Canada enjoys special trade and economic privileges from the United States through the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. One of the key elements of the treaty is the availability of the TN visa for temporary jobs in the United States. This is a non-immigrant visa which is relatively easy and inexpensive to obtain, as you only need to provide the required documents at the US port of entry for immediate assessment.
Here is an overview of the requirements that a Canadian employee must prepare for when applying for a TN visa.
Proof of Canadian citizenship
The most basic requirement and perhaps the most important, for a TN visa application is proof of your Canadian citizenship. It can be your birth certificate, your passport or if you are a naturalized Canadian citizen, a copy of your naturalization documents.
Pre-established employment in an American company
Assuming that your profession falls under the NAFTA list of professions, you should always have an existing or permanent offer for a job in an American company or organization. The job itself should specifically require a NAFTA professional. Independent activities are also currently not allowed in this category.
Covered by the NAFTA list of professions
Not just any job can qualify for a TN visa. To be eligible, the vacant position you have received must be expressly indicated in the NAFTA TN list of professions provided by the immigration service. In general, we can divide these professions into four main areas: general, medical and related health, education and science professions.
Proof of academic achievement
Some occupations on the NAFTA TN Occupational List require advanced degrees, while others do not even require any form of a university degree. In all cases, you must ensure that you meet the applicable training requirements for the position or more to receive your status.
Work must be temporary
A TN visa is only valid for a maximum of three years, so long-term employment may be excluded, unless you choose to renew your status as the expiration period approaches. You must be able to establish this fact during the border interview. The good news is that TN Visa can be renewed permanently as long as your need exists.
No immigrant intent
Concerning the temporary nature of a TN job, you, as the applicant, must not claim or establish the intention to reside permanently in the United States. Remember that a TN visa is a category of non-immigrant visa, and the intention to immigrate is almost automatically reported at the border. However, this does not mean that you will not be able to apply for a green card or a permanent residence permit in the future. You can apply for a green card after a while.
Letter from your employer
Another important document to present to border officials is a letter from your future employer stating your position, duties, job and length of stay. This document should establish and support many of the requirements described above.
It can be easy to assume that these requirements are relatively painless, and in many ways as well. However, each case is different and your request may present complications of which you are not even aware that could compromise your request and cause your refusal. Also, immigration officials at the border have become more strict in examining TN visa applications for security reasons, and many applicants often hesitate under this supervision during interviews if they are not prepared.