In this article we discuss can a spouse, husband or wife, work on a TN visa? The answer is no, a spouse of a TN visa holder cannot work in the United States unless they are otherwise authorized to do so by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Moreover, the spouse and minor unmarried children are not permitted to accept employment in the United States on a TN visa, regardless of whether they are citizens of Canada, Mexico or any other third country. For the spouse to work in the US, he or she can pursue a different visa category that allows employment as discussed below.
The TN visa is a temporary visa for the US that allows citizens of Canada or Mexico who are members of one of the NAFTA professions to come and live and work in the United States for a U.S. company.
The principal TN visa holder can work for a US employer, and generally, a dependent spouse, husband or wife of a TN professional, and children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 can join the TN visa holder in the United States but the spouse and children are not allowed to work unless authorized by the DHS. The spouse and children are granted TD (Trade Dependent) status for the same period of time granted to the principal TN visa holder.
Because the spouse is not authorized to work on TN visa, then he or she cannot accept employment and therefore cannot perform any service or labor for an employer within the territory of the United States. Employment generally refers to a relationship where a person provides services or labor and is remunerated for those services. However, under US federal law, employment does not include casual employment by individuals who provide domestic service in a private home that is sporadic, irregular or intermittent.
In practice, this means that a spouse on a TN visa cannot work online for a foreign company from the United States. Any work that is performed while in the US for a foreign employer, even if the salary is paid to a foreign bank account is strictly prohibited because this is considered employment under U.S. federal law. The same applies for self-employment.
For example, if you are the husband or wife of a principal TN visa holder from Canada who is working in the United States as a hotel manager, and you are employed by a company in Toronto, you will not be permitted to work for your Canadian employer while in the United States, even if you are paid salary in your bank account in Canada.
For the dependent spouse of a TN visa holder to work in the US, he or she can apply for another type of visa that allows employment including, a separate TN visa as principal applicant, an E2 visa, L1 visa, E1 visa, H1B visa or others. Without proper work authorization, the spouse of a TN visa holder is not permitted to work in the US.
However, while the spouse and children are not permitted to work on a TN visa in the United States, both spouse and children (unmarried and under age 21) can study on a full-time basis in the US and attend private or public schools and universities without requesting a change of status to a student visa such as F-1, M-1 or J-1 visa.
Can a spouse, husband or wife, work on TN visa? Our TN visa lawyers in Miami, Florida USA can assist you with the TN visa, understanding the status of spouses or children of TN visa holders and whether the spouse can work on a TN visa. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Malescu Law P.A. – TN Visa Lawyers