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TN Visa in 4 easy steps
Every year, many women and men need a TN Visa to come to the USA from Canada or Mexico.
These people may be able to apply for a TN Visa. This is a temporary work permit, which allows freedom of movement within NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Area (now also referred to as USMCA). The TN Visa allows US citizens, Canadians and Mexicans to work in the USA, Canada or Mexico. You can apply for it at the border upon entering the country. Mexicans have an extra step and will need to apply at the Consulate first.
The whole area of TN Visa requirements can be confusing – at first. The NAFTA Professional Occupation List, the Employer Application Letter, applying for the TN Status and having a TN Visa denied, certainly seems like a daunting prospect.
Maybe you need to make a TN Visa application and this is your first time.
Don’t worry, because once you learn the 4 steps of how to apply for a TN Visa, things will go very smoothly.
Above all, don’t panic. Many people successfully get their TN Visas every year.
Step 1 – The Job Offer
The first step is to get a job offer. That means tracking down a job in the country you plan to move to, getting an interview and then getting a job offer. We have a few hot tips for this stage.
First, make the case to your potential employer that you are the right person for the job. You don’t have to disclose that you need a TN Visa too early. Let them like you for your personality and job skills. If you disclose this too early, they might be reluctant to hire you. This is simply because they think it’s going to be a lot of extra paperwork. As a result, you’ll be making life difficult talking about a TN visa too early.
Step 2 – The Preparation
Second, do a little homework and preparation on TN Visas and then you can confidently assure the Employer that you know what to do and how to apply. In fact, many employers don’t know much about TN Visas and confuse it with the more complicated H-1B visa. Hence, they may have unnecessary worries. You can help them put those worries out of their minds if you do things correctly.
Step 3 – The Application
Third, before you get to the border and present your application, do a little homework.
Make sure you understand which documents you will need. That includes proof of your citizenship in your country of origin. Also, remember to bring proof of your degree if your NAFTA Occupation requires it.
You also need a letter from your prospective employer about their company, your job details, and job duties. This is different than a contract letter or job offer letter, so be careful.
The authorities need proof that your job really is temporary i.e. 3 years or less.
Then, you need to show how payment of services will be made, and proof that you have the correct NAFTA credentials.
Finally, you will need money to pay the filing fee (currently $50) and I94 (currently $6).
Now you are ready for the next step: The TN Visa Application letter.
A TN Visa application letter is when you write in advance to apply by mail. If you do this, this letter can be written by your employer but it is not and must not be any employment contract. There are plenty of free examples you can find on the web.
In the event, you are paying someone only use a reputable site, beware of scammers.
Also, some people hire lawyers to handle TN Visa work. For almost everyone, this is probably unnecessarily and certainly going to cost big money.
Also, be aware that TN Visa application rules vary between countries.
For example, a TN Visa for moving to the USA from Canada is different from moving from the USA to Canada. A TN Visa for Mexico is a little different again.
Make sure you apply for your TN Visa with at least 2 weeks to spare before your work starts.
Step 4 – The Border Interview
Our fourth and final step is how to pass the border interview. There is no need to get stressed out about this process. If you have done your homework beforehand you are already 50% there. If you bring all the correct documents you are the next 40% there.
The final 10% is just being prepared to answer questions arising from your visa application, honestly and correctly.
Immigration Officers are just people, like you and me. They are not scary at all. It’s simply their job to keep their country safe and secure. The visa system needs to be policed. So, it is also their job to make sure the right people come into the country and the wrong people don’t.
Therefore, they will just make sure you are who you say you are. They will make sure you will do the work you say you will do and that your application is above board.
Be helpful and co-operative in your application, they will almost all be helpful and co-operative too. However, it seems like you are not being honest about your Visa and maybe you are hiding something, it’s their job to find out the truth.
If you have done your homework, prepared your Visa and other documents and turn up at the border ready and co-operative, you will have an easy crossing.
Then, with your TN visa done, you are ready to start a new chapter in your life. Good luck!