Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

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Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:48 am

We're posting this article to help TN Visa applicants be aware of the common mistakes so they can reduce their chance of denial.
Working in the U.S. – Common TN Visa Problems to Avoid

Approval of the TN Visa (or TN Status) to work in the U.S. is very subjective and since 9/11 and the various terrorist attacks, the U.S. Immigration Officers scrutinize each TN Visa application more carefully. This does not mean it is impossible for you to obtain your TN Visa, rather it means you want to ensure your TN Visa application is valid, professional and most importantly you are well prepared for the border interview.

There are three key areas that cause people to be denied their TN Visa. Interestingly enough, people who read this article think, “Oh, this does not apply to me, I’ve addressed these areas.â€
Last edited by TNVisaExpert on Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
colorgrowerNew Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: idaho

Post Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:07 am

I am on my third TN and I wonder how to start the H?B or H?A visa?
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:07 am
Location: San Diego, California

Post Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:59 am

Have you spoken to your employer? Are they interested in pursuing this option with you?
eddycurrentsCanuckAbroad Regular
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:38 pm

Post Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:29 pm

Another note: always bring originals. USCIS has 5 copies now of my engineering degree. It has not and will never change, yet every time I get a TN visa they want the original. Otherwise, rejected.

When I got my first TN, the temporary status was not an issue. This last time I got a big hassle about it. They wanted to know where I lived while I was in Canada. I said I had no home in Canada, my home was in the US -- wrong answer.

So we are supposed to keep a house in Canada, and pay mortgage and taxes on it, which means we can't get non-resident status, which means we have to pay Canadian taxes on top of the US taxes. Seriously.

Worst of all, you cannot go from TN to green card. That is against the rules. You must get an H1 visa first. However, there are only a few H1s available every year. We tried to get one, but couldn't. So we are stuck with TN. theoretically, forever.

Our immigration lawyer says he found some kind of loophole, but I am not so sure about it. We have been waiting 2 years for our green cards with no end in sight.

Working on a TN visa is precarious. You are considered a visitor, no matter how many TNs you get (I am on my 5th). Even if you buy a house and have nowhere else to live, you are still a visitor. You can't do any job other than what is on your TN. If you lose your job, you have 30 days to find another, or you have to leave the country. If you want to find another job, you need another TN. Basically, you are a hostage of your company and the US government.

We are hard working, honest, we pay our taxes and spend our money locally. Yet the US government makes us feel unwelcome at every opportunity, especially every year when we have to get another TN.

My advice about TN visa is -- don't. If you have any designs on staying in the US for a while, insist your company get you an H1. That is, of course, if you can. If you are forced to work under TN, well. don't make any long term plans.
eddycurrentsCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:38 pm

Post Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:51 am

TN is renewable forever, but you are subject to the whim of the particular USCIS agent who interrogates you at the border. Every experience for me has been different. It's always painful but the last 2 years have been worse, to the point where I was sure they wouldn't let me in, and after letting me sweat for 20 minutes, finally approved it.

Remember you do not "renew" a TN, every application is a new one. The fact you have already had 3 TNs is irrelevant, your 4th application could be rejected as easily as your first.

You still have to bring all your same paperwork every year, then go through that song and dance in the little side room where they make you feel like a criminal, and try to make you miss your flight. I have this to look forward to every year.

Plus the expense: it costs my company about $800 to renew my TN after the trip and lawyers fees. My wife goes through her lawyers and doesn't go to Canada, but it takes much longer and I don't think it's much cheaper. If you happen to be traveling to Canada anyway you could do it yourself, in theory, for just the $50. You still need an official letter from your company though. So in the end it's still more than $50.

Like I said, technically you cannot go from TN to green card. You first need to get an H1. But I forgot to mention something -- if you have an H1 application in process, you can't get a TN. So if your H1 application goes past your TN renewal date, you must leave the country until your H1 is approved. If it is approved. As you said, they have quotas for H1.

And another thing -- if your TN visa application is rejected, they won't let you into the country even on a 14 day visitor visa. I have been told this by 2 customs officers who nearly rejected my application. The reason is simple -- they know I will be going to work.

So if your annual TN visa application is rejected at the border, you are stuck in Canada. You can't go to your home or job in the US. What happens then I have no idea and no desire to find out.

Essentially, starting on the TN track makes it hard to get off. Getting a TN at the beginning of the year, then applying for H1 may work since you have more time to get it approved. If your H1 application is rejected I'm pretty sure you can still renew your TN, at least. We went through that about 3 years ago.

However, I agree. for people who want to work in the US, at least it's something. You may never get an H1 in time.

Like I said though, don't be under any illusions that it is or will become permanent. You are just another migrant worker, that's it.
canuckinlaNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Having more than one TN or changing companies

Post Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:14 pm

I heard somewhere that if you are in the Management Consultant category, you can hold more than one TN, because of the nature of the work (but not other categories can do this). Does anyone know if this is correct?

I just got a TN but I am thinking of changing employers and am now wondering what process I have to go through and if it is worth it!

I saw some info on the DFAIT website, it says: "You may change or add employers while in the U.S. by filing FORM I-129 (PETITION FOR TEMPORARY WORKER)" and directs you to the USCIS website. But it is from 2005, so I don't know if it is still valid.

Has anyone here held multiple TNs or changed employers before?
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:07 am
Location: San Diego, California

Post Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:00 pm

Please repost your question in a new thread to get the attention it deserves. This is simply an article posting.

Thank you
hudiggerNew Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:43 pm
Location: Vancouver

TN Visa for Hawaii

Post Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:53 pm

This is my first TN Visa attempt.
I have been offered a three month contract (working Vacation/travel nurse) for Hawaii. My employment offer letter does not have a start date because my start date is dependent on obtaining a TN Visa, a SSN, then a practicing Hawaii license instead of my current conditional license. I can not obtain a license until I obtain the other two and I cannot obtain a SSN until I get a TN Visa. This makes it very complicated.
I was hoping to got the the BC/Washington border this week and attempt to get a TN visa without a start date because I will never get a start date, but anticipating December. I know it is early to apply for a TN visa, but I have to in order to obtain a SSN and Hawaii License.
Does anyone know if this is even possible, or what can I do about this situation with Hawaii?!?!

Post Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:48 pm

I believe that the maximum time you can get your TN before your start date is 2 weeks, so if you would not be starting your job until December, you'd be going way too early.

I'm not sure, but check with the TN Visa Experts (website linked in several places around here) about obtaining the SSN. It may be something that is automatic upon approval of the TN visa, and the SSA just sends it to you after your arrival.
tctcNew Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:35 pm

Self employed

Post Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:09 pm

Last edited by tctc on Sun May 11, 2008 1:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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