TN Visa Teleworking

Many positions can be done remotely allowing for “telework.” This is most common in the IT industry but has become more commonplace in other professions. When it comes to TN visa status, “telework” is possible under certain circumstances. Read more about teleworking while on a TN visa here.

Are you allowed to “telework” on a TN visa?

According to 9 FAM 402.17-5(A) Employment:

(5) If a TN visa applicant intends to reside temporarily in the United States but will work primarily in Mexico or Canada, you must consider whether the applicant’s primary purpose of travel to the United States is to engage in professional employment for a U.S. entity, or instead whether that professional employment is merely incidental to the applicant’s primary purpose of residing in the United States.

(6)  The same guidance would hold true for employees intending to telework.  If there is a legitimate business need for the employee to telework from a location within the United States, this would be allowable in TN status.  However, because eligibility for TN status is based on the primary location of the business, a TN visa applicant would not be allowed to reside in the United States and telework to a location in a foreign country for the convenience of the employee.

It is possible to telework while on a TN Visa as long as there is a legitimate business need for the employee to be in the United States to perform their duties. If no legitimate need exists to be inside the United States, a TN visa would not be required and can be refused by the CBP Officer. Although it is possible to telecommute from Canada or Mexico to the United States, it is not possible to telecommute while living inside the United States and working for a company located outside the United States.

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