Dear Miss Powell:
I am a Jamaica-born, Canadian citizen. I got tired of the cold and so I recently returned home to Jamaica, with the intention of setting up business here. But things don't look so promising here in Jamaica. I am struggling to get my business off the ground. I noticed that you mentioned in a previous article that Canadian citizens may move to the United States (US) and so I am looking at opportunities of working in the US. In fact, I have done a telephone interview and I may get a job offer soon. Can you tell me how I can qualify as a Canadian citizen to work in US?
I am sorry that your return to Jamaica is not as you expected. You indicated that you wanted to set up business in Jamaica. I'm not sure what kind of business you were thinking of. However, I would recommend that you speak to JAMPRO, Jamaica Business Opportunity Service (JBOS), Business Advisory Services, or other local bodies, about providing you with information and support, before giving up totally on Jamaica. I even recommend that you speak with your member of parliament who may be able to provide you with information on investment opportunities in your community.
If after you have done some investigations you definitely want to leave Jamaica for the US, there are several options available to you under the North American Free Trade Agreement, especially if you have a job offer from a US employer. A prospective employer may be able to sponsor you to get a TN visa from the US, if they satisfy the requirements.
You will need to provide documents to prove that:
1. You are a Canadian citizen (citizenship card and passport)
2. You can perform service in a profession or occupation that is on the USCIS list of professions and occupations that qualify for a TN visa.
3. You are able to demonstrate a certain minimum educational and employment experience in the list of occupations on the USCIS website.
4. You have a firm job offer from a qualifying employer.
I would recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer personally, provide her with more information about your qualifications, skills and details about your job offer, so that she will be able to assist you personally with your application.
Deidre S. Powell is an international lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars. Her main office is located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, commercial, real estate, personal injury, family and admini-stration of estates. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613.695.8777.