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TN Visa

TN Visa for Canadians
Our TN Visa Lawyer Experience Can Help You Successfully Obtain Your TN Visa.

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Our TN Visa Lawyer Pledge:

  • Strong TN VISA experience from a dual citizen (Canada & US) immigration lawyer
  • A deep understanding of the TN visa process, borders, & trends
  • A 100% commitment to processing your application successfully
  • Open communication and prompt response... always.
  • The highest level of service at an affordable FLAT rate.

tn_attorney_dualTN Visa Lawyer Evaluation...

Do you have questions about applying for a TN Visa? Are you concerned about rejection, the interview process, or proper preparation?

Discuss your case with a TN Visa Lawyer by calling 212-643-0985 -- or by simply This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

No matter where you reside, we can provide you with timely, affordable TN Visa representation, backed by strong experience and intimate knowledge of the TN process and all the quirks involved.

How We Can Help.

The TN visa process is interesting, as some people underestimate the simplicity of securing a TN Visa while others fear the worst and worry excessively about rejection. Regardless of where you fall in that spectrum, you should know that with the right experience, proper preparation, and insight into current TN Visa trends and border issues, successfully obtaining a TN Visa can be a hassle free and smooth experience.

courtepatte_quoteOur goal at Lightman Law Firm isn't just to prepare your TN application. It's also to make the process straightforward and stress-free by giving you complete confidence that every detail has been covered on your behalf.

To that end, we are very service oriented and responsive, and encourage open communication with all of our clients.

TN Visa applications can often be prepared in under a week.

Our Canada TN Visa experience benefits you in several key ways. We:

  • Clarify options and potential scenarios surrounding your case
  • Assist you in collecting the required documentation
  • Correctly classify your application and ensure all requirements are met
  • Prepare all documents, forms, supporting materials, and letters required for approval
  • Provide border recommendations based on your geographic location and your application
  • Communicate with border officers in connection with your application, if necessary
  • Conduct interview preparation
  • Ensure availability during actual border application process

Your success is our success.

At Lightman Law, that's not just lip service. You'll know it from the first communication through the completion of your case.

Take Advantage of our TN Visa Lawyer Evaluation.

Questions? Concerns? We can help. We'll explain the process, answer any questions you have, and explain how our TN Visa experience can help you gain successful approval of your application.

There's no obligation. Contact us:

* 212-643-0985
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NAFTA TN Visa Case Study
Approved TN Visa Following 2 Denials

An IT consulting company client came to us in an effort to secure a TN Visa for a Canadian Computer Systems Analyst seeking to enter the United States to perform services at a 3rd party client site.  The client's Computer Systems Analyst candidate was denied twice at two different ports of entry before our firm was retained and we successfully helped out the client and candidate with securing a 3-year TN visa.

Despite being a strong candidate for the Computer Systems Analyst profession, the candidate was rejected on 2 separate occasions within a 10 day period because the candidate's TN application was improperly prepared.  The first time the candidate applied for the TN visa was at Trudeau airport in Montreal prior to attempting to board a flight enroute to the United States.  After presenting the TN application to the customs officer at the airport, the officer noted that while the candidate met the basic requirements for the TN occupation of a computer systems analyst, it was unclear from the employer letter of support and other documentation provided as to whether the position being offered to the candidate by the company met the TN requirements.  Although the officer felt bad for the candidate since he was now going to miss his flight, there was nothing he could do but deny the application since it clearly didn't indicate that the position met the qualifications of the Computer Systems Analyst TN category.

At this point, the candidate reassessed the application with the client company's HR department.  They recrafted a few items, including some additional documents, and redrafted the employer letter of support.  Due to the fact that the company already lost the expense of the first flight, they decided that the candidate should drive to the United States and cross through a Vermont border.

On the second attempt at the Vermont port of entry, the candidate was again denied.  The reason for the denial was similar to the reason for the denial in Montreal, namely that the application was insufficient.  Furthermore, the customs officer perceived the candidate to be "port shopping" by not returning to Montreal to apply.  Also, the officer mentioned that in such an instance of two denied applications in 10 days and "port shopping" he could put the candidate in expedited removal (5 year ban from the United States).  Thankfully the candidate was not given expedited removal and merely left the border with his second denied TN application in 10 days.

At this point, HR and the candidate knew that they had a very sensitive issue on their hands.  The company needed this candidate in the United States at the client site in a matter of days.  There was no room for error or delays.  HR contacted our firm, provided us with all details, and presented us with the application materials previously used and the denial documentation given by the various customs officer.

We could clearly see the deficiencies in the TN applications presented and knew that the situation was very serious. Usually, when attempting to "rehabilitate" a TN application, it is after one denial, not two.  In such a circumstance, the biggest risk is putting the candidate in a situation where he/she could receive expedited removal.

Noting that we were getting involved in a very sensitive situation, we recrafted the entire application and properly drafted the employer letter of support.  We also included a detailed legal brief explaining how the candidate qualified, how the position qualified, and disclosing the two prior denials with a discussion as to why the candidate went to a different port of entry after the first denial.  We also researched issues pertaining to border options for the candidate and weighed the options with the various risks involved.  In the end we decided that one of the biggest issues was to alleviate the idea of "port shopping".  As such, we made the decision to send the candidate back to Trudeau airport in Montreal with a completely revised and accurate application and clear disclosure of the prior denials.  The candidate received some extra questioning from the customs officer, but in the end he was approved for 3 years in the TN profession of a Computer Systems Analyst.

Contact Us to Learn How We Can Help You Secure Your TN Visa

Call 212-643-0985 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Frequently Asked Canadian TN Visa Questions

brkm_quoteHow long is the TN visa good for? The TN visa can now be obtained for a maximum period of 3 years upon each application.  Sometimes this period of time is limited to less than 3 years if it is clear from the application that the applicant's services are needed for less time.

Do I qualify for an TN Visa? While it's much easier to answer this for sure after speaking with you personally, there are a few general requirements that must be met. First of all, there MUST be a job offer in place from a United States employer.  Secondly, you must fit into one of the TN visa professions and meet the minimum requirements for the profession.  Before coming to any conclusions, it is highly advised for you to review the matter with an experienced TN visa lawyer. 

How do I apply for a TN? You can apply for a TN at a port-of-entry, such as a land border, pre-flight clearance, or at an airport in the United States after arriving from an international flight. On October 1, 2012, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) began accepting TN visa applications on behalf of Canadians situated outside of the United States by mail at the Vermont Service Center (VSC). Applying through the VSC requires an additional fee and is more time consuming than applying at a port-of-entry, but it does offer applicants and United States employers some benefits and added flexibility.

If I want to apply at a port-of-entry, is there a particular port-of-entry I should go through? Ports-of-entry are all unique and sometimes have their own "protocol" on many different matters.  Some are more or less preferred than others for different reasons.  Port-of-entry selection is part of any TN visa strategy.  It's also important to note that as of October 2012, as discussed above, a Canadian situated outside of the United States can also apply for a TN by mailing an application to USCIS. 

What are some of the benefits related to the recently added mail application option? Some of the benefits related to the mail application option are as follows:

  • Pre-Approval: The mail application allows for pre-approval; up to 6 months in advance. This allows for advanced planning by both the employer and Canadian beneficiary.
  • Inconsistent port-of-entry decisions: Ports-of-entry tend to vary in how they adjudicate TN petitions and, unfortunately, in how they train their officers. The mail application allows a TN beneficiary to avoid applying at a port of entry with inconsistent adjudications.
  • Challenging applications: Some TN petitions are more challenging than others, particularly if they fall within a certain category, like management consultant or scientific technician. In some scenarios, applications in these categories may be adjudicated more smoothly at the VSC.
  • Interview/Confrontation Avoidance: Many dread the interview process associated with applying for a TN, which can sometimes turn out to be rather confrontational. Obtaining a pre-approved TN through the VSC can ease some of this concern.
  • 2nd bite at the apple: The mail application could possibly be used as a backup option if a border application is unsuccessful. This should only be pursued under the right circumstances.
  • Appeal process: There really is no appeal process when applying at a port-of-entry, whereas a mail application does allow for an appeal process related to a negative decision.
What are some of the downsides to submitting a TN application by mail? Some of the downsides to applying by mail are as follows:
  • Filing fees: The filing fees associated with a mail application are a minimum of $325, and increase by $1225 if premium processing is elected, whereas an application at a port-of-entry is no more than $56.
  • Adjudication time: A mail application filed via regular processing could take, approximately, 2-4 months. Of course, this can be expedited to 15 calendar days if premium processing is selected. The adjudication of a port-of-entry application, assuming everything goes smoothly, is no more than a few hours.
  • Inability to supplement your case immediately: When applying at a port-of-entry, you are meeting face-to-face with the adjudicating officer. If any info needs to be clarified or supplemented, you might be able to do it on the spot or come back the next day with the missing item/s. If something needs to be clarified or supplemented via a mail application, one has to wait to receive a formal Request for Evidence ("RFE") in the mail and then respond. Oftentimes, the RFE is not exact and as a result responding to it can be a time consuming endeavour (furthermore you have to again wait for the officer to review the RFE reponse before a decision is made).
What type of info & documents do you need from me & my employer to prepare the application? Generally speaking, info required for the proper preparation of the TN visa application can be broken up into 3 parts: information and documents pertaining to the employer; information about the TN position; and information and documents pertaining to the foreign national. For an indepth overview of what type of information and documents you should be prepared to provide for a TN mail application, which is typically more comprehensive than a border application, please see the following video:

What if I have been denied in the past? Like the example provided above, if you have been denied in the past your situation is much more sensitive and risky.  It is important in such a scenario that you work very closely with an experienced TN visa attorney to determine whether the risks involved in reapplying and whether or not it is possible to rehabilitate your application. 

What are the filing fees for a Canadian NAFTA TN Visa? If you are applying for a TN visa at the border the fee is a total of $56.  If you are applying for the TN status by mailing an application to the Vermont Service Center (USCIS), the filing fee is $325.  If you elect to file your application by mail and wish to expedite the process via premium processing, the additional filing fee for this service is $1,225. 

What are the legal fees for TN Visa representation? Give us a call and we will be happy to discuss our affordable fee structure with you. Rest easy, that Lightman Law Firm prides itself in offering the highest level of service at an affordable FLAT rate. You will never experience any pressure or obligation to work with us.


I don't have a bachelors degree.  Will I qualify for a TN? Yes, you may qualify for a TN even though you do not have a bachelors degree.  Many TN occupations do not require a bachelors degree as a minimum.  For an overview of TN occupations and their requirements, please review the following link:  TN visa occupations.

How far in advance of my start date can I apply for a TN visa? If you are applying directly at a port of entry, the answer to this question depends on the port of entry you're applying through.  Some ports of entry allow individuals to apply for TN visas in advance, while others do not.  It is very important for you to be aware of the protocol of the particular ports you're considering.  If you are applying by mailing an application to the Vermont Service Center, you can apply up to 6 months in advance of the start-date.

Is there a quota or lottery for the TN visa like there is for the H-1b visa? No, the great thing about the TN visa is that there is no quota or lottery like there is for the H-1B visa.

Can I freelance on the TN visa or be "self-employed"? No, you are not permitted to freelance or be self-employed on the TN visa.  You must be working for the petitioning entity in the position as stated on your application.  This is different than the analysis of whether or not you can work as an independent contractor.

Can I work as an independent contractor for a United States company? Yes, you can work as an independent contractor for a United States company.  While you cannot freelance or be self-employed in the United States, you can work as an independent contractor for a United States company in the TN status as long as you have an approved TN to work for that specific company.  Employees generally received W-2 tax documents, whereas an independent contractor would receive a 1099.

What is the maximum period of time that I can be in the United States in the TN status? The TN is now issued for periods of up to 3 years.  Technically speaking, you can receive indefinite extensions of your TN status.  However, in practice we have seen that certain ports of entry and the Vermont Service Center tend to apply more scrutiny when you have been in the United States in the TN status for 6+ years. 

Put our experience to work for you.

Contact us to discuss your case with a TN Visa Lawyer:

* 212-643-0985
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Did You Know?

Some Interesting NAFTA TN Visa Facts that May Help You:

TN Renewal Tip

The TN can be renewed quickly at a port-of-entry or by mailing an application to the Vermont Service Center.

TN & Immigrant Intent Tip

Unlike the H1b visa or L-1 visa, the TN status does NOT allow for immigrant intent.  This means that when you are applying for the TN or seeking to enter the United States in the TN status, you cannot have the intent to immigrate to the United States and remain permanently.  However, there are certain ways to navigate this aspect of the TN.  It is highly important for you understand this concept and discuss the matter in detail with your TN attorney as it can arise when seeking a green card through employment or through the marriage green card process.

Change of status to TN

If you are already in the United States in another valid nonimmigrant status, such as the H-1B, L-1, O-1, or F-1, you can apply in the United States to change your status to the TN status through a change of status application with the Vermont Service Center. You can also just go to a port-of-entry and apply for a TN.

TN Border Tip

Know your border!  It is highly crucial to the success of any TN application for you to have indepth knowledge of the protocol and trends at the borders you're considering for application.  Each border tends to have its own personality and they each approach the TN process in a different manner.  Inside knowledge of this information can be crucial for the success of any application.

TN authorized stay Tip

You are only authorized to stay and work in the United States in the TN status as per the period of authorized stay indicated on your I-94.  Technically speaking, there is no grace period in the TN status.  What this means is that if your authorized stay period expires or you are terminated from your job, you must leave the United States immediately.

TN forms Tip

If you are applying for a TN at a port of entry, there are no required USCIS forms that need to be submitted.  If you are applying for a new TN or an extension through the Vermont Service Center then you will be required to submit Form I-129 with your application.

Please Contact Us to Discuss Your Case!

Call 212-643-0985 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Why Lightman Law Firm?

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  • Affordable Flat Fees
  • Open Communication
  • Attention to Detail
  • Quick Processing
  • Experienced Representation
  • We Care About Our Clients!

Did you know?

Douglas M. Lightman, the principal and founding lawyer of Lightman Law Firm, is a proud member of the Bar of the State of New York and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

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In addition, Mr. Lightman, has been listed as an immigration lawyer on the websites of both the British Consulate General at New York and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.

For more information about the firm and Mr. Lightman, please see:  ABOUT US.

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