Who should write the TN offer letter?

One of the main supporting documents for a TN application, is an offer of employment. The offer of employment is generally supported through an offer or support letter. In general, an offer letter comes from a new employer seeking to employ a foreign worker in the United States. A support letter generally comes from an existing employer seeking to send an employee to the United States to service a pre-existing contract, or, to work at a U.S. based office. The specifics of the employment situation will determine who should provide the offer/support letter. In most cases the employee entering to work in the United States with be working for either a foreign employer or a U.S. employer. The following is a breakdown of how each offer/support letter should  be presented:

  • U.S. Employer – If the offer of employment is from a U.S. employer for a direct hire position, the offer letter should come from the U.S. employer. The offer letter must be signed on official company letterhead and be from the U.S. office seeking to employ the foreign worker. The original letter is required for both border and mail applications. There is no substitute for the original offer letter signed on official company letterhead.
  • Foreign Employer – If the offer of employment is from a foreign employer to perform services under a contract with a U.S. based client, the offer letter should be from the foreign employer, and must be supported by proof of a pre-existing contract with a U.S. based client. The offer letter must be signed on official company letterhead and be from the foreign employer. In addition to the support letter, a copy of the contract evidencing a pre-existing contract with a U.S. based company must be provided. The original letter and a copy of the contract are required for both border and mail applications. Failure to provide proof of the pre-existing contract along with the original support letter, could result in denial of the application.
  • Employers with U.S. and Foreign Offices – In some situations employers with foreign officers have a need to send an employee from the foreign office to the U.S. In such cases, the support letter must come from the U.S. office and be signed on original company letterhead. The original letter from the U.S. office is required for both border and mail applications. A letter from the foreign employer will not be sufficient to send the employee to the U.S. The letter must come from the U.S. office.

The above, are a few of the most common scenarios under which a foreign employee will seek to enter the U.S. in TN status. It is important that the support/offer letter be properly written and come from the correct entity to ensure a smooth application process. Failure to present the application with a properly written letter, from the correct entity, could result in denial. It most cases, it is best to seek advice from an experienced U.S. law office that focuses their practice on TN visa processing before proceeding with the TN application process.

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