Warning: Make sure the US company agrees to Sponsor you for a US Work Visa before accepting the Job

It is an all too often scenario where we see Canadian citizens and other nationals offered US jobs only to find out that their company does not “sponsor people for US work visas“. Many people go into employment negotiations assuming that all that is required to work in the US is to obtain a job offer and volia, they can work in the US. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Not only does the applicant (foreign worker) have to qualify for the US work visa, but the US company has agree to hire non-US citizens or non-Green Card holders.

Below is an recent email exchange between myself and someone who received a job offer from the Oprah Winfrey Show only to be told by their HR Department later on that they don’t do Visas. (all names have been removed for privacy)


Hi Michael,

I just spent a good part of the morning speaking to the VP of Human Resources at Harpo.  She says that Harpo DOES NOT issue visas and she is not willing to make an exception in my case.

She has officially retracted the offer 🙁

I’m heartbroken, but you did warn me that some companies just wont do it.

I can’t thank you enough for all your counseling and patience the last 6 months. You’ve been a God Sent.

I’m going to head back to Toronto next week and regroup.

I’ll attempt this again once I’ve gotten back on my feet a bit.

I guarantee I’ll need your services in the very near future, and as promised, will never go to anyone but you!

Thanks again Michael,


Hi S

I am so sorry to hear that.

It is unfortunate that often these companies do not understand NAFTA provisions. Unlike with other visa applications, with TN NAFTA applications the company is really not sponsoring you at all. All they are doing is offering you the job with a job offer letter (like they would with a US Citizen) and that is it. You do all the rest. The visa is issued to you by US Customs and Border Protection not by the company. For other visas, things are different.

Anyway I am sure you will find a suitable employer and we are available anytime to answer your questions.

Best of luck


Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: American companies offering sponsorship TN status+sponsor company US corporate job sponsorship visa for sure america which companies sponsor tn visa will us firms sponsor

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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