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The TN Nafta visa is also referred to as the TN visa. Created by the North American Free Trade Agreement, this visa allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the United States and work on a temporary basis. The creators of the visa aimed to improve the relationship between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.

Here at the Florida Immigration Law Counsel, we have helped many individuals realize their goals of working in the United States. If you’re a Mexican or Canadian citizen, we may be able to help you.

What You Should Know About the TN NAFTA Visa

The only people who can receive TN visas are those who have Mexican or Canadian citizenship. While Mexican employees can apply for TN-2 status, Candians apply for TN-1 status. As long as you meet the basic requirements and fill out the paperwork properly, you are likely to be approved. There is no limit to the amount of TN visas issued each year.

In addition to being citizens of Mexico or Canada, applicants also need to have a career in one of the NFTA professions. They can be an accountant, architect, economist, forester, librarian, zoologist, and many other professions. Furthermore, there needs to be proof that the U.S. is in need of such a professional. They need to already have a part-time or full-time position lined up with an American employer. While on this visa, the individual has no option for self-employment.

The government does not just trust that visa applicants have the required skills for the job. Therefore, they require applicants to have credentials and meet the educational needs of the profession.

Cost and Timing of the Visa

Nonimmigrant work visas tend to be expensive. But the TN visa is more affordable than most. For mailed applications, the cost is about $460. You can also apply for the visa when you arrive at the port of entry to the U.S. This involves a $50 application fee.

If you apply upon arrival, it might take a few hours to process your application. But it takes much longer when you petition through the mail. In fact, it could take about six months or longer for processing. This timeline depends on the wait at your USCIS center. Those who pay extra for premium processing get results in 15 days.

Extending Your Visa

Once approved, your original visa is only valid for three years. After that, you can choose to stay longer with your employer. You can continue renewing the visa every three years. To do so, you need to fill out a Form I-129 and write a letter explaining why you need an extension.

If you leave your place of employment or your visa expires, you need to leave the country. There is no option for staying longer, and no grace period.

Dependents and the TN Visa

If you have a TN visa and have minor children or a spouse, they may be able to come to the U.S. with you. They could be able to receive TD nonimmigrant status. With this status, they would be able to enter the country with you and stay for the same amount of time. During their time in the U.S., your loved ones cannot work. However, they can study.

To receive this status, they need to apply for it at a U.S. port of entry. They can also do so at a preflight inspection station.

The Difference Between TN Visas and H-1B Visas

It’s important to realize that TN and H-1B visas are not one in the same. They are both nonimmigrant visas but have a few key differences.

There are some advantages to receiving a TN visa. Unlike the H-1B, there is no cap on the number of visas. The U.S. government limits the amount of H-1B visas awarded each year. The application process is a lottery, and you may not be chosen.

Additionally, the H1-B visa is only good for three years. After that, you can extend it for as many as six years. But the TN visa has no limit to its extensions. You can continue extending it, as long as you are working.

Finally, the TN visa is more affordable than the H-1B visa. This makes it a better option for those looking for an affordable way to get into the U.S.

When is the H-1B Visa a Better Option?

Unlike the TN visa, the H-1B visa allows many different professionals to obtain the visa. For those who work in a field not included in the list of 60 NAFTA professions, the H-1B visa is a better option.

Another benefit of the H-1B visa is the ability to obtain green card status while on the visa. If you’re on a TN visa, you’re obligated to return to your country. Seeking a green card while you have a TN visa could result in consequences.

The only other reason to apply for an H-1B over a TN is the grace period. After your visa expires, you do have a grace period. After losing your job, you have 60 days to find a new employer or change your visa.

How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help

It’s projected that Florida’s economy will expand by 2.4% in 2021. With such a strong outlook, there is job growth and demand for experienced workers. Professionals from other countries may be able to find work in the state. Often, that means applying for the right visa.

There are many challenges that come from the TN NAFTA visa process. In addition to costing money, it also takes time. To protect your time and money, you should work with an expert. An immigration lawyer in Florida can increase your likelihood of a successful application. As you go through the process, they can prevent you from making any critical mistakes.

Here at the Florida Immigration Law Counsel, we help people meet their goals of coming to the United States. Our legal professionals know all of the regulations regarding visas and immigration. We also know how to handle the paperwork that comes with the process. Contact us today for the guidance you need.

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