Step 1: Assess Eligibility
Before initiating the TN visa application process, it’s crucial to determine whether the prospective employee meets the eligibility requirements. As an employer, you should:
- Verify that the job offer is within a qualifying profession
- Ensure the candidate holds the necessary educational qualifications or work experience required for the specific profession
- Confirm that the candidate has a valid job offer letter from your company
Step 2: Prepare the Job Offer Letter
A well-prepared job offer letter is critical to the TN visa application process. The letter should include:
- A detailed description of the job and its responsibilities
- The duration of the employment contract (TN visas are initially granted for up to three years, with the possibility of extension)
- The salary and any additional benefits offered
- A statement confirming that the position is temporary and that the candidate will return to their home country at the end of the employment term
It’s essential to be thorough and accurate in the job offer letter, as it will be scrutinized by immigration officials during the application process.
Step 3: Gather Supporting Documents
In addition to the job offer letter, several supporting documents are required for a successful TN visa application. These may include:
- Proof of the candidate’s citizenship (passport or birth certificate)
- Evidence of the candidate’s educational qualifications (degrees, diplomas, transcripts, or professional licenses)
- Letters from previous employers to confirm the candidate’s work experience, if applicable
- Any additional documentation specific to the candidate’s profession (e.g., professional memberships or certifications)
Ensure that all documents are complete, accurate, and up to date to avoid delays or complications in the application process.
Step 4: Application Submission
The process for submitting a TN visa application differs for Canadian and Mexican citizens.
For Canadian Citizens:
Canadians can apply for TN status directly at a U.S. port of entry, such as an airport or land border crossing. The candidate should bring the following items with them:
- A copy of the job offer letter
- All supporting documents (as mentioned in Step 3)
- The required application fee (currently $185, subject to change)
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will review the application and make a decision on the spot. Once approved, the candidate will be granted their physical TN visa in 7 to 10 days and can immediately begin working in the United States.
For Mexican Citizens:
Mexican citizens must first apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in Mexico. To do so, they must:
- Complete the online DS-160 non-immigrant visa application form
- Pay the required application fee (currently $185, subject to change)
- Schedule an appointment for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
- Bring the job offer letter, supporting documents, and proof of payment to the interview
If the visa is approved, the candidate must wait 7-10 days to receive their physical visa before they can then travel to the United States and request TN status at a port of entry.