TN Visa not required if working for US Client from outside the US

If I was doing consulting work for a US client and the work was done from Canada, is a TN visa required? I may never cross into the US to do the work. It can all be done remotely from Canada.


TN Visas like all US Work Permits are necessary if you intend to do work from within the USA. If as you describe, your consultant work will be conducted outside of the US, you would not need to apply for a TN Visa or any US Work Visas. However, if you find that you need to enter the US to service your US client and what you will be doing with be beyond just attending business meetings, negotiating contracts etc.(which are what we describe as standard B-1 Visa activities for which you do not require a Work Permit), you may have to apply for a US Work Permit. Often such scenarios are not so “black and white”.

Therefore before entering into a business arrangement with a US Employer or US Client, make sure what are the specific duties you will be performing from within the US, if any, before going ahead. You may find that you do in fact need a TN Visa or another type of US work permit first.

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.

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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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