In some instances a properly prepared TN visa application will include letters from current and/or former employers as proof of qualifying experience. For immigration purposes, a resume is NOT considered proof of previous experience sufficient to support a TN visa application. In general, a resume is easily altered and is often presented in a light most favorable to the resume writer. It is not uncommon for a resume writer to leave off certain employment details, emphasis specific employment details, and even to fabricate details for a certain position. For these and other reasons, resumes are not acceptable proof of experience in support of a visa application. When relying on experience to qualify for TN visa status both USCIS and CBP will require letters from former and/or current employers as evidence of experience.
There are many TN professions under NAFTA that have alternate requirements which include experience. To qualify for a TN visa under NAFTA while relying on experience, there must be proof in the form of current and/or former employer letters. This is most often the case when relying on a Postsecondary Diploma (Canada or the United States) or Postsecondary Certificate (Mexico). TN visa applications relying on either Diplomas or Certificates must be accompanied by proof of at least three (3) years of experience. It is important to note that a lesser degree from Countries other than Canada, the United States, or Mexico, DO NOT meet the alternate education plus experience requirements under NAFTA. The Diploma or Certificate must be from Canada, Mexico, or the United States. Diplomas or Certificates from other countries DO NOT meet the requirements under NAFTA.
TN NAFTA Professions that are commonly supported by a combination of a Diploma or Certificate and experience include:
- TN Computer Systems Analyst
- TN Graphic Designer
- TN Hotel Manager
- TN Industrial Designer
- TN Management Consultant (Can be supported by proof of qualifying experience alone. A degree is not required)
- TN Scientific Technician/Technologist (Can be supported by proof of qualifying experience alone. A degree is not required)
- TN Medical Laboratory Technologist
The former and/or current employer letter should be written on official company letterhead and should include the following at a minimum:
- Address the proper US Immigration Agency;
- Name of the employee;
- Specific time frame of employment;
- Position(s) held;
- Indicate full or part-time employment;
- Hours worked per week; and
- Specific duties performed related to the TN profession.
The final letter should be written and signed by an authorized company representative that can attest to the employment of the employee. This can be someone in the human resource department with access to employment records, a direct supervisor, or any other authorized company representative that can attest to the employment. The letter should include the necessary contact information of the letter writer. In cases of self-employment, employment records, tax records, client invoices, business formation documents, and other proof of self-employment can be used in the place of a former employer letter.
The following template can be used when drafting a former and/or current employer letter: Former Employer Letter Template
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