Eligibility for TN Visas: Special Management Consultants

A TN visa allows some professionals, including management consultants, from Canada and Mexico to work temporarily in the United States. You can renew a TN visa an unlimited number of times, and no approved Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor is necessary.

Eligibility Requirements for TN Visas

You must meet certain eligibility requirements to obtain a TN visa, as follows:

    • You must be a Canadian or Mexican citizen.

    • You must have a full or part-time job offer to work for a company in the U.S.

    • The TN Visa Occupation List must list the proposed job.

    • You must satisfy the educational and professional requirements of the U.S. position.

    • You have a non-immigrant intent in accepting the job.

Defining Management Consultants for the Purposes of TN Visas

According to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), management consultants provide services to private and public entities to improve their managerial, economic, and operating performance. These consultants analyze strategic and operating problems and weaknesses and offer solutions and guidance for resolving those issues. They aim to improve the entity’s overall administration, objectives, and performance.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Occupational Labor Handbook also lists the following job duties for management analysts and consultants:

    • Gather and organize information about the problems to be solved or the procedures to be improved

    • Interview personnel and conduct onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed

    • Analyze financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports

    • Develop solutions or alternative practices

    • Recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes

    • Make recommendations to management through presentations or written reports

    • Confer with managers to ensure changes are working

Requirements for TN Visa Management Consultants

The TN visa requires that eligible management consultants have the following education and experience:

    • Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or

    • Five years of experience as a management consultant; or

    • Five years of experience in the field of specialty related to the consulting agreement

Furthermore, management consultants must either be independent consultants of the U.S. company or employees of a consulting company with a contract with a U.S. entity. They can be salaried employees of the U.S. company to which they provide services, but only if they do not fill existing or newly created positions. They may only fill supernumerary temporary positions or those that meet short-term needs within the company.

Scrutiny for TN Visa Management Consultants

Notably, the management consultant category is one of the few on the TN Visa Occupation List that does not require the applicant to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Since the TN visa management consultant does not require the applicant to have a bachelor’s degree, U.S. employers often attempt to misuse this category to fill positions within their companies. As a result, TN visa applications for management consultants are subject to heightened scrutiny and often are difficult to procure. The overall denial rate for TN visa applications is quite high.

A successful TN visa management consultant application will include proof of a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura degree or professional experience consistent with the abovementioned requirements. Additionally, the application should include documented proof describing the nature of the work to be performed, how long the work will take, and an explanation as to why that amount of time is necessary to complete the work.

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