Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

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Sir JohnNew Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:06 am

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:34 pm

Over the past five years, my wife and I have received numerous TN visas. We are both on our second employer, living in our second US city.
Each visit to the border is different as each port of entry operates differently. Our recommendations include:

1. Always smile, be polite/friendly and extremely patient.
2. Bring original documents including the actual diploma.
3. Bring both credit card and US cash. Some offices accept cash only.
4. Be aware of your words, tone, volume and emotions.

As said before, each port of entry is different, each officer is different and there is nothing saying that the same officer will handle you the same way, be it the next day, week or year.

We've had the pleasure of crossing at the Ambassador Bridge in Windor/Detroit and recommend asking for female officer Ms.Cope.
She is considered the NAFTA expert had have actually heard other officers refer all TN business to her during her M-F, 8-4 hours and nothing else.(isn't it a 24 hour border crossing and one of the busiest?)

We have used airport offices in Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Chicago. Since my last renewal was in Chicago and the worst exeperience yet, I am planning to use a Canadian airport next because I believe that they are familar with Canadians applying for TN. Chicago OHare, didn't know how to process a TN, quoted a non government website to support their knowledge and were rude.

One last thing, good luck and have fun because over time, you'll become the NAFTA expert and oh ya, never, never use the word "renew".

MIRONew Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:09 pm

TN Visa and Unemployment Insurance in California very recent.

I am currently on my sixth TN Visa contract in USA, and my contract was terminated two days ago, due to Company downsizing.
I spent little bit than six months on this project sa an Engineer.
Prior to that I was in Canada doing very same job for two and half years but operated as my own company. I guess many Engineers are doing just that. Now I would like to apply for Californian UI, and go home. Problrm is in catch 22 type of California regulations which is all puzlled and like maze from nimber of corrupted web sites and answering machines.

Does anybody has any advice or recent experience???????

Thanks in advance

Junoon123CanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:16 pm

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:29 pm

Needless to say, I was tortured and interrogated for hours in the Toronto airport. I did not have original documents and was told I needed to go back to the US and cross the border the next day (a 7-hr drive each way) or stay in Canada until the documents arrived.
Just as I was about to give up hope, the shift changed and new workers came on - the new supervisor said he would accept my copies, no problem.
However, the woman who ended up processing my visa was insane and really had it in for me. She gave me the third degree about how my application was woefully inadequate, how if it were up to her there was NO WAY I would be approved, and she begrudgingly granted me my TN, but ONLY for 9 months instead of the usual 12. Then, to top it off, she gave me an I-94 form to fill out IN SPANISH! When I asked for an English form, she claimed they "didn't have any." Then she smirked and said "And besides, don't you speak Spanish.?" referring to my letter of employment which does include some work in Spanish. I complied, but this was abuse, clear and simple. "

Brainy girl i do sympathize with you however it was your fault for not taking original documents, you know how US immigration folks are, they just go by the books. I guess from their prospective if they approved you and somehow you did something bad then that immigration officer might get into trouble for not getting proper documents. Your lucky that they let you in... You must be super hot, if it was me without the original document they would have wooped me and send me to Canada back again.
gb8561New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:18 pm

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:25 pm

TN Question. I'm a few months into a 3 year TN visa. I'm leaving my employer in a few months to take a job in Canada. The job doesn't require me to be full-time in Canada.Personal circumstances mean that I'd like to go back and forward between the US and Canada until April when I settle permanently back in Canada. So a few days up in Canada, fly back to the US, and vice verse.

If I don't say anything about leaving my employer and thus the end of my TN visa will my employer report the end of my employment? Can I buy a few months of time in the US (travelling back and forward repeatedly) by just telling the US immigration guys I still work for the same employer and am still on the TN and was merely travelling to Canada for business?

I can imagine that if I get popped for this it would be long and painful. Any ideas, warnings etc?
paperesolutionNew Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:06 pm

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:43 pm

I've posted this as it's own topic so sorry for double posting, I just would really like advice and to avoid any complications.

I originally came to the US for an extended visit (not to exceed the 190 days) while I was a business student via correspondence with a Canadian university with a student loan as my funding. I decided to try to seek legal employment through TN as a Graphic Designer and have been offered a position. I do have a BA in Theatre from the University of Ottawa but I do not have any official employers as a graphic designer. I've mostly done work for people pro bono to garner experience and add to my portfolio. All the people I've done work for are willing to write letters in lieu of employment letters and the employer has stated on their offer letter that they feel I was by far the best candidate and my vision meets their needs completely.
My questions are:
How likely is the lack of salaried job experience going to effect my TN application?
Should I also bring my portfolio as documentation?
What else, giving my situation, should I be sure to include?
How do I go about applying for a TN if I am already in the US?

Also, any other words of advice or information anyone might have please feel free to share. I've been through every website and sometimes it seems clear and sometimes very contradictory and complicated. I would also very much appreciate any CBP/treaty officers advice or suggestions as well.
cdnseinfeldNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:21 pm

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:20 pm

TN & 1099

I am living in Toronto and heading into the US about 90 days per year as a management consultant to earn about $30k. I am being paid on a 1099.


(a) I have to be paid on a 1099 - is this going to be ok?
(b) under the tax treaty do I have to file with the IRS or with Canada?
(c) can I write off mileage, hotel, meals, etc. on the 1099 against income earned?

Insights appreciated! Mark
veenadograNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:54 am

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:23 am

Ny passport said I could stay in the US till 2011 so I thought that meant my tn was automatically extended. I returned from a holiday abroad and found out that I had been working illegally for the last 3 months. My employers had slipped up on filing for a extension. I have been allowed in for a period of 30 days.
Can my company apply for a renewal?
veenadograNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:54 am

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:16 am

Actually this was on behalf of someone else.
She got her tn last year and she should have got it renewed in Sept. On returning from Canada in Sept she was allowed in till 2011.So she thought she had time to apply for an extension on her tn.
She then went again to Canada during American Thanksgiving.Nothing was said when she was returning to the US
Now on returning from London ion Jan 1 she was told that she had worked without permission for 3 months. Her employer is a big company but they goofed in filing for the extension.Can her employer now apply for an extension?

-- Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:17 am --

She is a Canadian citizen
litleboyNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:05 pm

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:33 pm

I'm going to reapply (or renew) my TN visa for 5th time, but last year my employer hardly paid me the salary. Do you think it will be a problem If the new job offer letter has a lower salary? My employer is telling me he will be able to pay me the same but what if he cant? I can accept less income but I'm afraid to have a problem getting a new TN visa with a lower salary than previous years, or not getting the income stated on the offer letter.
jfreeborneNew Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:26 am

Re: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid

Post Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:20 pm

Hoping I post this in proper place....I have a very specific question...not sure if anyone except US Immigration will have an answer but here goes...
Does an occupation of Oil & Gas Drilling Superintendent qualify under "scrutinized NAFTA jobs" for TN Visa? Have no formal education (although most in this profession have Engineering degrees), but 8+ years experience (including current position with large canadian company), and job offer.
It seems as though there are some professions that do not "require" a degree for a TN Visa, correct?

I should probably leave all this up to the company's lawyers, but I like to know what our options are here.

Thanks in advance....

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