The NAFTA Treaty Nonimmigrant TN Visa
The NAFTA Treaty Nonimmigrant (TN) visa allows Canadian and Mexican nationals to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. The TN visa can be a valuable option for U.S. employers seeking to hire foreign professionals from Canada or Mexico. Our immigration attorneys at Wilson Law Group in Minneapolis have been helping U.S. employers and foreign employees obtain the right employment visas since 2003.
How Is The TN Visa Similar To The H-1B Visa?
The TN visa requirements have similarities to the H-1B visa. However, there are advantages of the TN visa, including:
- Unlike an H-1B visa, there is no annual cap for TN visas
- An employer may renew a qualified beneficiary’s TN visa indefinitely
- The TN visa covers a broader range of job descriptions than the H-1B
- There is no prevailing wage requirement for a TN
- Canadian citizens can obtain a TN visa at the border
- A TN visa can be obtained by a person who has held H-1B status for the full six years without fulfilling the requirement of spending one year outside the US
However, the TN visa does have some limitations.
Limitations Of TN Visas
Unlike an H-1B visa, the TN visa is not a dual intent visa. A person on a TN visa cannot pursue permanent residency without risking their TN status. A person in TN status will have to switch to another status, such as H or L, in order to obtain lawful permanent residency and immigrate permanently to the U.S.
In addition, the degree requirements for a TN are absolute in that no professional experience can supplement an insufficient academic background. Also, a TN visa can be denied if the U.S. Department of Labor certifies that there is a strike or other work stoppage and the resolution of which would be adversely affected by the admission of the TN nonimmigrant. Finally, TN visas do not allow self-employment. However, unlike the H-1B, an employee may have a vested interest in the company.
The Processing Procedure For Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizens can present their TN application at a port of entry or pre-clearance station at an airport. Unlike other employment visas, Canadian citizens do not have to present an approved Department of Homeland Security petition or a labor condition application. Once in the U.S., the U.S. employer can apply to extend the TN recipient’s status for an extension.
The Processing Procedure For Mexican Citizens
The procedures are a bit more laborious for citizens of Mexico. Mexican citizens must apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate. Our attorneys at Wilson Law Group can advise you of the process and facilitate with the procedure.
Spousal Status With A TN Visa And TD Visas
Spouses and minor children of TN visa holders can accompany a TN visa holder with a TD visa. While TD visa holders can attend school, they cannot work in the United States in TD status.
Qualifying Occupations For The TN Visa
Both the NAFTA treaty itself and DHS regulations specify which professions qualify for TN status. Our immigration attorneys have been helping employers and foreign employees secure applicable employment visas for decades. They can assess and evaluate your circumstances to determine if you or a prospective employee qualify for TN status.
Schedule A Free Consultation
Our immigration attorneys offer a free consultation. Please contact our office by calling 612-430-8022 or by sending an inquiry through our website to schedule a time to speak with one of our experienced immigration attorneys regarding your matter.