Canadian professional workers can come to the United States with the TN NAFTA visa. This visa gives workers “non-immigrant” status and allows workers to stay in the U.S. for 3 years. In order to apply for this visa, you need to meet certain requirements for eligibility. To read more about these requirements, see our past articles.
While Canadians do not need to have a visa when they enter the U.S., they may request one or apply for one at the port of entry. Having a visa and immigration status is helpful for many reasons. To learn more about whether or not you should apply for a visa, talk to an immigration attorney about your specific circumstances.
The TN NAFTA visa involves filing proper documents and forms. When you apply, you will need to schedule an interview if you are between the ages of 14-79. The average wait time for an interview is 2 days. You will be fingerprinted at the interview.
The basic documents that you need are: Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa, $140), a passport, a 2×2 picture of yourself, and a letter of employment from your U.S. employer.
The letter from employment must contain information about your profession. Your employer must detail that your position requires someone with professional ability and show that h/she has plans to employ you either full or part time. You can also submit a letter or contract that shows your employer’s business activities. This letter can contain information about your employer’s compliance with state laws and DHS regulations. Your employer can write about your job position, the reason why you are entering the U.S., how long you are expected to stay, and arrangements for how he or she will pay you. Also, they can write about your educational requirements or credentials.
Your family can come or stay with you as well. This only applies to your spouse and children under the age of 21. They must prove their relationship to the TN visa holder. They do not need to be Canadian citizen and they are not required to get a visa. Still, they should look at the CBP website for port of entry requirements. Your family will not be granted permission to work in the U.S., but they can study. They will have to show a valid I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) to show that the NAFTA visa holder is still keeping the status.
The family of a TN NAFTA visa holder must show Canadian citizenship, proof of relationship to the TN NAFTA visa holder and copies of the TN NAFTA holder’s entry documents.
Basically, if you are applying for a TN NAFTA visa, you must meet certain qualifications. You must prove that you and your job meet professional requirements. If you have licenses, degrees, certificates, diplomas, or membership to professional organizations, you should include these. If the documents are in a foreign language (often French), translate them before sending it.
Include evaluations from reliable credibility check sources. And use services to validate foreign documentation. Also show work experience if you have any or business records if you were ever self-employed. Licensure for your profession is not required.
As you can see, the entire process of applying for a TN NAFTA visa can be confusing. But, it does not need to be. Contact immigration Attorney Phillip Kim for more information about professional work visas.
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