Ever had a TN Visa denied? It can be frustrating and leave you and your employer uncertain of your options. I am here to help, keep reading.

This year I had a client come to me after a TN Visa was denied for his management consultant position. This client met the legal requirements but the CBP officer explained that the documentation was insufficient and his answers to the questions were questionnable.

These were my instructions:

  1. Resubmit the application
  2. Fully prepare for questioning
  3. Update or revise all documentation

There is a great ending to this story! A week after the denial, my client returned to the port of entry and his visa was granted for two years!

Resubmitting the Application:
During and after the interview the officer will explain the reasons for denying the application - take note of these reasons. You will have to address these problems in the subsequent application. Yes, you can ask the officer the reasons for the denial if they are vague.

Depending on the reasons for the denial, you may have to prepare additional documentation to fix the errors. There is no limit on the number of times you may apply for the TN Visa, however, it is important to prepare a truthful and accurate application - not just one that looks like what you think the CBP Officer wants to see. Each document should be carefully tailored to the applicant's experience and the employer's job offer.

You may apply for a TN Visa at a port of entry into the U.S. or through a change of status application with USCIS. Some ports of entry have TN Visa pre-clearance stations, such as in Vancouver, Canada.

One benefit of applying at a pre-clearance station is that if the application is denied you will not be detained because you are not on U.S. soil, you will simply be allowed to withdraw your application for admission.

Preparing for CBP Questioning
During the initial application and interview the officer will prepare a record of questions and responses. These responses will be recorded and placed into your immigration file. When the application is denied the officer will usually give you a copy of these questions. If s/he does not, Negrette Law can order a copy and go over it with you.

Knowing these questions and responses is paramount to adequate preparation for your second application. Without knowing what you said and the reasons behind it you might be denied again because you will likely be unable to explain why you made the statement in the first place, or you could be accused of fraud or misrepresentation. For example:
Q: Can you hire and fire employees?
A: Yes.
Application Denied. A management consultant is not generally permitted to hire or fire any employees directly, rather s/he can make recommendations as to who to hire or fire based on the company's goals, policies or procedures and the employee's skills, expertise or qualifications.

This is just one type of question and response that can cause huge problems for your TN Visa application.

Updating the Documentation
The documentation must fit with your qualifications and your management position with the company. The words you use in the documents will form the basis for the CBP Officer's questioning. For example:

Q: The job description states that the company is seeking a management consultant to develop a nationally recognized brand. Have you ever developed a brand before?
A: No, but I have been working in SEO for the past five years.

Application denied. If the applicant cannot meet the needs of the company, that applicant is not sufficiently qualified for that position. In addition to the legal requirements for the TN Visa, the applicant must be qualified to meet the needs of the U.S. employer.

The information provided in this post is not legal advice for your particular case.

Call Negrette Law, P.C. a Strategy Session: (619) 356-1448