Almost got denied my TN VISA...

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KuBg32

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Nov 25, 2018 48 Comments

I’m Canadian and got a engineering job in San Francisco. Now, I was ready for my interview and everything (lots of call with my attorney).

I had every documents required, but at the end, they told me that there was no end date on my job offer and decided to give me only 6 months, instead of the 3 years... I was in shock since I showed them I owned a house in Canada and was just coming to the US to get work experience.

I was in Toronto airport and the officer was a total dick. They made me wait for 2 hours and I almost miss my flight... I didn’t say anything bad, I kept my cool and stayed factual.

How do I extend my TN after?

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TOP 48 Comments
  • Pandora tIbk87
    They delayed you for two hours and you didn't miss your flight? How early were you?
    Nov 25, 2018 12
    • Amazon dsGL57
      It's your mistake because you should understand the basics of the process you're throwing yourself into. You get a TN when crossing the border. Did you get that in your research? You should have. If so, how did it make sense your case could be adjucated in Montreal when flying to Toronto. I maintain what I said: double check everything and don't *blindly* trust anyone.
      Nov 26, 2018
    • Amazon dsGL57
      Let me throw in something else here, because I'm trying to help you out: your attitude in this thread is all wrong. Do you think your company assigned a first rate lawyer to your immigration case? Newsflash: they didn't. You own this and any issue that arise will be entirely yours, no one will lose any sleep over it. Not your lawyer, nor anyone at your company. You need to internalize this - in this case and in general in your career. If you just started working for a top software company (which I'll assume you did), scrub that whinny "it's not my fault" language from your discourse completely. Your new manager and company have zero interest in these blame games.

      Last one: you'd better not trust the accountant who will do your taxes the first year either. Read and understand every single line of both the CA and US tax returns, and do your own research about what forms are needed in your case to ensure everything is top shape. Accountant won't lose any sleep if something's messed up and you end up paying down the line (probably will never hear about it).

      Again, don't mean to antagonize you, just trying to give you a bit of hard truth.
      Nov 26, 2018
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Got it appreciate the feedback. It’s just a bit different way of thinking in Canada where they have normalized process (not subjective), trusted advisors and more empathetic human being. I guess it’s a way of saying welcome to the land of the free. I’ll take those as valuable info and never trust anyone in the states.
      Nov 26, 2018
    • Amazon / Mgmt KYuG83
      Oh cool so your attitude is still that other people were the problem.

      Canada does not have more empathetic human beings or a more normalized process. There is an appearance of that, because it is a less desirable country to live and work in. I suspect this is why you want to work in the US in the first place. Because it is less desirable, they do not have to put as many controls in place or throttle the provisioning of visas as much. This makes our process less subjective actually — for example, you objectively should have had an end date on your offer to accurately signal your intent in requesting a visa. Do not conflate the need to throttle high demand for visas with being unempathetic human beings. We have to be empathetic to those who already live here and followed the legal processes to do so as well.
      Nov 26, 2018
    • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
      Actually, the relationship between Canada and the US is unique and one can argue that it’s more normalized than anywhere else in the world. It’s probably the most open border in the world, but only if you’re a citizen of either countries.

      No visas are required for citizens of either country to visit. Up until recently, all you needed to cross was a drivers license if you were a citizen of either country.

      As so, the OP is just a naive Canadian that, for the first time in his life, experienced the harsh reality of immigration.

      He was probably instructed by a lawyer that is nowhere near the northern border or probably just instructed by a paralegal not knowing how close montreal is from the border.

      Perhaps it’s the complete opposite and the track record of the ground border closest to him has a high denial rating than Toronto and was instructed accordingly.

      It’s hard to argue that the OP made a mistake trusting his lawyer, but definitively is a naive Canadian that needs to raise the bar on his definition of research when it comes to immigration.

      Most others can’t relate I the OP because they’ve likely spent the last 7-10 years trying to stay in the country because they took a risk moving to a country knowing that their of birth had large a backlog for immigrant visas and they got burnt when that large backlog grew exponentially and immigration policy & laws are tightening around them due to past abuse by others in the nonimmigrant visa category that they’re in.
      Nov 27, 2018
  • LinkedIn / Eng
    goldbug

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    goldbugmore
    Toronto airport is notorious for getting TN visa. You could have just driven to the US through any port of entry and it will be much easier.
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Yeah I heard about if afterwards... sight.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Intuit / Data 🥖 smith
    Canadian here too 🇨🇦

    Never rely on immigration lawyers, if they are good they won’t be an immigration lawyer. (Also applies to HR)

    And always do your own homework especially when it comes to important things like this. My employer & lawyer had no clue when they help me prepare my docs. I literally had to quote the actual law and discuss with the lawyer and ask for amendments.
    Nov 25, 2018 3
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Like I said I did and even ask about the end date. They said just make sure you stay factual and say it’s temporary along those lines.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Pandora tIbk87
      And that's your problem. You didn't even ask. Like you're not taking any ownership in the process at all. You're the one who has to deal with the consequences if things go wrong, so YOU are the one who needs to know everything about the process. It's your responsibility. The lawyer was just doing the same thing he does ten times a day and will continue doing long after he forgets who you are. This is all on you, and you need to understand that.
      Nov 26, 2018
    • Intuit / Other 🥖 smith
      @op we might sound harsh but we are all really trying to help you. Several of my friends ran into TN issue when moving to US and I tell them the same thing. At the end of the day, you bear the consequences so own that process yourself and drive it. Don’t let lawyers or HR determine your fate. The other person’s comment re tax is also great.
      Nov 28, 2018
  • Twitter 11122018
    Sincere question. Are you really going to go back to Canada?
    Nov 25, 2018 3
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Sincere answer, I don’t know. I mean it’s hard to predict the future, but I’m truly here for work experience.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Twitter 11122018
      That is what immigration maybe coming to grips with also.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      I obviously didn’t say that. I said I come only for work and plan on coming back since I have a house and a girlfriend waiting for me in Canada. I also had the mortgage paper, etc.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Unity XWAL28
    The offer letter needs an end date. Your lawyers should have known
    Nov 25, 2018 8
    • Amazon / Mgmt KYuG83
      Sounds like you need a better lawyer. The kind who doesn’t get his legal advice from Reddit.

      Sorry you had that experience. America wants talented immigrants but they need to process a lot of applications. This country is still, even with Trump, more relaxed with immigration than almost any other country in the world, media hype aside. It is super important your lawyer does his diligence and prepares your paperwork in a way that respects the process. Having no end date is basically begging the processor of your application to not give you a long leash, since they have no idea what your true intent is and it is not documented, and they will force you back to be processed in the system again in 6 months. Please make sure your lawyer respects the process as well as your time this time around by not playing games.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Just to be clear, my lawyer didn’t reddit... well I hope. It was me trying to find piece of advice, I blindly followed their instructions.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Unity XWAL28
      This. The lawyer messed up.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Qualcomm TC!
      You are incredibly lucky to be in America. Welcome
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Broadcom Ltd. / Eng
      headbanger

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      Huh, I used to be on TN for 12 years and never ever ever ever took an offer letter to POE that didn’t have an end date. Tons of template TN offer letters on the internet that mention the start and end dates. When it comes to POE TN, most lawyers know jack about it because it is done without the need for a lawyer. My employer used Fragomen and even their lawyer didn’t know one could have multiple TNs. She kept arguing with me and then I told her to look at the back of my I-94 where it said I had two TNs and two employers. She took it to a senior lawyer in the firm and came back looking like an idiot that she was. When I took their package to the border, the CBP officer laughed at the 4 page cover letter they wrote for him and said he had no time to read that garbage. Additionally he laughed at the check Fragomen wrote for the application fee because they only took cash or card at POE. So even Fragomen are bozos when it comes to POE TN. But even they had the employer mention start and end dates on their offer letter. Now this shows the level of bozoness of your employer’s immigration lawyer.
      That being said, here’s a good TN forum where you can educate yourself about it before you go to the border next time:
      https://forums.immigration.com/forums/tn-status.230/
      Feb 16
  • Unity XWAL28
    Don't be so defensive. I don't think anyone in here is trying to be mean. Just learn your lesson and everything will be fine next time. TN is very subjective so you need to do everything in your power to set yourself up for success.

    There are lots of great tips in here.
    Nov 25, 2018 0
  • LinkedIn / Eng
    goldbug

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    goldbugmore
    Since you only have 6 months left on your TN, you should ask your lawyers to extend your TN as soon as you start working. They can apply for extension through USCIS while you are working. If everything goes well you can stay in the US and you will get a 3-year TN status.
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Yep that’s the plan !
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
    You picked the wrong nonimmigrant visa to be unsure. TN is not a dual intent visa. You can’t directly adjust status to immigrant because your intent was never to stay here permanently.

    Talking about the possibility of your immigrant intent while on a nonimmigrant visa on a public forum that’s index by search engines can also cause you problems come renewal time, especially with company name and time of visa issuance made clear.
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
      There is a sizable amount of risk because if you’re denied because you couldn’t prove if your intent upon entry was never to stay here permanently, your eligibility for the TN in the future has greatly diminished.

      The decisions you make today will have profound effects on your life in 3-10 years from now.

      Either way, don’t take immigration advice from blind. Do your own research and get a competent lawyer.
      Nov 27, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Paysafe / Eng
      KuBg32

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      OP
      Thanks for info, yep I knew about that.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Visa / Eng Mastercard
      I was told you can't apply for green card on TN
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Visa / Eng Mastercard
      ah i see thanks for the explanation. I guess if you are Indian/Chinese born.. this is not a viable option
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
      Canadian born citizens*
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Console Connect / Other gqDS15
      My point exactly. You can’t use the TN visa to fast track your green card application since it’s all based on country of birth.

      Mexico is backlogged too, btw.
      Nov 27, 2018
  • Paysafe / Eng
    KuBg32

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    OP
    I know those are all good tips, but I don’t get why it’s my mistake. My point is that I trusted the company’s lawyer and I guess it backfired. Plus, the overall process is subjective to the officer/airport. Anyways I’ll have a good conversation with them this week. I would have preferred missing my flight and get the right one...
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • LinkedIn / Eng
      goldbug

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      goldbugmore
      It’s not your mistake but you are the one applying for TN status and the custom officials have the absolute power to deny you when they see fit.

      It looks like you are new to the US immigration system. Get used to it. You are still in a much better position than Indians who are legally on H1B for over a decade and can be denied a transfer or an extension for no reason.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Microsoft SOkn03
    Total drama queen. That's not getting denied, not even close. They typically give back your petition first before denying you anything. If they deny you, it's because of you deliberately lying. Missing information is not going to get you denied.
    Nov 26, 2018 0
  • Amazon itisdaytwo
    Ask your lawyer to get a pre-approval notice (I-797B) from USCIS. Otherwise you would have to convince a non-tech CBP officer for hours. Most of them don’t even know what TN visa is and they were told to ask stupid questions like “% of your time you are coding daily”. Your lawyer should have known this already.
    Nov 25, 2018 0
  • Ayasdi ioUp78
    Ask to work with a different lawyer while you sort out the TN issues. Obviously he/she has not worked on TNs recently.
    Nov 25, 2018 0
  • Dialpad aEKu20
    Ask your lawyer do the next one with paper applicantion.
    Nov 25, 2018 0