The Most Common Reasons a TN Visa is Rejected (and how to avoid them)
Some applicants may simply not be eligible (due to insufficient education or a potential job not correlating with any of the occupations on the NAFTA list), but many others aren’t presenting the evidence necessary for a strong application. Here are some common issues that applicants face and what you can do about them:
Lack of clear connection between requirements and evidence.
The description of your job may not explain fully how your proposed job matches the NAFTA requirements. If your job letter does not clearly articulate how your job would meet the regulations, you may have trouble justifying your desire to enter the U.S.
The list of professions covered by Appendix 1603.D.1 of the North American Free Trade Agreement specifies precisely which jobs are eligible, and if you cannot prove that your job complies with the regulations, you will not be able to obtain a TN visa.
Absence of required documentation or required information in documentation.
Sometimes an application may be denied because documentation is missing, or the documentation in the application is missing key facts necessary for an application’s success. If, for example, you do not provide supporting documentation proving that you possess the necessary credentials for the position, you will run into trouble.
According to the U.S. Department of State, applicants must include the following in their applications:
- a passport valid for travel to the United States for at least 6 months
- a completed Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
- your application fee payment receipt (if you have to pay before your interview).
- a photo (unless you are applying in Mexico)
- a contract or letter of employment in the United States showing that you have a job offer
- documentation proving that you meet the minimum education and/or work experience requirements
Furthermore, the job letter should include several key facts about your potential employer and the position. Michael Niren, an immigration lawyer and our company founder points out that a surprising number of such letters do not include these essential pieces of information: salary, the duties involved in the job, the name of the company, the description of why the company needs you, and the job title.
The duration of employment must also be included. The letter should be written by someone with an appropriate level of authority on company letterhead.
What can you do about these issues?
If you are currently in the process of putting together a TN visa application, you should check to ensure that all the required documents are present and that your application presents sufficient evidence of the need for a NAFTA professional in the position and that the position meets the NAFTA regulations.
To show that you yourself have the education and expertise to fill the position, you will want to present relevant degrees, licenses, and/or letters showing that you can do the job. You will also want to be sure that you have shown nonimmigrant intent (that you do not plan to immigrate to the U.S. but rather are temporarily entering the country for work).
The accuracy and your knowledge of the information in your application are also important. Providing false information may make your application look better, but doing so is very risky. Instead, your application should be able to withstand scrutiny and be persuasive based purely on the facts.
You should also know what information you have provided, especially if you are required to attend an interview, as even if everything you are saying is true, you could get in trouble if it seems as if you are misrepresenting yourself due to unintentional inconsistencies.
If you have already had a TN visa application denied, it is often possible to re-apply. However, as Mr. Niren explains, “there has to be a change in circumstances or additional documentation that wasn’t filed originally and you have to explain why it wasn’t filed in the first place.” You may need assistance determining what went wrong, as well as how to fix it.
Get help from a professional
If you are concerned that you will miss something, you may want to seek assistance from an immigration professional.
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About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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