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Do I Need to Work for a U.S. Employer on a TN Visa?

By January 27, 2022Immigration, TN Visa
Two pwople shaking hands to solidify a A job offered after an interview

The TN visa is a great visa that is available to nationals of Canada or Mexico who want to work in the United States. To qualify for a TN visa, you need an offer of employment to work in a profession that is listed on the specific occupation list in the TN Statute and you must hold specific credentials.

What are the TN requirements?

The applicant must be a Canadian or Mexican national who is coming to the U.S. to work in one of the professions listed in the TN statute. For each profession, the statute lists the education and/or experience or licensing credentials that are required.  In order to qualify for a TN, your degree should be in the same or related field as the profession. For example, someone applying under the Accountant field, should have a degree in Accounting or a related degree (for example, Finance). For a Management Consultant, you must have either a relevant Bachelor’s Degree or 5 years of work experience as a Management Consultants or 5 years of experience in the field in which you will consult.

Where can I apply for the TN?

Canadian nationals are eligible to apply for the TN visa at ports of entry to the U.S. while Mexican nationals must apply for the TN visa at a U.S. Consulate.

Can I work on a TN with a foreign (non-U.S. employer)?

An important point to note about the TN visa is that you must be coming to work for a U.S. entity, meaning either a U.S. company or a U.S. individual. The terms of employment must be written in an offer letter that will be presented either at the border or to a consular officer at a visa appointment.  We have received questions from clients who have a foreign, non-U.S. company that is interested in having the employee go to the U.S. to increase their U.S. presence. If the foreign company wants to offer you a job that qualifies for a TN, they must have a U.S. entity (for example, a U.S. corporation or Limited Liability Company) that is making the job offer. If you work for a foreign company and they want to send you to the U.S. to open a branch office, an L visa may be a better option than the TN. Please see here for a discussion of the pros and cons between the TN and L visa.

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This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

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