TN Visa FAQs
Is a TN Visa Tied to a Specific Employer?
Yes. The TN visa is granted to a person to work only for the specific U.S. employer recorded in the TN application. If a TN visa holder works for a different employer, they would be violating the conditions of their visa. Therefore, if a TN visa holder wants to change employers, they must apply for a new TN petition to obtain authorization to work for the new employee and must wait to have such authorization before starting to work for the new employer.
Do Employers need to Maintain Records on TN employees?
Unlike for H-1B employees, employers do not need to keep much documentation. If the employer is audited by USCIS or the Labor Department, they only need to show that the employee has a valid work authorization.
How can I change employers if I have a TN visa?
Since a TN visa is granted to work for the specific employer listed in the TN application, you must apply for a new TN visa if you want to change employers or have the new employer file an I-129 visa application with USCIS requesting a change of employer and an extension of stay. A TN visa is not portable like an H1b visa, therefore you need to wait until your new TN visa application is approved before you begin work for the new employer.
What are some of the common reasons TN visas are denied?
Based on our experience, the most common reasons for TN visa denials include:
- The wrong NAFTA occupation was selected
- You do not meet the requisite qualifications for the job (i.e. education, training, licenses, experience, etc.) or your application did not include the appropriate supporting evidence of qualification
- The employment offer letter is not well written
- You violated your immigration status in the past
- You did not demonstrate “strong ties” to your country of residence or sufficient evidence of non-immigrant intent (i.e. family, property and financial ties) or you were violating your non-immigrant intent by having a green card application pending.
- You have a problematic criminal record.
- You provided conflicting answers regarding your employment details at the interview.
Generally, the port of entry or consular officer will inform you of the reason for the denial of your visa and this is key to determine whether it is best to reapply for the visa or to find other alternatives.
What can you do if your TN visa is rejected or denied?
A TN visa application may be rejected if it is improperly completed or if it is missing supporting documentation or if the supporting documentation is not enough or relevant. In this case, you may correct the mistakes or add the proper supporting documentation and resubmit your application.
On the other hand, if the visa was accepted for further review and then denied, there may be more serious issues with whether you meet the requirements of the TN visa. It is always best to consult a qualified immigration lawyer to help you understand what your best alternative is.
If your TN visa or TN visa extension is denied, you need to make sure that you do not remain in the U.S. past the date listed on you I-94 form, as overstaying your visa can have serious consequences for applying for another visa status or to enter the U.S. in the future.
What are the Consequences of a TN visa Denial?
Some common consequences of the denial of a TN visa, include having to delay the commencement of your employment, incurring travel and hotel expenses that you had not anticipated, or even losing your job opportunity if the employer decides they do not want to wait for you and hire someone else instead. It is therefore generally advised to use the services of an experienced TN Visa Attorney when applying or reapplying for a TN visa.
Can the TN visa Decision Be Appealed?
Unfortunately, like with all non-immigrant visas using the I-129 form, it cannot be appealed. You generally will have to re-apply for the TN visa or a different type of visa. It is very important not to overstay your permission to remain in the U.S. per your I-94
What Other non-immigrant U.S. Visa Alternatives are there?
There are different types of employment immigrant visas (employment green card) as well as non-immigrant U.S. visa alternatives. Because U.S. immigration law is extensive with many exceptions to the rule, it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before applying for any visa or immigration status.