Most businesses are going to be faced with having to hire employees. For many small businesses, hiring an educated person from another country might seem time consuming, costly and out of their comfort zone. TN visas are one option to get around these fears.
These visas are available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who qualify for work in certain professional occupations.
In order to get a TN visa, the foreign individual must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico; they must have a job offer in the US; the job must qualify as a profession defined under the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) regulations; the individual must be coming to the US temporarily; and they must meet the qualifications for the position offered, usually by holding a bachelor’s or licensure degree in that field. As always, there may be additional requirements or exceptions depending on the individual’s circumstances or the particular profession.
There is no annual limit to the number of TN visas available and the visas can be renewed from within the US. TN visas can be sought for an initial stay of up to three years. Renewals may also be sought for periods of up to three years at a time.
Canadians can obtain a visa either at the consulate or at the border if they are currently outside the US. Mexicans can only obtain the visa at a consulate if outside the US. Both Canadians and Mexicans can apply for a change of status to that of TN status, within the US, by applying with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if they meet the proper requirements.
Depending on the process one uses to get their TN, once they apply, it can take as little as a few hours or as long as a few months to obtain.
**This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any views expressed are those of the author only and not of the SDCBA or its Business & Corporate Law Section.**