Unfortunately, TN Visa denials happen. There are many reasons why a TN Visa might have been denied—some are justified, some are the result of poor preparation, and some are just bad legal advice. Regardless of the reason, don’t be in denial of your denial. Here’s what you need to know.
What are the consequences of a TN Visa denial?
Do not take a TN Visa denial or any other immigration matter lightly. A denial costs time and can cause you to lose precious opportunities. Some undesirable consequences could include:
- Failing to report for work on your first day
- Incurring additional flight or travel expenses
- Missing employment altogether
- Your employer may offer your position to another applicant
What went wrong? Can I reapply?
If you have been denied a TN Visa for any reason, don’t panic. Some TN Visa denials cannot be overcome, but depending on the reasons behind your denial, there may be options to make corrections, return to the port of entry with the correct documentation, reapply, and still obtain approval of your TN Visa. In order to determine what options you might have, you need to understand the reasons behind the denial.
Many issues arise which can contribute to a TN Visa denial, so you must be sure that you understand the reason behind the reason for your previous TN Visa denial before returning to apply. Based on our extensive experience handling TN Visa applications, here are the three main reasons why your TN Visa application was denied.
1. You are not qualified for a TN Visa.
Many times, a TN Visa is denied for a very valid reason—the applicant was simply not qualified for a TN Visa. This typically happens when the applicant does not meet the TN Visa education requirements, or the position applied for does not fall under a qualifying TN Visa profession.
2. Your TN Visa application had insufficient supporting documentation.
In some cases, the denial is based on the lack of preparation of the applicant. Here are some likely denial scenarios for your TN Visa application:
- The employer’s offer and/or support letter did not meet USMCA (NAFTA) requirements. Your offer letter likely did not include one or more of the following things:
- A job title that matched a TN Visa profession
- A detailed job description with duties
- The source of pay, salary, and benefits
- The duration of the expected employment, with start and end dates
- An original copy on company letterhead with original ink signatures
- Your evidence of qualifications was missing or insufficient When applying for a TN Visa in person, you must present a host of evidence of qualifications specific to your TN profession—most of which must be original documents. Your evidence of qualification likely did not include:
- Original degrees, diplomas, certificates, or transcripts
- A degree, diploma, or certificate that was directly related to the job offer
- A degree evaluation for degrees obtained outside North America
- An English language translation for any document in a language other than English
- Proof of experience (when required)
- A VisaScreen (for certain healthcare professions)
- A state license (when required)
3. You got bad legal advice.
Unfortunately, we see this happen a lot. Bad legal advice is all too often the culprit behind many TN visa denials. Bad advice can come from just about anywhere, including:
- Lawyers. Many general practice lawyers, corporate counsel, and even some immigration lawyers “dabble” in immigration law or are otherwise without adequate experience with TN Visas.
- Immigration consultants. Many Canadian law firms contract to the notorious “immigration consultants,” who are not authorized to practice US immigration law, and often provide bad advice with little to no consequences to their practices.
So how do I find out why my TN Visa was denied?
In most cases, the denying Officer will explain the reasons for the denial. They may even hand you a checklist indicating what documents you need to fix or obtain before they can approve your TN Visa. In any case, whatever the reason for your TN Visa denial, you should seek advice from an experienced TN Visa lawyer before you attempt to re-apply for your TN visa. At Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law, we offer several levels of TN Visa legal services to fit your needs.
What do I need to know before I reapply?
You may encounter some obstacles after your TN Visa is denied and when you prepare for reapplication. Here are a few guidelines to consider when you’re preparing to reapply after a denial:
- Hire an experienced TN Visa lawyer. No matter the reason for your TN visa denial, it is best to speak with an experienced licensed TN Visa lawyer to review your options before you re-apply. Ask for reviews, do your research, and be careful who you hire.
- Consider re-applying by mail with USCIS. Depending on the reason for the original denial, the best course of action may be to apply by mail through Form I-129 with USCIS to obtain advanced approval. This is often the best approach for complex cases such as management consultants, scientific technicians, or technologists, or when the degree is not a clear match.
- Be honest when you re-apply. You should be honest with the officer that your application has been previously denied, and that you have come prepared with updated documents and any other requirements that were previously requested. They will have a record in the database of any previous visits, approvals, and denials.
- Make sure you’re ready. Reapplying when the denial was justified or without correcting the issues that led to the previous denial will lead to more complex problems.
Additional Outside Resources
- USCBP: For International Visitors
- USCIS: Avoid Scams
- USCIS: I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
We Can Help!
Don’t know where to start? The TN Visa lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have hundreds of 5-star client reviews and more than 20 years of experience helping TN Visa applications overcome denials. We always start with a free case assessment and offer several levels of TN Visa legal services to fit your needs.