TN1 Visa for Canadians
Canadians can often gain entry to the US with greater ease than others; this preferential treatment for Canadians is linked to treaty provisions within the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While there are many NAFTA related visas, the most useful one is the TN1. The TN1 visa was modeled on the H1B; it may only be used where the employer is based in the US, and the candidate is a professional in one of the categories listed on below. Where a candidate, by their profession and nationality, qualifies for the TN1 visa, it has the following advantages over the H1B:
- It is granted for one year, but can continue to be renewed indefinitely.
- It can be applied for at the border with the US, and is usually granted immediately.
- The documentary requirements and procedure is far less burdensome than the H1B visa.
The TN1 is granted for a specific employer. If needed for more than one employer, multiple TN1 applications need to be made. Self-employed professionals would not be able to come under this particular visa category, and may consider the E2 Treaty Investor category under NAFTA.
While it is possible to apply under the TN1 visa with minimal documentation, it is prudent for candidates to arm themselves with the following documents at the border with the US:
- A description of the position from the US employer, confirming that the position is temporary, and including full details of why it is a professional occupation. This should also confirm that the candidate will be a direct employee, and state the salary level. Further, some information about the nature of the employer's business should be included.
- Proof of the candidate's qualifications, including, where appropriate, confirmation of the US equivalency of any foreign qualifications. This confirmation is generally obtained by a qualified credentials evaluator or US academic, and must be accompanied by verbatim translations of any certificates/transcripts in languages other than English.
- A copy of the candidate's resume (curriculum vitae).
- The original Canadian passport (if applicable), and, if relevant, copies of the candidate's previous passports, visa stamps, and I-94s.
- Details of the candidate's Social Security Number (if applicable)
- Details of the candidate's foreign address
- A copy of the employment contract.
- Details of the employing company, including proof of ability to pay the wages offered.
- If relevant, a license enabling the candidate to work in the US.
The following professionals can qualify under the TN1 category:
- Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster
- Graphic designer
- Hotel manager
- Industrial designer
- Interior designer
- Land surveyor
- Landscape architect
- Management consultant
- Range manager/range conservationist
- Research assistant
- Scientific technician/technologistSocial worker
- Technical publications writer
- Urban planner
- Vocational counsellor
- Medical/allied professional (dentist, dietician, medical laboratory technologist, nutritionist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, physician, physical therapist, psychologist, recreational therapist, registered nurse and veterinarian)
- Scientist (agriculturist, animal breeder, animal scientist, apiculturist, astronomer, biochemist, biologist, chemist, dairy scientist, entomologist, epidemiologist, geneticist, geo-chemist, geologist, geophysicist, geologist, geophysicist, horticulturist, meteorologist, pharmacologist, physicist, plant breeder, poultry scientist, soil scientist and zoologist)
- Teacher (college, seminary, university)