How Much Does a TN Visa Cost?

Updated on March 27, 2024

If you’re a Canadian or Mexican professional planning to work in the United States under the TN visa category, it’s essential to understand the costs involved in the process. While the TN visa offers a streamlined path to working in the US, there are still fees and expenses that you’ll need to budget for. In this blog post, we’ll break down the various costs associated with obtaining a TN visa and provide tips to help you plan your finances effectively.

30 Second Recap:

The cost of obtaining a TN visa includes application fees, which vary for Canadians ($50 border crossing fee) and Mexicans ($160 visa application fee and $190 border crossing fee). Additional expenses may include travel costs, medical exams, passport and photos, translation services, and legal fees. Understanding the total costs involved and budgeting accordingly can help TN visa applicants manage the financial aspects of the process.

TN Visa Application Fees

The application fees for a TN visa vary depending on your country of citizenship:

For Canadians:

  • No application fee when applying at a US port of entry or pre-clearance location.
  • $50 USD border crossing fee (also known as the “I-94W” fee) when entering the US.

For Mexicans:

  • $160 USD nonimmigrant visa application fee when applying at a US embassy or consulate.
  • $190 USD border crossing fee (also known as the “I-94” fee) when entering the US.

These fees are subject to change, so be sure to check the official US government websites for the most up-to-date information.

Additional Costs to Consider

In addition to the application and border crossing fees, there are other potential expenses to keep in mind:

  1. Travel Costs: If you need to travel to a US embassy, consulate, or port of entry for your TN visa application, factor in the cost of transportation, lodging, and meals.
  2. Medical Exam: While not always required, some TN visa applicants may need to undergo a medical examination. The cost of the exam can vary depending on the provider and location.
  3. Passport and Photos: Ensure your passport is valid and has enough blank pages. You may also need to provide passport-style photos for your application, which can incur a small cost.
  4. Translation Services: If any of your supporting documents are not in English, you may need to have them translated by a certified translator, which can add to your expenses.
  5. Legal Fees: While not required, some TN visa applicants choose to work with an immigration attorney to help prepare their application and navigate the process. Legal fees can vary significantly depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience.

Estimating TN Visa Costs for Employers

When considering hiring a Canadian employee and sponsoring their TN visa, it’s important for employers to understand the associated costs and how they compare to other visa options, such as the H-1B. Here’s what you need to know:

TN Visa Advantages Over H-1B

As one experienced immigration attorney explains, the TN visa is “infinitely easier and cheaper than an H-1B.” Some key advantages include:

  1. No lottery system
  2. Ability to apply at any port of entry, avoiding filing fees
  3. Optional pre-filing through USCIS with a filing fee of $460 and optional premium processing for $2,500
  4. No prevailing wage requirement (a benefit to the employer)
  5. No cap on the number of visas issued

When working with an immigration lawyer to prepare a TN visa application, employers can expect legal fees ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. As one user shares their experience, “Through that service, they’ll have access to a lawyer which they quoted at around $2000usd, which theyll pay for.”

Border Application Fees

For Canadian citizens, applying for a TN visa at the border is a cost-effective option. As one user notes, “If you go POE route it’s $50, all you need is the TN letter.”

Renewal Costs

TN visas are valid for up to three years at a time. When renewing the visa, employers will need to pay the associated legal fees and filing fees again. As one user points out, “The maximum time is 3 years per visa. So yeah, they would have to go through everything again in 3 years.”

Importance of Meeting Job-Degree Requirements

When applying for a TN visa, it’s crucial to ensure that the employee’s degree aligns with the job requirements. As one user warns, “TN visa is very strict about job degree requirements, and there is usually no way to bypass it with experience or being recognized in your field.”

In the case of the management consultant category, having a relevant degree can be challenging. As the original poster shares, “Political Sciences with a minor in communications. But if I can prove all of my related management consulting experience in this industry I might have a better chance.”

Compared to the H-1B visa, the TN visa offers a more streamlined and cost-effective option for Canadian employees. By understanding the estimated legal fees, filing fees, and renewal costs, employers can make informed decisions when considering sponsoring a TN visa for a Canadian employee.

Final Thoughts

While obtaining a TN visa does involve some costs, understanding the fees and expenses upfront can help you plan your finances and minimize stress throughout the process. By budgeting carefully, planning ahead, and exploring cost-saving options, you can manage the expenses associated with your TN visa application and focus on the exciting opportunity to work and grow your career in the United States.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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