For Canadian contractors and Canadian businesses with contracts to service US-based clients, a TN Visa is a possibility for servicing those contracts—as long as a few requirements are met.
Although most TN Visas are issued to Canadian employees working for US companies, US immigration law also allows Canadian companies to sponsor their employees to obtain TN Visas in order to perform services under pre-arranged contracts with US companies. The most common scenario where we see the need for TN Visa status is for the employees of Canadian companies that supply IT or consulting services. This option allows those servicing contracts with US companies the ability to quickly obtain TN Visa status to work in the US.
With a properly prepared TN Visa application, TN status can be issued to allow the employees of the Canadian company to enter the United States based on the following criteria:
- The employee is a Canadian citizen (not a permanent resident)
- The services being performed must fall under a qualifying TN profession
- The individual being sent to the US qualifies for that TN profession
- There is a pre-existing qualifying contract between the Canadian individual or company and a US entity
If you can show that you meet the above-listed requirements, the TN Visa is typically issued for the duration of the contract to be serviced and no longer, not to exceeds 3 years. The contract must have a start and end date. Open-ended or auto-renewing contracts are not accepted.
Since these contractual relationships are often complex, it is best to work with a US immigration lawyer experienced in preparing TN Visa applications for Canadian companies and individuals with pre-existing contracts with US companies.
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Don’t know where to start? We have more than 20 years of experience helping Canadian employers and individuals obtain TN Visa status to service pre-existing contracts within the US. If you have questions about whether your particular situation qualifies, contact Richards and Jurusik for an assessment of your TN Visa matters.