TN/NAFTA Visa for Canadian Citizens

TN/NAFTA Visas

Requirements

To be eligible for a TN visa:

  • Must prove intent not to immigrate
  • Must participate in “Activities at a Professional Level”, requiring “at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional.”
  • Must be employed in one of the 65 approved careers.
  • Economists must have a baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.

Procedure

A Canadian citizen can apply for a TN visa at any U.S. port of entry. Documentation must include:

1. Proof of citizenship

2. A letter from the prospective employer describing in detail the activities to be performed to show they are in a professional capacity (See Employment Letter below)

3. Licenses, diplomas, degrees, certificates or professional memberships

4. Must affirm:

  • professional activity to be engaged in
  • purpose of entry
  • anticipated length of stay
  • beneficiary’s educational qualifications
  • beneficiary’s compliance with applicable state law AND
  • arrangements for remuneration

Employment Letter

The employer in the U.S. must provide to the applicant a Letter of Employment in the United States. The letter must indicate that the position in question in the U.S. requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1.

The applicant must present evidence of professional employment to satisfy the Consular Officer of your plans to be employed in prearranged business activities for a U.S. employer(s) or entity(ies) at a professional level. Part-time employment is permitted. Self-employment is not permitted. An employment letter or contract providing a detailed description of the business activities may be provided from the U.S. or foreign employer, and should state the following:

  • Activity in which the applicant shall be engaged;
  • Purpose of entry;
  • Anticipated length of stay;
  • Educational qualifications or appropriate credentials demonstrating professional status;
  • Evidence of compliance with DHS regulations, and/or state laws; and
  • Arrangements for pay.
  • Although not required, proof of licensure to practice a given profession in the United States may be offered along with a job offer letter, or other documentation in support of a TN visa application.

Benefits

  • TN status can be renewed in one-year increments with no specific limit on the total number of years one may hold TN status.
  • Streamlined application procedures at ports of entry

Relation of baccalaureate degrees to TN occupations

The most successful applications are those that demonstrate the clearest tie between the degree and the position. Some areas have more flexibility than others, including that of economist. For that position, adjudicators have accepted degrees in finance, business with an emphasis in finance or economics, and international relations, with an emphasis in economics. The key is to use the support letter to tie the degree to the duties of the position.

Extensions of Stay

Canadian citizens can renew an existing TN at any U.S. port of entry or through the Nebraska Service Center on Form I-129 with the prescribed fee. 8 CFR ¤214.6(h)(2), addressing re-admission in TN status at the border, provides that the a Canadian citizen seeking re-admission at the border in TN status must present a new letter from the employer together with the supporting evidence of professional credentials and Canadian citizenship.

Some have found that CBP inspections officers (and USCIS examiners) may deny admission to a TN applicant seeking re-entry in TN status extension, if that applicant cannot adequately demonstrate a “reasonable, finite end” to the proposed work assignment.

Denials

The service swill permit a Canadian citizen who applies for the TN at the border but cannot demonstrate that he is admissible to ask for a hearing before an IJ or withdraw his application for admission. If he declines to and he is inadmissible under INA ¤212(a)(6)(C) or (7)(A), the officer may initiate expedited removal procedures.

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