TN Visa Overview
TN visas are a vital resource for Canadian and Mexican citizens who wish to work in the U.S. under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Maximum Initial Stay: TN visa holders are typically granted an initial stay of three years in the United States. Extensions of stay can be obtained in increments of up to three years, with no maximum limit, theoretically allowing individuals to stay indefinitely. However, the visa holder must affirm their temporary intent to work in the U.S. for three years with each renewal.
- Differences for Canadians and Mexicans: Canadians (TN-1) generally receive a full three-year stamp on their visa from the start, making the process more straightforward. Mexicans (TN-2), on the other hand, usually receive a visa stamp valid for only 12 months. However, the I-94, not the visa stamp, determines the length of stay.
Key Documents and Requirements:
- I-94 Importance: The I-94 is the key document for determining how long a TN visa holder can remain in the U.S. The Mexican visa stamp should have a “PED date” indicating the desired length of stay, up to three years.
- Intent: TN visa holders must maintain a temporary intent to work in the U.S., which means they cannot seek a green card. After three years, extensions can be applied for, with the same temporary intent requirement.
- Grace Period: In case employment is terminated before the authorized period, TN visa holders have a 60-day grace period or until the authorized validity period ends, whichever is shorter.
- Family Members: Family members and unmarried children under 21 can be classified as “TD” status, which is derivative of the TN status. Spouses can’t work, but they can attend school.
- Profession and Degree: TN visa positions must be listed in Appendix 2 of the USMCA, and the applicant must show they will perform these activities in the U.S. A bachelor’s or higher university degree is typically required unless alternative qualifications are listed in Appendix 2.
Specific Requirements for Mexican Nurses
- Basic Requirements: Mexican nurses must hold a state/provincial nursing license or a Nursing (Licenciatura) degree, have a job offer from a U.S. or Canadian employer, and possess VisaScreen certification.
- VisaScreen: VisaScreen is essential for healthcare workers, including nurses, and requires education comparable to a U.S. graduate, validation of healthcare licenses, an English language proficiency exam (except for Canadians), and passing a recognized licensing exam.
- Educational Requirements: Mexican nurses can use a licenciatura degree, post-secondary diploma, or certificate, and may require a temporary or permanent registered nursing license for the state they intend to work in.
How to Apply for TN at US Consulate in Mexico
- The application process for Mexicans living in Mexico involves completing Form DS-160, uploading a digital photo, paying the MRV fee, and providing biometric data.
- Job offer letters should include detailed information about the employer and the applicant’s qualifications for the position.
- Applicants need to bring various documents to the visa interview, including their passport, photo, DS-160 confirmation page, MRV fee proof, reciprocity fee, evidence of professional licensure and work experience, and other supporting documents.
- Applicants should check the U.S. Consulate website for details on application procedures and local processing times.
Important Tips for TN Applicants
- Be prepared with information about your last five trips to the U.S., your resume or CV, and
your employer’s address when filling out Form DS-160.
- Certified copies of university degrees are often required, and educational credentials from schools outside of Canada, Mexico, or the U.S. should be evaluated by a credentials evaluation service.
- Establishing non-immigrant intent is crucial, and any past immigrant petitions filed on your behalf can affect your TN visa application.
- TN visas may be issued for up to one year, but the period of stay is determined at the border.
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