What should I expect from my TN Visa interview? - Resources Blog - US Immigration FAQs - Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law - Buffalo NY

When it comes to TN Visa representation with CBP, the most common question that we receive is, “What should I expect from TN Visa interview?”

For years, USCBP allowed TN Visa lawyers to represent their clients at certain US Ports of Entry (POE). Here are the most valuable insights our TN Visa lawyers gained from first-hand experience representing TN Visa applicants in person with CBP.

Should I be worried about my TN Visa interview?

The TN Visa interview process is fairly straightforward. The Officer is making a determination as to whether or not you qualify for the TN Visa you’re applying for. As long as you have the proper supporting documents and everything is clearly laid out clearly in your application, the TN Visa interview process should go smoothly.

However, if you have had several TN Visas in the past, have spent a significant amount of time in the US as a visitor prior to filing for a TN Visa, have committed any immigration violations, or have a pending green card application, you may be denied and have to re-apply with additional evidence. In those cases, you will want to hire a TN Visa lawyer to assist you with your application.

What should I expect from the CBP Officer that conducts my TN Visa interview?

Well, that depends on the CBP Officer. Unfortunately, each Officer is very different in their interview style. Some Officers simply take your TN Visa application and review it with very limited questions, relying on the paperwork. Other Officers will make their determination based on questioning and a limited review of the TN Visa application. In the end, all Officers look for the same things, adjudicating your TN Visa application to make a determination as to whether or not you qualify for the TN Visa profession that you’re applying under.

What will the CBP Officer want to verify during my TN Visa interview?

During your in-person TN Visa interview, the CBP Officer will generally want to verify that:

  • You are either a Canadian or Mexican citizen. This is generally with your passport.
  • You have a valid job offer or contract with a US employer. The job offer letter must be an ORIGINAL copy, printed on official company letterhead, and be inked signed. CBP is now following the USCIS signature requirements and will accept copies of original ink signed documents. Be careful when relying on a copy as CBP still has the discretion to require original ink signed documents and forms.
  • The job offer is for a position that falls under the USMCA (NAFTA) TN Visa professions list. The offer letter must contain the TN profession title, and a detailed job description showing that your duties are consistent with the duties of that TN Visa profession.
  • You meet the minimum requirements and qualifications for your TN Visa profession. Once they confirm your TN profession, they review it against your ORIGINAL supporting documents, including your degrees, certificates, transcripts, licenses, your original signed support letter from your employer, and any other required evidence.
  • Your TN Visa job offer is for a temporary position. Your offer letter must also include start and end dates for your position.
  • You do not intend on permanently residing in the US. In other words, they want proof that you are a nonimmigrant. This could include evidence that the applicant will depart the US after completing a specific assignment, or proof that the applicant still maintains ties to Canada or Mexico such as a residence, property ownership, or presence of family. (While maintaining a foreign residence is not required for a TN, it may help satisfy the temporary entry requirement.)

Based on those verifications, the Officer will make a determination as to whether your TN Visa application is approved or denied.

What kind of questions will I be asked during my TN Visa interview?

Simply put, the Officer will ask whatever questions they think are relevant to determine your qualifications for a TN Visa under the USMCA (NAFTA). No interview is the same as the last. Most of the questions are going to surround whether or not you qualify for the TN Visa under the job offer you present. Some of the most common questions include:

  • Have you ever been to the United States before?
  • Have you ever worked in the United States before?
  • Do you have family members in the United States?
  • What is your long-term goal in the United States?
  • Where do you plan on living in the United States?
  • How did you find out about the position offered?
  • What you will be doing in the United States as an accountant and computer systems analyst, computer engineer, or whatever position you have applied under?

How should I answer the TN Visa interview questions?

Here are three quick tips on how best to answer your TN Visa interview questions:

  • Be brief. Answer with “yes” and “no” answers whenever appropriate. If the Officer wants more information or specifics, they will ask. At that point, you should expound on your answer.
  • Be direct. Do not dance around the questions that you are asked. There are no trick questions. Officers expect direct answers to their questions. Don’t dodge the question, give a direct answer.
  • Be truthful. Always tell the truth. Do not attempt to lie to or deceive an Officer. Do not lie about what you’re doing in the United States. Lying will only cause more complications for you, and it could potentially lead to immigration proceedings or being permanently barred from entry into the United States.

What happens when my TN Visa is approved?

Upon approval of your TN Visa, the Officer will take your photograph, take your fingerprints, and issue an I-94 card, which is proof of your legal status work in the United States. (Learn more about the I-94.) The Officer will then either attach the I-94 to your passport or in some cases, you will be issued an I-94 electronically, which you can retrieve at any time through the CBP website by using your passport.

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