A Trade National (or Trade NAFTA) visa is a non-immigrant visa granted to Canadian and Mexican nationals who are hired to work in the US. There are about 60 different jobs that are covered by this visa, including doctors, scientists, college teachers, accountants, graphic designers, and more. (For the full list of TN visa jobs, click here.)
The TN application process is considered the fastest way for Canadians and Mexicans to get a US work visa. Canadians may even obtain TN status in as fast as 15 minutes right at the US border. Further, applicants for this visa are not required to have a lawyer. However, for many applicants it is advisable to consult with a US immigration attorney for a number of reasons.
One is that the requirements for the TN visa can be strict and specific. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has several qualifications for each occupation on the list, and visa officers carefully scrutinize each applicant based on these.
An officer could, for example, question why the US job offer for the visa applicant is not consistent with their education. It is even possible for officers to refuse issuing a TN visa if they find the job references or the job offer letter inadequate.
Many Canadians encounter these obstacles and are denied their TN status at the US-Canada border. For Mexican visa aspirants, the process is even more stringent, as they are required to pass an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in their country, before they can proceed to the US port of entry.
A good visa attorney can help an applicant ensure that they are fully eligible, that they efficiently complete the process, and that they have the exact documentary requirements that TN visa officers want to see. A lawyer may also be essential for those whose TN visa applications have been denied and want to pursue a more effective visa case.
There are companies that offer a “do-it-yourself” approach for TN visa applications, using what are called “TN Visa kits”. While these kits provide some general information and instructions, they cannot give proper advice suited to an applicant’s specific circumstances. When a visa application is challenged, the best way to respond is with the guidance of an attorney who is knowledgeable in how the law applies to your particular situation. What’s better is to simply work with an immigration lawyer from the start of your application.
Most importantly, while you are not required to have legal representation to get your TN visa, enlisting a lawyer for your application is not as expensive as you might think and gives you your best chance of getting TN status and approved entrance into the US. You can start by talking to us at Richards & Jurusik by calling today 716-970-4007