. employers hiring Canadian citizens find that they can bring their candidates "on board" (and on U.S. payroll) within a matter of days or weeks, rather than the months-long wait that the H-1B or L-1 visa application process usually requires.
Another advantage of the TN category is that, unlike the H-1B visa category, the
TN has no annual limits per fiscal year. In theory, an unlimited number of TN visas can be issued each year. Further, unlike the H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant visa categories, there is no set "cap" on the amount of time a Canadian citizen may remain in the United States in
However, the TN is not a panacea for Canadian applicants. Unlike the H-1B visa category's 3-year validity period,
TN status may be approved for no more than a one-year period, though TN status may (theoretically) be indefinitely renewed after initial entry. Spouses and children of
TN workers are eligible for dependent visas in the TD ("Treaty Dependent") nonimmigrant visa classification. TD spouses and children may not work, though it is possible that TD spouses, if eligible, may independently qualify for their own
Further, the USCIS presumes that all applicants for admission to the United States (including
TN visa applicants) are "intending immigrants". Any foreign citizen (even Canadians!) attempting entry to the United States may be denied admission unless they can prove they have no intention of immigrating to the United States. Though there is an exception to this rule in the case of H-1B and L-1 visa-holding applicants for admission,
TN visa applicants remain subject to this presumption. Therefore, it is imperative for all
TN visa applicants to understand that they may not have any intention of immigrating to the United States while they remain in
TN status. Any Canadian citizens who are considering plans to immigrate to the United States during their stay should first contact
our office, Immigration and Visas International.
Most (though by no means all) TN categories require a baccalaureate degree as the qualifying academic credential. A few categories require an advanced degree (e.g., Librarian). Though
USCIS regulations do not specify this, USCIS examiners typically infer a requirement that the baccalaureate degree in a field of study related to the professional category.
Please click to review the list of open
occupations / professions / job list allowed under the TN Visa program.
NOTE REGARDING ACADEMIC DEGREES: If a baccalaureate degree is required for a particular professional category (e.g., Engineer), the
USCIS examining officer will typically want to see that the TN applicant possesses a degree from a North American (i.e., Canada, the United States, or Mexico) academic institution. Should a TN applicant possess a degree from an academic institution located outside North America, an evaluation of the foreign degree from a "reliable credentials evaluation service" must first be obtained.
Please review a list of the approved Professions / Job List.
Further, the USCIS will typically expect a TN visa applicant to possess a degree related to the field in which s/he will work in
TN status. For example, a Canadian citizen with a Biology degree may not necessarily be considered qualified for
TN visa entry if performing professional activities as a Geologist.
USCIS may consider that same candidate eligible for TN entry as a Biologist, but only if the candidate will, in fact, perform duties as a Biologist at a professional level. Therefore, please keep in mind that possession of a baccalaureate degree in any one of the fields below will not necessarily guarantee a successful
TN visa application, unless the candidate will perform business activities related to their area of academic expertise. There are occasional exceptions to this rule, however, so candidates concerned regarding this issue should contact
our firm for and schedule a paid phone or in person consultation for further details.
How to Engage IVI Services and Brief Overview of the Process for TN
Visa from our Office
|Company or candidate contact Immigration and Visas International (IVI)
and forward information necessary to begin the case.|
Candidate or company depots fees to IVI for professional representation
for the case.|
Information and documents are reviewed and organized by IVI. IVI performs analysis and develops case strategy|
Documents: TN Application Preparation
|IVI prepares final documents for company.|
|IVI prepares final documents for the candidate's spouse and children, if included in process (e.g., TD visa extension).|
|Company and candidate (and immediate family members, if applicable) review, sign, and return final documents to
|IVI performs a final check of all documents, forms, and letters.|
USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services)
|IVI sends completed TN "package" (comprised of documents, letters, etc.) to Canadian candidate/ applicant.|
|Candidate personally presents the TN visa application to USCIS inspections officer at U.S. port of entry, or at "Pre-Flight Inspection station", located within a major Canadian international airport.|
|USCIS officer issues candidate Temporary TN Visas, and "I-94" card, allowing candidate to work for U.S. employer for no more than one year.|
Finalizing Work Authorization
|IVI provides instructions toward initiation/ continuation of USCIS work authorization.|
|Candidate completes USCIS Form I-9 and starts work with company.|
|If candidate's immediate family members want to secure visa dependent visas,
i.e., TD Visa, Candidate provides copy of of the approved TN visa and I-94 card to IVI|
- Representation and Knowledge
- We can represent individual(s), or Corporation(s),
and guide you through the maze of law changes in your visa process for
us immigration. We represent you or your family members to United
States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS), Previously known as U.S. Department of Justice,
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
- Next Step: Fill out the Immigration
and Please phone our Office to setup an appointment to discuss
your specific case.
Immigration and Visas
Kendall Park, NJ 08824
Need a phone consultation, please click
here to schedule one.