Multiple TN Visas:

How To Work For More Than One Employer

Introduction

The NAFTA TN visa classification, which is available exclusively to Canadian and Mexican Citizens, not only allows TN visa holders to work in the U.S. in a variety of professional occupations, but also allows them to work for multiple employers in the U.S. simultaneously.

TN visa holders have several ways to seek approval to work for more than one employer. Furthermore, there are distinct differences in the process to add new employers for Canadian and Mexican Citizens, often adding to the confusion of how to navigate the process.

For the benefit of those in TN status, we present here pointers on how to successfully steer through the process of securing multiple TN visas.

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A. Working For Multiple Employers Under The TN Visa Classification

TN status is employer-specific, meaning TN visa holders can work only for the U.S. employer or employers listed on the TN application. Working for any employer different from the one(s) listed in the TN application is a violation of U.S. immigration laws.

Canadian and Mexican Citizens working in the U.S. in TN status can work for multiple employers at any time, as long as the proper procedures are followed.

The process for adding additional employers under TN visa classification differs for Canadians and Mexicans. Let’s take a closer look at both.


1. Multiple TN Visas – Canadian TN

Canadian nationals are exempt from having to obtain nonimmigrant TN visas. As such, Canadian nationals may obtain TN status by applying directly with the CBP at a Class A Port-of-Entry or Pre-Clearance Inspection Station.

In order to work for multiple employers, Canadian Nationals in TN status should:

1.Apply at the Port of Entry and present the required letter from each employer with the other supporting evidence required for initial entry.

a.Land Ports of Entry: CBP should annotate the list of employers on the back of the paper I-94 record.

b.Airports and Pre-Clearance Inspection Stations: CBP should list the names of all the employers on the electronic I-94. OR

2.Have the additional employer(s) file Form I-129 with USCIS requesting new “Concurrent” employment.

If a Canadian Citizen is in the U.S. in valid TN status and would like to work for an additional employer, he or she can simply go to a Port-of-Entry with the required letter from the 2nd employer and supporting evidence. The employee must be sure to inform CBP that the new employment will be in addition to the current TN employment.


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My Case Scenario
John

John is a Canadian national. He has been working in the U.S. as a Chemical Engineer with a major manufacturing company in TN status. He has been offered an opportunity to teach Chemical Engineering courses at the local college. He would like to keep working as a Chemical Engineer and teach at the same time. Can John work for two different employers, in 2 different TN occupational classifications?

The answer to both questions, is “yes”. Both Engineering and College Teacher are occupations that qualify for TN status. As long as John qualifies for both, he can be employed in those occupations. In order to work at the college in addition to the manufacturing company, John has 2 options:

1.Leave the U.S. and re-enter by going to a qualifying port of entry and present the required letter from the college along with the required evidence. John must specify that the new employment will be in addition to his employment at the manufacturing company.

2.Have the college file Form I-129 petition with USCIS indicating that the employment with the college will be “concurrent”.


2. Multiple TN Visas – Mexican TN

In order to work for multiple employers, Mexican Nationals in TN status can:

1.Apply for a new TN visa and present the required letter from each employer with the other supporting evidence required for the initial visa. The visa should be annotated to list all the employers. OR

2.Have the additional employer(s) file Form I-129 with USCIS requesting new “Concurrent” employment.

DID YOU KNOW
Mexican nationals who are outside the U.S. and have a valid TN visa can add concurrent employers simply by presenting the required letter from the additional employer(s), or by presenting an USCIS approval notice for the concurrent employment to the CBP at the Port-of-Entry. A new visa is not required.

B. Working For Multiple Employers In TN Status: Things To Remember

While adding concurrent or additional TN employers generally appears straightforward, it does have many nuances that employers and employees should keep in mind.

  • Changes in employment, which can include adding additional TN employers, requires notifying immigration to ensure that you maintain valid nonimmigrant TN status.
  • If the prospective employer files a Form I-129 seeking new concurrent employment under TN visa classification, applicants in TN status must wait until the petition is approved before they can begin working for the additional employer. Portability provisions available to H-1B visa holders is not available to those in TN status.
  • In complex scenarios, where the TN applications were previously denied by CBP at the Port-of-Entry for Canadians or by the U.S. Consulate for Mexicans, the employer should consider filing Form I-129 to obtain an approval from USCIS. The Beneficiary can then present the USCIS Approval Notice to CBP or the U.S. Consulate to obtain entry or the visa, respectively.

Conclusion

The process of securing multiple TN visas has many nuances. While there are many ways in which Canadians and Mexicans can obtain permission from immigration to work for more than one employer under TN visa classification, there are also differences in the way Canadian and Mexican Citizens can seek this permission. TN workers and employers who are seeking to work for more than one TN employer must evaluate all available options to determine the one most suitable in their situation.

If you have any questions regarding changes to your TN status, or need help in filing for a US work visa, contact our experienced immigration attorneys immediately for a FREE Immigration Consultation.

We’ll analyze your specific situation and recommend the most effective strategy based on our attorneys’ near 100% success rates.


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