How to get a US work visa from Canada

A Canadian citizen, like all other foreign nationals, must obtain a work visa for the United States if they wish to work in the United States, even for only just a temporary period of time.

One of the most popular options for Canadians wishing to work in the United States is the TN visa. As a Canadian citizen you can actually apply for the TN Visa at the border or port of entry when you go to the United States to start your job. However, you must be adequately prepared and may have to undergo an interview with a treaty officer, so it is very important that your application package is prepared properly.

Steps to Obtaining a TN Visa from Canada

1. Obtain a job offer from a company in the United States. This job offer must meet various requirements, including being on the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) list of jobs that are suitable for a TN Visa.

2. Ensure that you are qualified for the job you have been offered and that you have the supporting documents like educational transcripts, diplomas, degrees, certificates, work history and resume to back up this claim.

3. Ensure your job offer is drafted as a petition for a TN Visa on your behalf. This is the only acceptable format for your job offer, and this will be given to the treaty officer when you apply for your TN Visa. Many US companies know that they are supposed to do this and end up paying a law firm to draft it for them.

4. Compile all of your necessary supporting documents to show the treaty officer when you file your petition for a TN Visa. These documents can include – aside from your job offer and proof of qualifications – your proof of Canadian citizenship (you must be a Canadian citizen), a valid passport that won’t expire before your TN Visa does and documents that show you will not overstay your visa because you must return to Canada, such as information about your family, finances or employment in Canada.

5. Apply in person at the customs and immigration checkpoint for the United States in the airport or at the border. Inform them that you want to apply for a TN Visa.

6. Undergo a quick interview with a treaty officer who will review your information and ensure that you qualify for a TN Visa.

What if I am denied?

If you are denied for a TN Visa application, you may be fingerprinted, photographed and then returned to the Canadian immigration officers so you can return home. You will not be able to enter the United States on a TN Visa, and when you try to enter later on you will be flagged.

We are here to make sure that your application for a TN Visa has the best chance of success! Do no leave it up to chance, many mistakes and omissions that result in the denial of a TN Visa are completely avoidable. Let us help you!

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.