TN Visa Sponsorship Explained

Updated on March 27, 2024

As a US employer, you may be looking for ways to expand your talent pool and bring in skilled professionals from around the world. The TN visa program offers a unique opportunity to hire qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens for temporary employment in the United States. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of TN visa sponsorship, the requirements for employers and employees, and the steps involved in the hiring process.

30 Second Recap:

TN visa sponsorship allows U.S. employers to hire qualified Canadian and Mexican professionals for temporary employment. Employers must offer a job in a NAFTA profession, provide a detailed job offer letter, verify the employee’s qualifications, file a petition (if required), pay the prevailing wage, and ensure compliance with labor laws. Sponsoring a TN visa involves identifying the NAFTA profession, extending a job offer, preparing supporting documents, and assisting with the application process.

What is TN Visa Sponsorship?

TN visa sponsorship refers to the process by which a U.S. employer supports a Canadian or Mexican citizen’s application for a TN visa, which allows the individual to work in the United States in a specific profession under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), formerly known as NAFTA.

TN Visa Sponsorship Requirements

When sponsoring an employee for a TN visa, the U.S. employer is responsible for:

  1. Offering a job that qualifies under the USMCA profession list: The employer must ensure that the position they are hiring for falls under one of the professions eligible for the TN visa.
  2. Providing a job offer letter: The employer must give the employee a detailed job offer letter that outlines the position, duties, salary, and duration of employment. The letter should also explain how the employee’s qualifications meet the requirements for the specific USMCA profession.
  3. Verifying the employee’s qualifications: The employer must ensure that the employee meets the educational and/or experience requirements for their profession, as specified in the USMCA list.
  4. Filing a petition (if required): For Mexican citizens, the employer must file a Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For Canadian citizens, the employer may need to provide supporting documents for the employee to present at the port of entry.
  5. Paying the prevailing wage: The employer must demonstrate that the employee will be paid a wage that meets or exceeds the prevailing wage for the occupation and location.
  6. Ensuring compliance: The employer must comply with all applicable labor laws and regulations related to the employment of the TN visa holder.

By sponsoring an employee for a TN visa, the U.S. employer is essentially vouching for the individual’s qualifications and the legitimacy of the job offer. The employer’s support is crucial in demonstrating to U.S. immigration officials that the Canadian or Mexican citizen meets the requirements for a TN visa and will be working in a qualifying profession.

It’s important to note that while the employer plays a significant role in the TN visa process, the ultimate responsibility for obtaining the visa lies with the individual applicant. The employee must meet all eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation to support their TN visa application.

How to Sponsor a TN Visa

  1. Identify the USMCA profession: Determine if the position you’re hiring for falls under one of the USMCA professions eligible for the TN visa.
  2. Extend a job offer: Provide the candidate with a detailed job offer letter that meets the TN visa requirements.
  3. Prepare supporting documents: Gather necessary documents, such as the employee’s educational credentials, professional licenses, and proof of citizenship.
  4. Apply for the TN visa: For Canadian citizens, the employee can apply directly at a US port of entry. For Mexican citizens, the employee must schedule a visa appointment at a US embassy or consulate.
  5. Onboarding and compliance: Once the employee’s TN visa is approved, assist them with onboarding and ensure ongoing compliance with the terms of their visa.

Final Thoughts

TN visa sponsorship offers US employers a valuable opportunity to hire skilled professionals from Canada and Mexico and expand their talent pool. By understanding the benefits, requirements, and process involved in sponsoring employees for TN visas, you can leverage this unique work visa program to grow your organization and foster a diverse, talented workforce. Remember to work closely with your legal counsel, provide comprehensive support to your sponsored employees, and maintain compliance with TN visa regulations to ensure a successful and rewarding sponsorship experience.

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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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