Question: I am in the U.S. currently on a TN visa. I am considering filing a new TN application to change employers. If this new application is denied, will I be allowed to re-enter the U.S. under my first TN?
Reply: When an individual’s TN application is denied, the result of the denial could impact that individual’s ability to re-enter the U.S. The extent of the impact depends on many variables such as the basis for the denial, and whether the individual has any other alternative visa options to re-enter the U.S. I have previously written about re-entering the U.S. as a visitor or under F-1/OPT following the denial of a TN application.
There are some instances where a TN denial may result in a denial of re-entry under a previously approved TN. This occurs if the reason for the denial also affects the individual’s eligibility under his/her pre-existing TN. For example, if a denial is based on a suspected violation of immigration law, then a USCBP officer may not allow an individual to re-enter under a previously approved TN. If the denial is because the officer believes the individual’s credentials do not qualify for the TN category, then that too could result in a refusal to allow the individual to re-enter under a previously approved TN.
On the other hand, there are cases where the basis of the denial is unique to the TN application filed, and which may not impact the validity of a pre-existing TN. For example, if the denial is because the officer believes the position offered does not qualify for the TN category, then the officer may still allow the individual to re-enter under a previously approved TN (provided the individual’s prior TN was not for a position similar to the new position).