The article discusses and answers frequently asked questions related to TN Visa change of employer.
TN visa is temporary work visa for citizens of Mexico or Canada. TN visa is available to members of one of the NAFTA professions, and allows workers to come and work in the U.S. for a U.S. company as a professional. The TN visa is given for an initial period of 3 years, and can be renewed or extended as many times as needed as long as the visa holder continues to work for the US employer with the same job duties.
Is TN visa tied to an employer?
The TN visa is not employer-specific and if the employment ends, the TN worker can work for a different employer as long as the position with the new employer constitutes business activities at a professional level as required for TN classification.
When entering on a TN visa, workers enter to work for a specific employer, the one listed on the TN visa application. If a TN worker wants to add another employer or to change the current employer, she or he can do so and have the new employer annotated on their visa or recorded on their I-94 status.
Can you change employer on TN Visa?
Yes, you can change employer on a TN visa and transfer to another company or you can add an additional employer on TN visa.
A new or additional TN visa may be required for the TN visa change of employer or addition of an employer, especially for management consultants or part-time TN visa holders who secure employment for more than one employer concurrently.
You cannot commence employment with a new or different employer until CBP has approved a new TN visa application at a port of entry or USCIS has approved a new petition. However, if you are transferred to another branch or office of the same employer to perform the same services, then you do not need to apply for a new TN visa unless the transfer is to a separately incorporated legal entity.
If a Canadian citizen wishes to add a TN visa employer, they will need to return to the port of entry to add employers, or a new employer must file a petition with USCIS, and additional fees will apply.
If the TN visa is initially approved for only one employer, a Mexican citizen can present letters from the additional or different employer at the port of entry with their existing TN visa or proof of an approved I-129 petition in order to add new, concurrent employers.
Do you need to cancel TN visa when switching jobs?
There is no requirement that the TN employer or worker notify the US consulate that issued the visa, the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) or the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) that the employer-employee relationship has been terminated. However, you need a TN approval for the new job.
What happens if you quit your job on a TN visa?
If you quit while on TN visa, you have 60 days grace period counted from the last day of employment. In cases where the expiration date of the person’s I-94 record comes first, the grace status is up until the expiration date listed on the I-94 record. During the grace period a TN employee may get ready to leave the United States, apply for a new TN visa with a new employer, or change status to a different visa classification such as a visitor B1/B2 visa or other visas.
TN visa change of employer process for Canadians
For TN visa change of employers, a Canadian citizen could:
- Leave the United States and apply for readmission in TN status at a pre-clearance facility an airport or at U.S. port of entry such as land border crossing. When applying for re-admission TN applicants must submit a letter from the new U.S. employer as well as all supporting evidence, as it is required for a new entry under TN status.
- Alternatively, if the Canadian worker remains in the U.S., the new employer can file a non-immigrant worker petition with the USCIS. The TN worker will not be able to start working for the new employer before the petition is approved. However, 15 days premium processing is available to change employers on TN visa with USCIS.
TN visa change of employer process for Mexicans
For TN visa change of employers, a Mexican citizen could:
- Go outside of the United States and apply for a new TN visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy. The TN visa applicant will have to submit a letter from the new prospective U.S. employer and provide supporting documents and evidence as required for the initial visa. After obtaining the visa, Mexican TN visa employees still need apply for admission in TN classification at a port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance facility to enter the United States.
- Mexican citizens in possession of a valid TN visa may change employers by departing the U.S. and seeking reentry at a port of entry using the existing TN visa endorsed for the original employer, together with a TN application letter from the new employer. Additional fees apply to adjudicate the new TN application.
- Without the TN employee leaving the United States, the new employer can file a non-immigrant worker petition with the USCIS. The Mexican TN visa employee will not be able to start working for the new employer until the petition is approved. However, USCIS provides 15 days premium processing for TN visa change of employers for an additional fee.
How long does it take to change employer TN visa?
If the Mexican or Canadian employee, chooses to change or add a new employer by having their new employer submit a non-immigrant worker petition with the USCIS, the regular processing time is 3 weeks since the time of filing. However, you can also apply with USCIS premium processing for change of employers on TN visa and receive an answer in 15 calendar days.
For Canadians who choose to leave and reenter, the length of the process depends on how quickly their employers can compile the supporting documents and evidence, and how quickly they can reach a pre-clearance facility or a port of entry.
For Mexican citizens, who choose to get a new visa, the process is constrained by the availability of visa interview slots at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Malescu Law assists with TN visa change of employer
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers