Canada enjoys special trade and economic privileges from the United States due to the North America Free Trade Agreement, along with Mexico. One of the treaty’s more important elements is the availability of TN Visas for temporary employment in the United States. It’s a non-immigrant visa that’s comparatively simple and inexpensive to obtain because you only need to present the required documentation at the U.S. port of entry for an immediate evaluation.
Here’s a rundown of the requirements a Canadian worker should prepare for in applying for a TN Visa.
Proof of Canadian Citizenship
The most basic requirement for a TN Visa application, and perhaps most important, is proof of your Canadian citizenship. It may be your birth certificate, passport, or if you’re a naturalized Canadian citizen, a copy of your naturalization documents.
Pre-arranged Employment with a U.S. Company
Assuming your profession falls under the NAFTA Professions list, you still need to have an existing or standing offer of employment with an American company or organization. The position itself should specifically require A NAFTA professional. Also, self-employment is currently not allowed under this category.
Falling Under the NAFTA Professions List
Not just any job can qualify for a TN Visa. To qualify, the job offer you received should be specifically indicated in the NAFTA TN Professions List provided by the Immigration Service. Generally speaking, we can group these professions into four main fields: general, medical and allied health, teaching and scientific professions.
Proof of Educational Attainment
Some professions on the NAFTA TN Professions list require accomplishment of advanced degrees, while some don’t even require any form of college degree. In any case, you need to provide that you meet the job’s prevailing educational background requirement or higher in order to receive your status.
The Job Must Be Temporary In Nature
A TN Visa is valid only for up to three years, so long-term employment may be out of the question unless you opt for renewal of your status when you near the expiration period. You need to be able to establish this fact at the interview at the border. The good news is that TN Visas can be renewed perpetually for as long as your need for it exists.
No Immigrant Intent
In relation to the temporary nature of a TN job, you, as an applicant must not profess or establish intent to reside permanently in the U.S. Remember that a TN Visa is a non-immigrant visa category, and immigrant intent is almost automatically given a red flag at the border. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to petition for a green card or permanent residency status in the future. You can, in fact, apply for a green card after quite a bit of time.
Letter From Your Employer
Another important document you need to present with the border officials is a letter from your prospective employer that outlines your job title, duties, purpose of employment and length of stay. This document should establish and support many of the requirements detailed above.
It may be easy to assume that these requirements are relatively painless, and in many respects, they are. But every case is different, and your application may feature complications you’re not even aware of which may jeopardize your application and cause your denial. Also, immigration officials at the border have become stricter in scrutinizing TN Visa applications due to security concerns and many candidates often falter under this scrutiny in interviews if they don’t come prepared.