The Most Common Reasons a TN Visa is Rejected (and how to avoid them)

TN Visa Rejected

Why might a TN visa be denied? According to Nolo, the most common reasons for TN visas being denied are connected to a lack of evidence of eligibility.

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.

Our lawyers and their staff are experienced independent practitioners affiliated with registered law firms. They have been carefully selected by VisaPlace to help you based on their experience and client service approach in Canadian and U.S. immigration law.

Click here to book a 1 on 1 consultation, or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

Michael Niren

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

  • rabbani

    Hi Sir,

    i and my friend went for TN visa interview today my application got rejected but my friend is not telling about his status whether it is rejected or approved my employer is calling continuously calling for status updates can you please suggest me how can i find his case status do we find from any receipt number or by passport number

    • Immigration Lawyers

      Hello Rabbani,

      Unfortunately, unless you were our client we could not know the status of his or your case. Hiring an immigration lawyer will help you get answers to all of your questions, plus it will increase the chance of getting a visa approved. Please, complete this form for me it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to take to give you the best legal advice.

      The above response is for informational purposes only and does not form a lawyer-client relationship nor should it be construed to be legal advice.

  • Khadijeh

    I live in Iran,I have master degree in english language teaching major and my husband has master degree of materials science,he is working in an Italian company in iran an before it he worked in petroleum company.we want to immigrate in Canada for working and getting phd certificate.can you guide us.Thanks

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Khadijeh. We will need to know more about your situation. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-416-410-7484 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • Nasir Rana

    I wrote you earlier also what kind of help you can provide me and what do I need to get the visa for USA
    you can get my case and let me know what kind of help you may provide me

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Nasir. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you after investigating your situation. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • nadeem kamal gill

    I would like to know that Iam rejected on visit visa for Canada. What should I do now

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Nadeem. A visitor visa is one of the most difficult to obtain because the reviewing officer needs to make 100% certain that you will return home after your visit. Many people who attempt to apply on their own, face the same problem as you. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

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