For starters, you go home and write down everything the officer didn’t like about your petition.  Try to remember whether the officer flat out denied your TN petition, or said he/she was unable to process it because something was missing.  If the TN was denied, what were the grounds for the denial?  Did the officer say that you didn’t qualify under the category you applied under, that your job description was too general, or that the job description was not correct for the TN category?

The next thing you should do is call an experienced TN lawyer.  This is not the time to attempt it on your own.  If you thought applying the first time was hard, imagine how difficult it will be to resuscitate your case after its been previously denied.

Describe every detail to your attorney.  If the officer felt that you didn’t qualify under the one category, for example, I would analyze whether you might qualify in a different TN category.  I had such a case recently.  The client got his TN a year before and it was still valid for another several months.   He crossed the border frequently because he lived in Canada but worked every week in the U.S.  On one trip, the inspecting officer said the client did not qualify for the Computer Systems Analyst TN category because his degree was unrelated to computer science; he had a degree in mechanical engineering.  I felt a different port of entry would treat my client fairly if he applied for a TN in another category.  I rewrote the support letter explaining how he qualified as a Software Engineer even though his engineering degree was not specifically on point.  The client was approved with no questions asked.

If there are no other suitable TN categories, and the officer felt your degree didn’t fit the category you applied under, the lawyer may be able to write a new letter showing how the degree is in fact related.  With only one exception relevant to the Hotel Management category, the NAFTA doesn’t require a specific degree for any of the TN categories.

I often prefer to send clients who have had trouble the first time around back to the same port of entry to reapply.  If you go to another port to try to rehabilitate your TN, you might be charged with forum shopping, and denied on that basis.  If you give different answers than you gave the first time, the officer can write you up as having committed misrepresentation, resulting in a lifetime bar to admissibility.  Ouch!  

So before you rush to a different port of entry or try to fix the problem on your own, pause and get a legal opinion from an experienced TN visa lawyer on how your TN application my be saved. You are welcome to call my offices for a free consultation.

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