The TN visa allows certain professionals from Canada and Mexico to work in the United States on a temporary basis. To qualify for a TN visa, your proposed work in the US must be on the list of TN visa occupations.
One of the most popular occupations on the list is management consultant.
In this guide, I’ll discuss the TN visa management consultant position. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com.
- General Overview of the TN Visa
- TN Visa Management Consultant
- Specific Requirements for Management Consultants
- Benefit of Classification as a Management Consultant
- Higher Scrutiny for Management Consultant Position
- Helpful Tips for Success When Applying as a TN Visa Management Consultant
- Documents to Include with Your TN Visa Management Consultant Petition
1. General Overview of the TN Visa
The TN visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States. This visa category is non-immigrant, meaning that it is temporary and does not directly lead to a green card. To qualify for a TN visa, you must have a job offer to work in the US. In addition, your proposed job must be listed on the TN visa occupation list.
Benefits of a TN Visa
- There is no limit to the number of times a TN visa can be renewed.
- Your U.S. employer does not need to get an approved Labor Certification from the US Department of Labor.
- Canadian citizens can apply directly at a U.S. Port of Entry (without getting a visa).
TN Visa Requirements
- Must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
- Must have a job offer to work for a company in the United States
- Proposed job in the US must be listed on the TN Visa Occupation List
- Must satisfy the educational and professional requirements of the US position
- Must have non-immigrant intent
2. Definition of a TN Visa Management Consultant
The TN regulations define management consultants as professionals that are responsible “for providing services that are directed toward improving the managerial, operating, and economic performance of public and private entities by analyzing and resolving strategic and operating problems and thereby improving the entity’s goals, objectives, policies, strategies, administration, organization, and operation.” [Legacy INS IFM ch. 15, “NAFTA Admissions,” 14-1 INS Manuals 15.5]
Essentially, management consultants help businesses by identifying weaknesses and providing guidance on how to improve overall operations.
3. Specific Requirements for Management Consultants
1. Educational and Professional Experience Requirement
The TN regulations specify that a TN visa management consultant should have the following qualifications:
- Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or
- 5 years of experience as a management consultant; or
- 5 years of experience in the field of specialty related to the consulting agreement;
2. Role with US Company
The TN regulations indicate that TN visa management consultants “must be either independent consultants of the U.S. company or employees of a consulting company.“ [Business Immigration Law and Practice 2nd Edition Chapter 14 TN Visa and Status]
Specifically, the INS guidelines state the following:
- “Management consultants are usually independent contractors or employees of consulting firms under contracts to U.S. entities. They may be salaried employees of the U.S. entities to which they are providing services only when they are not assuming existing positions or filing newly created positions. As a salaried employee of such a U.S. entity, they may only fill supernumerary temporary positions. On the other hand, if the employer is a U.S. management consulting firm, the employee may be coming temporarily to fill a permanent position. [Legacy INS IFM ch. 15, “NAFTA Admissions,” 14-1 INS Manuals 15.5]
4. Benefit of Classification as a Management Consultant
No Bachelor’s Degree Required
The vast majority of TN visa professions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The TN visa management consultant position is one of the few which does not require you to have a bachelor’s degree.
The management position is one of the few TN professions which allows you to have 5 years of professional experience instead of a bachelor’s degree.
5. Higher Scrutiny for Management Consultant Position
- The TN visa management consultant position is one of the most difficult TN visa professions to get approved.
- Because there is no requirement to have a bachelor’s degree, the management consultant category is often misused and abused by U.S. employers looking to fill a position within their company.
- For these reasons, immigration officials pay particularly close attention to the management consultant position.
- Immigration officials apply a higher degree of scrutiny to the management consultant position.
6. Helpful Tips for Success When Applying as a TN Visa Management Consultant
Here are some helpful tips to consider when applying for a TN visa as a management consultant:
1. Work with an Experienced Immigration Lawyer
- Management consultants face higher scrutiny than other TN visa applicants.
- To give yourself an advantage, you may wish to work with an immigration lawyer that has particular experience handling management consultant cases.
2. Understand Your Case
- You should be prepared to answer questions regarding the details of your case.
- Questions you should know the answers to: 1) What are you daily job duties? 2) Are you an independent contractor or an employee with your U.S. employer? 3) What is the reason for your assignment with the U.S. employer?
- Knowing the details of your case will help you if/when you are questioned by an immigration official.
3. Include the Right Documentation
- This is another area where an immigration lawyer will be helpful.
- It is important to include documentation that clearly explains the specifics of your case.
- Please see below for a general list of documents that should be included with your case.
7. Documents to Include with Your TN Visa Management Consultant Petition
Here is a general list of some documents to include:
- Copy of passport;
- Letter from U.S. employer clearly explaining the need for your services as a management consultant
- Some type of employment contract or agreement between you and the U.S. employer which explains the terms of your relationship, compensation, etc.
- Degree transcripts (if applicable)
- Evidence of your non-immigrant intent
- Evidence of your past experience as a management consultant (if applicable)
The TN visa is a great way for citizens of Canada and Mexico to live and work in the United States. There are over 60 different types of professions eligible for a TN visa. One of the most popular is the management consultant position. Through designation as a management consultant, someone can be eligible for a TN visa even if they do not have a bachelor’s degree. However, the management consultant position is subject to higher scrutiny than other TN visa professions. For this reason, it is preferable to work closely with an experienced immigration lawyer, if you plan to apply for a TN visa as a management consultant.
If you need help with your TN visa, or if you have any questions regarding the information discussed in this guide, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I’d be happy to help you.
- Business Immigration Law and Practice 2nd Edition Chapter 14 TN Visa and Status