News | Forum
TN | H-1 | L-1 | B-1 | E-2
Links | Handbook
Fees | Retainer
The Peace Bridge Unofficial Home Page - Buffalo New York USA/Ft. Erie Ontario Canada
Thanks to NAFTA, Canadians get most work permits right at the border. With a carefully prepared application, INS grants the L-1, TN or B-1 I-94 permits on the spot. This eliminates time-consuming "mail and wait" procedures.
Timing is everything in today's business climate. NAFTA allows our clients to quickly fill job openings or take advantage of fleeting business opportunities. NAFTA immigration provisions have dramatically cut the time to get multinational managers into the U.S.
The historic Peace Bridge is in Southern Ontario near the homes and businesses of most NAFTA applicants. The US Immigration and Naturalization Service Office there is one of the busiest and best-equipped NAFTA immigration locations.
Because of the expertise concentrated here, many Canadians outside of Ontario also use these NAFTA facilities. These people can often conveniently schedule a NAFTA appointment with other business or personal matters in the Toronto area.
My Buffalo location allows us to walk our clients through the NAFTA immigration interview. We first meet in Fort Erie, Ontario, to go over the applications. We then help our clients navigate over the bridge, through the booth and into the immigration office for our appointment. We can then personally accompany our clients to the Social Security Administration Office to get Social Security Cards.
Obtaining a social security card can be part of my service.
Canadian employees will need a special working version of this card. Employers need the "working" social security number for payroll and for many other purposes.
Getting it now can save time later. The Federal Building is close to our office. We can prepare the SS-5 form in advance and escort the employee to the Social Security office. The freshly minted form I-94 will be the required proof of employment status, required for a working social security number.
This trip to the Federal Building also helps make the border entry an entry for "employment purposes" further justifying your employee's eligibility for the NAFTA permit.
Our clients can then take advantage of our personal assistance to speed up acquisition of items for future applications. This can include photographs and fingerprints for future Green Card applications.
Consider the services our office provides. Our goal is to make the procedure as quick and trouble-free as possible. We help our clients get the application right...the first time.
This information is primarily for our
clients. Other readers are welcome
to this information. This page helps Canadian citizen
TN and B-1 applicants. These applicants can
receive their permits using the streamlined NAFTA border procedure.
(Canadian landed immigrants cannot use these procedures, and do not
qualify for the TN. Landed Immigrants can qualify for the L-1 and B-1
using standard procedures.)
Here are the steps for the NAFTA interview:
Step #1: Pre-interview Meeting
Remind your employee to bring all family members, passports for everyone, and any items we still need for the application. Only children under 21 and the employee's spouse can get derivative status.
The application is based on your employee's status as a professional or business person. Business attire is highly recommended.
We will meet at a Ft. Erie Ontario restaurant near the Peace Bridge. (We may meet in Niagara Falls Ontario, should we decide that this is the appropriate port for your situation.) This meeting will be one hour prior to the INS interview appointment.
The purpose of the meeting is to:
Step #2: The Drive to the U.S.A.
Follow us through the inspection booth into the Peace Bridge parking lot. We will go in two cars. We will give the passports to the inspector at the booth and advise the inspector as to our purpose.
Step #3: Into the INS Office
We will escort you or your employee into the INS border office. We will present the paperwork to the Free Trade Officer.
Step #4: The Examination and Interview
The proceeding usually takes from twenty to forty minutes.
The Officer will review the paperwork, establish eligibility for the permit and will check computer records for relevant information. Officers show a high degree of courtesy and efficiency to our clients.
Our goal is to provide complete documentation to show qualification for the permit. We will often take other corporate paperwork with us in case we need to show it.
We strive to present complete and honest information to the authorities. We will not represent a client who we feel does not clearly qualify for the permit. Our goal is to establish a good reputation for ourselves and our clients.
Even if not necessary, we remind our clients to always tell the truth. There are severe sanctions for misrepresentation.
Step #5: Approval
The Officer inserts the permit (a form I-94 card, and a stamp) into the passports.
Step #6: The Drive to Our Office
While at our office, we will give your employee information relating to the new permit. This is to make sure that the employee is aware of the rights and obligations of the permit. We will discuss any issues raised at the border interview, and answer the invariable questions. We feel this is a significant benefit of outsourcing the immigration work to our office. It should save you the time and expense of dealing with these issues yourself.
We will plan options for the future, which can include renewals and/or permanent residency. Employees will often appreciate information about moving household goods, tax planning or other relocation issues. They will often wish to call you from our office to share the good news!
The more motivated applicants will be eager to start U.S. work immediately and will make business calls from our office!
We will be pleased to arrange introductions to any of the area
Canada/U.S. Business experts including
Mr. Grasmick's key contacts. We have both small and large conference
facilities in our office. As members of the nearby Buffalo Club, we can
host business meetings at this time, in optimal surroundings.
The Peace bridge was opened in 1927 to commemorate 100 years of peace between the U.S. and Canada. It made Buffalo the chief port of entry to Canada from the U.S. At the time, it was the only vehicular bridge on the Great Lakes from Niagara Falls to Duluth. The cost was $4.5 million.
The Bridge is one of North America's most important commercial Ports. Four thousand trucks cross the Peace Bridge daily. One million commercial vehicles use it yearly. These vehicles carry almost $7 billion worth of merchandise each year.
Here is a sample from my collection of pre-war period post cards: