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TN NAFTA Visas Immigration Services
Here at Sam Shihab & Associates we help our clients with any business and employment immigration issues, dealing with all the necessary paperwork that is required to help our clients obtain either their trader, investor or professional work visas. Our legal immigration advisors’ solid experience will guide you in all matters related to B-1, E-1, E-2, L-1 or TN visas. Our law firm is sought after by clients from around the globe, who trust us to sort out their immigration-related matters.
TN/TD NAFTA Professionals Overview
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a treaty between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada that aims to foster and encourage trade. Among other benefits, NAFTA allows Mexican and Canadian citizens to work in professional occupations in the U.S. Most of the qualifying professions listed in NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.1 minimally require the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. Citizens of Mexico and Canada are eligible to work in TN nonimmigrant status in the U.S. if they meet the criteria set forth under NAFTA.
To work in TN status in the U.S., a foreign national must satisfy the following fundamental requirements:
• Be a citizen of Mexico or Canada (permanent residents do not qualify);
• Work in a professional occupation designated under NAFTA; and
• Possess the professional and educational qualifications for the position as defined by NAFTA.
Canadian citizens are visa exempt and, therefore, can apply for TN status without a visa. Mexican citizens, however, must obtain a visa prior to applying for TN status at a U.S. port of entry.
EMPLOYMENT LETTER OR CONTRACT
A critical document that must accompany a foreign national when applying for TN classification is the letter of employment or contract from the U.S. employer. The employment letter or contract should be presented at the U.S. port of entry and minimally include information regarding:
• The nature of the foreign national’s activity in the U.S.;
• The purpose of the foreign national’s entry;
• The foreign national’s length of employment/anticipated length of stay;
• The foreign national’s professional qualifications and educational credentials for the position;
• An explanation of how the foreign national will be compensated; and
• Proof of licensure if a license or permit is required for the position.
The employment letter or contract should clearly identify the NAFTA occupation in which the foreign national will work. The qualifying list of NAFTA professions consists of a variety of occupations, including but not limited to accountant, computer systems analyst, industrial designer, librarian, management consultant, scientific technician, social worker, teacher, plant breeder, physicist, meteorologist, dentist, physician and veterinarian.
TN status is a nonimmigrant classification that is initially granted for up to 3 years. Individuals in TN status are eligible for an indefinite number of renewals provided they continue to meet the requirements for the classification. Notably, TN status will not be granted for a period that exceeds the validity of the foreign national’s passport or the length of employment specified in the employment letter or contract. TN professionals must work for a U.S. employer and cannot be self-employed. Part-time employment, though, is permissible in TN status.
Dependents of foreign nationals in TN status are eligible for a derivative classification called TD status. Unmarried, minor children (under the age of 21) and spouses of TN professionals may hold TD status even if they are not citizens of Mexico or Canada. Spouses and children in TD status are not eligible for work authorization. Dependents will be admitted to the U.S. for the same duration as the primary TN applicant.
Why Hire A Skilled NAFTA Immigration Services Attorney?
Most will agree that the process of immigrating to the United States is quite complex. Sponsors and potential employees considering a TN or other work visa will both want the counsel of an experienced immigration lawyer. The immigration attorneys at Sam Shihab & Associates know how to expertly guide business professionals and employers on how to choose the correct options.
Our firm works both with local as well as international clients; we have offices in Dublin and Columbus, Ohio, as well as in Troy, Michigan, but our services are requested by clients from around the globe. So, no matter where you are located, you can get in contact with one of our immigration lawyers at Sam Shihab & Associates – simply send us a quick email or call us at one of our offices, and we’ll begin discussing your specific immigration issues.