TN Visa status is a great temporary work visa option for both the employer and employee. Here are 7 of the biggest benefits of TN Visa status from the employer’s perspective.
1. They have a low cost.
Employers are not required to pay for the cost of obtaining TN Visa status, and the processing fee for TN Visa status at the border is only $56. For qualifying employees, this is a much more affordable option than the H-1B Visa or L-1 Visas.
2. They are processed quickly.
With a properly prepared TN Visa application, TN Visa status can be obtained immediately at a US port of entry. So TN Visa status is especially convenient if you need someone to begin work immediately.
3. They have a flexible length of stay.
TN Visa status can be issued for as short as one (1) day and for as long as up to three (3) years at a time.
4. The employer’s role in the process is limited and simple.
The Canadian worker submits the TN Visa application in person at the border. The employer only needs to provide support and/or offer a letter detailing their need for the employee, the TN Visa profession the employee will be working in, a detailed list of duties to be performed, and the time period during which the employee’s services will be needed. The support and/or offer letter must include a start and end date to meet USMCA (NAFTA) requirements. Failure to include an end date can be an indication of permanent employment, which is not allowed under the USCMA (NAFTA).
TN Visa support and/or offer letters are also not considered contracts. According to NAFTA, employment under TN Visa status is “at-will” and therefore cannot be permanent. The employment offer must be temporary in nature and the letter must indicate the temporary nature of the employment as anticipated start and end dates.
Upon admission, the employee will be issued CBP Form I-94 (an I-94 card) indicating their work status, TN Visa, date of entry, and expiration date. The I-94 card is usually stapled to the inside of the employee’s passport and is valid for the time period indicated.
5. There is no minimum wage or prevailing wage requirement.
There is no wage requirement for those who are under TN Visa status. Instead, the rule is that the wage paid is consistent with those in the profession. There is no formal regulation of wages for TN Visa professionals, and wages are not regulated by the US Department of Labor. The CBP Officer reviewing the application for TN Visa status will verify that the wage is consistent with the industry for the profession. Wages generally do not raise issues unless they are significantly out of line with what is customary for the profession.
6. No recruitment or reporting is required.
In order to hire a Canadian under TN Visa status, you only need to demonstrate that your employee will be working in a qualifying TN Visa profession, will be performing duties consistent with the profession, and that the employee qualifies for the profession. There is no requirement to advertise for the position or to hire or attempt to hire a US worker first. Also, employers are not required to report TN Visa holders to USCIS or USCBP under USCMA (NAFTA).
You can even hire a TN Visa holder that was originally issued a TN Visa through another employer. However, the employee must file for a change of employer with USCIS on Form I-129, or by returning to a US port of entry.
7. They can be renewed (also known as “Extension of Status”) indefinitely.
Unlike the H-1B Visa and the L-1 Visa, there is no limit to the amount of time someone can work under TN Visa status. As long as the need for the employee continues, TN Visa status can be obtained in 3-year increments indefinitely. A new TN Visa must be obtained prior to the expiration of the I-94 card or with a change in employers.
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Don’t know where to start? We have more than 20 years of experience helping Canadian employers and citizens obtain TN Visa status for filling either part-time or full-time positions within the US. If you have questions about whether your particular situation qualifies, contact Richards and Jurusik for an assessment of your TN Visa matters.