TN Visa Application: Mastering the Process

The TN visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States in certain professional occupations. To apply for a TN visa, you need to follow these general steps:

Ensure that you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico.

Your profession must be listed in the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) treaty.

  • Job Offer:

Obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer in a qualifying profession. The job must meet the requirements for a TN visa.

  • Qualifying Professions:

Check if your profession is on the list of qualifying professions under NAFTA. These professions often require at least a bachelor’s degree or appropriate credentials.

  • Education and Credentials:

Ensure you meet the education and licensing requirements for your specific profession. Have your academic degrees, certificates, and any other relevant credentials ready.

  • Employer’s Support:

Your U.S. employer must be willing to support your TN visa application. They will provide a job offer letter that includes details about the position, your qualifications, and the terms of employment.

  • Complete DS-160 Form:

Fill out the DS-160 form online. This is the application form for a U.S. visa. You will need to upload a passport-sized photo as part of this process.

  • Pay the Visa Application Fee:

Pay the non-refundable visa application fee. The fee amount can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.

  • Schedule Visa Interview:

Schedule a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Wait times for interview appointments can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.

  • Prepare Required Documents:

Gather all necessary documents, including your DS-160 confirmation page, passport, visa application fee payment receipt, job offer letter, and supporting educational and professional credentials.

  • Attend Visa Interview:

Attend the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. Be prepared to discuss your qualifications, the job offer, and other relevant details.

  • TN Visa Approval:

If approved, you will receive the TN visa stamp on your passport. The visa allows you to enter the U.S. for employment purposes.

Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

The Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, is a document used by employers in the United States to petition for foreign nationals to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in a specific job. This form is often used for various nonimmigrant visa categories, including the TN visa for Canadian and Mexican professionals.

Here is a general overview of the key steps and information related to Form I-129:

  • Employer Initiates the Process:

The U.S. employer initiates the process by filing Form I-129 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is used to request approval for a nonimmigrant worker’s employment.

  • Selecting the Appropriate Classification:

The employer must select the appropriate nonimmigrant classification for the worker. For TN visas, the appropriate classification might be “TN – NAFTA Professionals.”

  • Provide Supporting Documentation:

Along with Form I-129, the employer needs to provide supporting documentation, such as the job offer letter, evidence of the worker’s qualifications, and any other required documentation specific to the visa category.

  • Filing Fee:

The employer is required to pay the filing fee associated with Form I-129. The fee amount may vary depending on the visa category and whether the petition includes multiple beneficiaries.

  • Submission to USCIS:

The completed Form I-129 and supporting documents, along with the filing fee, must be submitted to the appropriate USCIS service center. The address for submission depends on the employer’s location and the type of visa being sought.

  • USCIS Processing:

USCIS will review the petition and supporting documents. If additional information is needed, they may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE). Once the petition is approved, the employer will receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797) indicating approval.

  • TN Visa Application by the Foreign National:

With the approved Form I-129, the foreign national can then apply for the TN visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

  • Visa Issuance:

If the visa application is approved, a visa stamp will be placed in the individual’s passport, allowing them to enter the U.S. for employment.

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