Although TN visa status is employer specific, you can change your employer at any time. In order to do this you will need to obtain new TN status for the new employer. You must have an approved TN for the new employer before you start working. Working for an employer other than the one listed on the I-94 card is an immigration violation. Just because you have been issued TN visa status does not mean that you can work for any employer on that specific TN. Each TN issued is directly tied to a specific employer and can only be used to work for that employer. A job change or the addition of another position requires the attainment of a new TN for the new employer. A change of employer can be done one of two ways:
- Change of Employer via Form I-129 – If you are changing your TN employer, still have validity on your current TN, and will be working under the same TN profession, you can change TN employers by filing Form I-129 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This option allows current TN visa holders who have a change in employment the convenience of changing employers through a service center. This eliminates the need to travel to a port of entry to seek a change of employer. The down side to changing employers by filing Form I-129 is a delayed response and USCIS filing fees. Currently TN visas take about 2 months to process. This process can be reduced to as little as 15 days by paying a premium processing fee to USCIS.
- Change of Employer at a Port of Entry – The option to change employers is always available at a port of entry. When applying for a TN visa for a new employer at a port of entry, a new packet must be presented along with the new offer letter from the new employer. Applications for TN visa status to work for a new employer are given the same amount of scrutiny as initial TN visa applications. It is important that the TN visa change of employer application be prepared with the same attention to detail as the initial application. Changing TN employers at a port of entry offers the convenience of a same day decision and avoids USCIS filing fees.
Depending on the proximity of your current employment to a U.S. port of entry, the time you are willing to invest in the process and your budget, preferences can vary. We are experienced in obtaining TN visas for Canadians that have changes in employment. If you have received a job offer from a new employer and need a new TN visa, contact us today for a free assessment of your TN visa needs.