If outside the U.S., citizens of Mexico generally must first file a DS-160 application for a TN visa stamp in order to enter the U.S. under TN visa status. The following provides an overview of how and why the U.S. Embassy/Consulate may deny a TN visa DS-160 application. 

Temporary Refusals Under INA 221 (g)

  • In some visa applications, the consular officer will issue a temporary refusal to an individual who may appear otherwise qualified for a TN visa but is missing a particular document, or who must undergo additional security clearance procedures. INA 221 (g).
  • Unlike all other bases of denial, a refusal under INA 221 (g) does not require the filing of a new TN visa application to address the issues raised in the refusal. 
  • Once the issue is addressed, and the refusal is overcome, the TN visa may be issued. 

Refusals Under INA 214 (b)

  • If an individual cannot ultimately prove that he/she meets the main requirements for a TN visa, then the U.S. Embassy/Consulate will deny the individual's application. INA 214 (b)9 FAM 40.7 N1.3. 
  • A denial under INA 214 (b) does not result in a permanent bar as individuals may re-apply for a TN visa or other visa classifications. 9 FAM 40.7 N1.2. 
  • However, a TN visa denial may impact an individual's ability to enter the U.S. as a visitor (including under the visa waiver program if eligible based on citizenship from an applicable country). 
  • See also DOS Cable 214 (b) (2004).

Refusal Under Other Grounds of Inadmissibility Under INA 212 (a)

  • An individual may also be refused a TN visa if he/she is subject to one of the various grounds of inadmissibility under INA 212 (a). In some instances, a waiver may be required to overcome a denial based on INA 212 (a). 9 FAM 40.6 EXHIBIT I 

Re-Applying For TN Visas

  • Individuals who have been refused a TN visa may re-apply at anytime using the normal TN visa application process. 9 FAM 41.121 PN1.4. However, consulates may limit the appointments available for such re-applications, and may give them lower priority. Id.
  • Individuals re-applying for a TN visa following a denial must provide new information to overcome the denial, or demonstrate that their circumstances have changed since the denied application. 9 FAM 41.121 PN2.

Additional Information

Revised Nov. 14, 2014.