Let a TN Visa Attorney in San Jose Help You Today
When applying for a visa can be a confusing and complicated process. There are several types of visas available, but which one is right for you? If you are a worker from Canada or Mexico, the TN visa is most likely the best option. This type of temporary visa allows you to work and live in the United States for a specified length of time. With the legal guidance of a TN visa lawyer in San Jose, navigating this complex process doesn’t have to be a stressful event.
Am I Eligible for the TN Visa?
The TN visa is available for Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the United State under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If you are a national of Canada or Mexico, you may work in the United States under a TN visa if:
- your profession is on the NAFTA Occupations list;
- your work experience and credentials meet the specific requirements for that profession as listed on the NAFTA Occupations list;
- the prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity; and,
- you will be employed by a U.S. employer.
What about Family Members?
Moving from one country to another for work can have a negative impact on family life. The good news is that several types of employment visas take the immediate family into consideration. Immediate family only extends to a spouse and children 21 years or younger. It does not include parents, siblings, or other extended family members. For TN visa holders allowed to work in the United States, their spouse and unmarried minor children are entitled to come to the United States in T.D. visa status, but they may not be employed in the United States in this status. While they are not entitled to employment under the T.D. visa status, your family members may attend school in the United States without an additional student visa, including K, through university at public school institutions.
How to Apply for a TN Visa
While the TN visa is the same whether you are Canadian or Mexican, the requirements for applying are slightly different.
Canadian Citizen Seeking TN Visa
Canadians seeking a TN visa may apply at a U.S. port of entry. Canadian citizens must provide the following in their TN visa application:
- A request for TN status;
- A copy of your college degree and employment records establishing your qualification for the prospective job;
- A letter from your prospective U.S.-based employer offering you a job in the United States, which is included in the professional job series (NAFTA list); and
- Payment of the visa fee.
Mexican Citizen Seeking TN Visa
Mexican citizens must complete the following steps:
- Your prospective employer must file a labor condition application with the Department of Labor;
- Your employer must file an I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
- After the petition is approved, you then apply for the nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico.
When you arrive in the United States after you have obtained your TN visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico, bring:
- The TN approval notice issued by USCIS;
- The TN visa issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico; and
- Valid Mexican passport valid (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of the approval notice validity period.
At the Port of Entry, the CBP border inspector will give you a Form I-94, Entry/Departure Document, marked with the date and place of admission, a notation of TN (with Multiple Entry for Canadian citizens), and an expiration date either 12 months away (for Canadian citizens), or matching the I-797 validity date (for Mexican citizens).
Length of Stay and Visa Extension
TN visas are valid for one year and may be extended for one-year terms, but you must prove that you continue to maintain a foreign residence and do not intend to stay permanently in the United States. It is important to keep in mind that the requirements for Canadians and Mexicans wishing to renew their TN visa status are not the same.
Canadian citizens have two options. First, you may have your employer file an I-129 form at the Nebraska Service Center. This option does not require leaving the United States. Second, Canadians may return to Canada to re-apply at the port of entry with the same documentation that is required for an original application.
Mexican citizens must have the employer renew their labor condition application and file an I-129 with the Nebraska Service Center in order to extend their stay.
There is no limit on how many extensions you may obtain, but the longer you remain on a TN, the more likely it is that CBP at the port of entry will question your temporary intent and may deny you entry despite having an unexpired, multiple-entry visa. If you keep extending your TN visa, it may be time to talk to an attorney about what other options are available. An experienced TN visa lawyer may be able to help you find a visa type that is better suited for how long you intend to stay in the United States. If your TN visa is turned away even though it is not expired, TN visa lawyers may also be able to help you find a solution.
What Are The Education Requirements For A TN Visa?
While there are professional visa types with education requirements, this will depend on the profession itself. There are 63 jobs listed under the TN visa, and while some do require a bachelor’s degree, some do not have education requirements listed. If you are unsure if you can still apply without a bachelor’s degree, it is best to speak with a TN visa lawyer about the matter.
Can I Change Employers With A TN Visa?
Yes, but your new employer must obtain approval from the USCIS before you begin employment. Canadian citizens may submit a new TN application package showing the new employer at the border, as described above.
Can I Work For Two Different Employers With A TN Visa?
In order to work for two different employers or companies, you would need two TN visas – one for each place of employment. It is important to remember that a TN visa is employer-specific, which means it cannot be used with any employer other than the initial employer under which the TN visa was granted.
Can I Start Work With A New Employer Once The TN Petition Is Filed With The USCIS?
No, “portability” does not apply to people with TN visa status. An actual approval notice or new Form I-94 (for Canadians) must be issued by the USCIS. You must wait until the TN visa is fully approved to begin work.
What If I Am Laid Off By My Employer?
Just as with any other nonimmigrant work visa, you must depart the United States if you are not employed with the sponsoring employer. You may not stay indefinitely in TN visa status to locate other employment. You may be eligible to change your status to give you additional time in the United States to look for employment. If this happens to you, contacting a TN visa lawyer may help you avoid issues with immigration.
How A TN Visa Lawyer May Be Able To Help
The process of applying for TN visas can be complex and confusing, which is why having the assistance of legal counsel on your side can make a big difference. Compiling the right forms and information required for an initial TN visa application can lead to a lot of questions. When it comes to matters such as extensions of this type of visa and other possible visas available to you, an experienced TN visa lawyer will be able to assist you regarding options and what steps you should take next. If your request for a TN visa is denied, hiring a TN visa lawyer in San Jose may help you move forward with the process and gain approval. There may have been an error in the forms, or you may have missed a crucial step. An experienced TN visa lawyer will be able to guide you through the steps and help you remedy any issues that were holding up your visa application. The help of a TN visa attorney may also be helpful when there is a language barrier, which naturally leads to more confusion. Your TN visa lawyer will be on your side to guide you through the process, answer any questions you have along the way, and fight for the best outcome for you as an individual.
Do You Need Help With A TN Visa?
Are you ready to start working in the United States? Do you have questions about your soon-to-expire TN visa? Whatever the concern or question you may have about the TN visa process, you deserve a visa lawyer on your side. Contact a TN visa lawyer today online or by telephone at (408) 645-6395 for an immigration evaluation.