Here we’ll be answering five of the most common questions that U.S. employers have when hiring Canadian professionals on a TN Visa. First, what is a TN Visa? Second, what are the benefits of a TN Visa? Third, what is the employers’ role in the TN Visa process? Fourth, who qualifies for a TN visa? And fifth, how long does it take to obtain TN Visa status?
What is a TN Visa?
The TN Visa is a work authorization that was created through a free trade agreement between the United States and Canada. The TN Visa allows for the ease of transfer of qualifying business professionals between the United States and Canada. The TN Visa grants qualifying professionals the ability to live, work and travel within the United States throughout the duration of their visa.
What are the benefits of the TN Visa?
There are many benefits of a TN Visa.
First, the process is very affordable. Employers are not required to pay the cost of obtaining TN Visa status and the processing fee for a TN Visa if done at the border is only $56. Even if there is a need to file by mail with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the filing fee is still only $460. For qualifying employees, this is a much more affordable option than the alternative of an H-1B L1 Visa where the processing fees can be in the thousands of dollars.
The TN Visa is also very fast to obtain. With a properly prepared application, a TN Visa can be obtained on the same day of the application at a port of entry or preflight inspection point, or even by mail within 15 days with premium processing through USCIS. The TN Visa status is perfect if you need somebody to begin working immediately.
Length of stay. TN Visas can be obtained for as short as one day and up to three years at a time with unlimited renewals. Unlike an H-1B, or L1 Visa there is no limit on the amount of time someone can work in TN Visa status. As long as the need for the employee continues, TN Visa status can be renewed indefinitely every three years.
Also, there is no prevailing wage requirement. There are no formal wage regulations for the TN Visa professionals, the wage paid simply needs to be consistent with those within the profession. Also, there are no additional recruitment requirements. In order to hire an employee on TN Visa status, you simply need to demonstrate that your employee will be working in a qualifying team profession, will be performing duties consistent with the TN profession and that the employee qualifies for the process.
There is no U.S. Department of Labor requirement to advertise for the position before hiring a Canadian professional, you simply follow your typical recruitment process.
What is the employers’ role in the TN Visa process?
The employer only needs to provide a support or offer letter detailing their need for the employees’ services under the qualifying team profession. Even in the most complex of cases, the burden on the employer is very small when compared to other Visas’ such as an H-1B or an L1 Visa.
Who qualifies for a TN Visa?
Any Canadian citizens that will be working under a listed TN profession who meet the minimum requirements for the profession can potentially qualify for a TN Visa. There are many common professions that qualify, such as accountants, computer systems analysts, graphic designers, engineers, nurses, biologists, professors and many, many more.
How long does it take to obtain a TN Visa?
With a properly prepared TN visa application your employee can have their TN Visa status and enter the United States on the same day of their application after a brief interview with a border officer. In more complex situations when you file by mail with USCIS even then processing can take as little as 15 days.
We represent both employers and employees in the TN Visa application process. If you are a U.S. or Canadian employer and have additional questions about employing a Canadian professional under TN Visa status, we can help. Call our office at 1-866-697-1832.