The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level, such as Accountant, Economist, Computer Systems Analyst, Engineer, etc.
Only Canadian and Mexican citizens who are professionals can apply for a TN Visa to work in the United States. The visa lasts up to a maximum of three years which is consistent with other non-immigrant worker categories, such as H1-B. However, the TN process is usually quick if qualify and there are no limits on how many of these visas are issued each year.
In order to obtain the TN status, beneficiaries must have an offer from a U.S. company or a client that is a U.S. company. Also, they need to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications that meet the requirements of the visa, according to the list of “NAFTA Professional Job Series List”.
Recently, we helped one of our Canadian Clients obtained his TN status. The client came to us seeking a TN visa under the Economist category. We submitted proof that our client meets the minimum education requirements (Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree) set forth in NAFTA agreement, Chapter 16 appendix 1603.d.1., including his Bachelor’s degree certificate, diplomas in business financial management related areas, and all the transcripts. Generally, evidence of professional qualifications may be in the form of degrees, certificates, diplomas, professional licenses, or membership in a professional organization.
Degrees received from an educational institution outside the U.S. must be accompanied by an evaluation by a reliable credentials evaluation service specializing in evaluating foreign documentation.
Work experience is also a key in demonstrating the beneficiary’s professional qualification. Documentations proving to the beneficiary’s experience should be in the form of letters from the former employers. Beneficiary’s resume listing his or her prior working experience should also be included in the exhibits. If the applicant was self-employed, business records should be submitted to prove that self-employment. In our case, the client has 10 years of General Management and Financial Management working experience.
In handling this case, we emphasized on the client’s various working experience in the Business Management and Financial Management field, wrote a detailed letter to explain and demonstrate how the client’s prior working duties and responsibilities provided him ample experience in related industry and how those prior professional experience could be applied in the future and thus make our client a qualified employee for the offered position.
When come to the U.S. Port of Entry. Make sure you present the following at the board:
• Passport: Must be valid for at least 6 months beyond TN approval end date
• Department Letter: This is to support your TN visa application describing purpose of visit and intended length of stay
• Visa support Letter: Provided by ISSO at UCSF addressed to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
• Employer Support Letter: This is to provide the basic information of the employer, duties and responsibilities of the proffered position, and to support your professional qualification as to the proffered position
• Prior Employer Support Letter: This is to prove your prior industry-related work experience.
• Diploma Original or certified copies: Serves as proof of minimum qualifications of the NAFTA profession
• Application Fee
• For Mexican Citizens, a TN Visa Stamp prior to being admitted to the U.S. is required
In addition, the TN visa is a temporary visa. Although it can be renewed, be sure to state your intent to return to your home country after termination of employment. Evidence may include but not limit to proof of property ownership in home country, the need to return to school, and/or family and business ties in the home country. If the beneficiaries later wish to pursue a more permanent option to stay in the US, they should plan to file for an H1-B visa after getting their TN status approved.
If you need assistance with you TN Visa, be sure to email us with your case request.