Which INS forms to file for TN visa by a Mexican Applicant / Employee?



Agency which issues visas to foreign applicants is the U.S. Department of State (DOS). At any visa-issuing U.S. consular post abroad including the one in the applicant’s home country a visa application can be submitted according to DOS rules. Citizens of countries with a high rate of visa refusal or overstay may find it difficult to obtain a visa from a consulate not in their home country practically speaking. Whether or not to accept an application from a person who is not a citizen or resident of that country is left for the individual consulate’s discretion.

On the basis of a valid non-immigrant visa if a person has been lawfully admitted to the U.S. and remains in the U.S. beyond the authorized period of stay for future visas they are required to apply in their home country.

The following guidelines reflect the general process at most U.S. consulates in Mexico though the requirements for visa processing can vary from consulate to consulate.  To apply for the TN visa at a U.S. consulate outside of Mexico the Mexican applicant can get information about most U.S. consulates around the world at US embassy’s website.

Step 1: Completing the Forms:

All non-immigrant visa applicants need to submit the electronic INS forms DS-160 at all U.S. consulates in Mexico since paper application forms are no longer acceptable and they also require the DS-160 confirmation number in order to schedule the visa application appointment. Through the dedicated DOS website after the Form DS-160 is completed and automatically transmitted to the consulate for processing.

Online system is designed to shut down after 20 minutes of inactivity and the applicants should be cautious when completing the form online. The form should be saved frequently throughout the process and also it is recommended that applicants have all of the necessary documentation, including passport information, readily available when completing the form. A confirmation page appears once the Form DS-160 is submitted and applicants should print this as the confirmation number is required by many consulates to make the visa appointment and also required by the consulate on the day of the interview.

Step 2: Making a visa appointment:

Once INS forms DS-160 has been submitted and the application confirmation number issued, the visa appointment can be scheduled in all consulates. A $26 appointment fee should be paid by applicants at Ciudad Juarez before a PIN number is issued that will allow them to schedule the visa appointment. Online, by phone, or at a Banamex office the payments can be made and if paid in person it results in a 24 hour delay before the PIN is activated for appointment scheduling.

Step 3: Payment of fees:

The next step after submitting INS Form DS-160 is to pay the machine-readable visa application fee of $131 (MRV fee) as cost of processing the visa stamp into the applicant’s passport. Applicants should confirm fee amounts and payment mode with the consulate where they will be making their application as fees are always subject to change. In advance of the appointment the applicant typically will be asked to pay the fee at a Banamex office by the consulate since proof of payment will be required on the day of the visa interview.

There is a TN application fee of $100 for a one-year visa with multiple entries in addition to the MRV fee and there is a rate of $100 for each additional year. For periods of more than one year, up to three years a TN visas can be issued. So application fee of $300 is the cost for a three-year TN visa.

Step 4: Assembling documentation:

All supporting documentation should be gathered and organized in a meaningful and orderly fashion for presentation to the consulate prior to the visa appointment date. According to the specific consulate’s established process whether the application should be made via mail, courier, in person etc., the individual visa application must be submitted.

Checklist of items for a TN visa application should generally include:

•           Confirmation page of Form DS-160 application

•           Receipt from Banamex for Original application payment

•           From the past 10 years current and previous passports containing any current or expired visas. At least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S. the current passport should be valid.

•           Visa applicant’s photograph

•           Detailing the TN designated job classification, proposed duties, and conditions of employment including pay a job offer letter from the U.S. Company

•           If the applicant is coming to provide services pursuant to a pre-existing contract supplementary letters from U.S. companies are required

•           Along with a credential evaluation, if applicable, education documents or other documentation of the applicant’s professional qualifications.

Step 5: The Consular Interview:

An interview is required by consulates to issue a visa during which a consular officer will review the submitted paperwork for accuracy, especially the documentation relating to the applicant’s proposed job and his or her qualifications for the job. Arriving well prepared and expecting a thorough review of the application is always best. Going over their document checklist to ensure that they have everything they need and that their documents are well-organized is the first thing applicants should do when preparing for a consular interview.

Thorough re-read of all of their application documents should be the applicant’s next step. The purpose of the trip, the activities that will be performed, and the applicant’s qualifications for the job may be the basis of questions for TN visas.

The applicant will most likely be required to wait a few days or even weeks to receive the visa though the TN visa is approved on the spot. He or she will be ready to travel to the U.S. once the applicant has attended an interview and received the visa which will include the dates of issue and expiration. The applicant has little recourse if for any reason the visa application is denied. If application is denied it is best to first ask the officer what can be done to resolve the denial and then take specific steps toward that end.

Step 6: Entering the U.S. with a TN Visa:

Until the expiration date on his/her TN visa the Mexican citizen can enter the United States. The visa is simply a document allowing the applicant to travel to the U.S. and the visa is not permission to enter the U.S. The applicant must be inspected by an immigration officer who will make the final determination whether to let the applicant enter the country before being admitted to the U.S.

Approval to the applicant’s entry will be at the time of entry after the immigration officer will examine the paperwork and may ask some questions and, if all is in order. A white I-94 Arrival-Departure Card stamped with the date of entry and an expiration date showing how long the TN employee may remain in the U.S. will be given to the applicant after his/her passport is stamped .The period of stay will generally be three years unless otherwise specified in the application documents. I-94 card should be carefully reviewed by the applicant prior to leaving the inspection station. In case there is a mistake in the class of admission and/or expiration date entered by inspecting officers, its best to get it corrected then and there.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: