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TN Visa: Procedures for Mexican Citizens

The TN visa is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico since they are NAFTA treaty countries. The rules are different depending on which country you are from. The requirements are generally easier for citizens of Canada than for citizens of Mexico. Mexican citizens, unlike Canadian citizens, must apply at a US consular office and get a visa stamp (unless already in the US). If you have questions about the TN visa and would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.

Recommended documentation

It is recommended that you provide the US consular officer with the following documentation, if applicable and available:

  1. Valid Mexican passport as proof of your Mexican citizenship;
  2. Employer letter as evidence of US employment;
  3. documentation of your professional TN qualification (diploma and transcripts, professional license, post-secondary education transcript, resume, and/or professional experience letters); and
  4. Evidence of ties to your home country showing your nonimmigrant intent.

Each US consular office may have different requirements about what documents are required, so it is recommended to check beforehand and obtain additional documents if necessary.

TN application and US admission process

For Mexican citizens, the TN application can be made at the US Consulate or through the USCIS with Form I-129. You can apply for admission into the United States at a port of entry after you have obtained a valid TN visa and a statement from your US employer concerning your professional job duties and other required information. Having a valid TN visa at the port of entry is not a guarantee that you will granted admission into the US, and you can be denied admission if you are otherwise inadmissible.

US employer support statement

At the US point of entry, you are required to present your TN visa and employer support statement to the immigration officer. The support statement should provide detailed information including the activities in which you will be engaged, the purpose of your entry, how long you anticipate staying in the US, your educational and experience qualifications and credentials, evidence of compliance with DHS and/or state laws, the employer’s arrangements for your remuneration, your job duties, and other relevant information.

Recommended strategies if TN petition is denied

If you are denied admission into the US at the point of entry, remember that Mexican citizens are rarely placed into expedited removal proceedings because, as a Mexican citizen, you would have already been required to provide sufficient evidence to the US consular office in order to get your TN visa in the first place. Expedited removal proceedings are normally reserved for cases of willful misrepresentation or visa fraud.

Application for extension at USCIS or at US consular office

Although NAFTA provides that TN status is granted in increments of up to three years, the US Department of State country reciprocity schedule with Mexico limits the TN visa validity period to 12 months. This means that your initial TN visa obtained through the US consular office will be valid for a maximum of 12 months. Yet, once you enter the United States, your TN status is good for a three-year maximum.

Dependents of Mexican citizens

The same rules of application and admission apply to your dependent spouse and children. Your dependents should apply for TD visas to enter the US. If you would like further information about the TN visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.

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