Steps to working in the United States on a TN-1
The TN Visa was established out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. TN stands for "Trade Nafta." Citizens of Canada and Mexico are eligible. The TN Visa holds substantial advantages in terms of processing time and level of complexity over the Non-Immigrant H-1b Work Visa.
To qualify for the TN Visa, an applicant must:
1. Be a citizen of Canada
2. Have a professional degree or its equivalent
3. Be a professional eligible to receive the TN Visa
4. Have a job offer of professional employment from a United States employer
5. *Effective July 2004, Health Care Worker Certificate (VisaScreen) for healthcare workers
Obtaining the TN Visa can be as easy as proceeding to a United States port of entry along the Canadian border with the job offer letter, proof of Canadian citizenship and proof of the TN applicant's educational and experience credentials. If all documents are in order, the TN Visa would be approved and the Canadian citizen can enter the United States. The TN Visa is granted for up to three years, and can be renewed indefinitely for additional periods. Renewals can be made either within the United States, through the INS' regional service centers. Alternatively, renewal can be made when a TN Visa holder re-enters the United States.
There is subjectivity with which the immigration service treats applications for TN Visas. Therefore, in order to avoid undue anxiety and delay in the TN application process, it is highly recommended that the application be prepared correctly. A properly prepared TN Application would include at bare minimum, the following:
1. Proof of Canadian citizenship
2. Proof of the applicant's degree certificates, education, and training
3. Proof of the applicant's experience in the field, if any
4. Visa Screen certificate - (only for healthcare workers)
5. Employer's job offer letter and/or letter in support of the TN application