A TN visa cannot be had by freelance workers or those self-employed. For that reason, you cannot work for a company on a TN visa status where you are the owner or controlling shareholder.
Under the TN, you must be hired by a U.S. employer where you must work in the position stated on your application.
Can I work as a 1099 or W2 on a TN Visa?
A 1099 makes you an independent contractor. You receive a gross salary with no deductions. You are regarded as a corporation and are responsible for paying your taxes to the government. You may work as an independent contractor as explained later on. A W2 makes you a company employee where various taxes are deducted from your salary. W2 workers easily fit into the scope of the TN visa.
Can I work as an independent contractor in the United States?
Although you will not be allowed to work as a self-employed professional, you can work for a U.S. company as an independent contractor on a TN visa status provided you have TN approval to work for that specific company.
Employees usually receive W-2 tax documents while you would receive a 1099 as an independent contractor.
Can a TN visa holder work as an independent contractor or should they be a W2 employee?
The majority of TN visa holders are employees. However, it is possible to work on a 1099 basis. Management consultants are one category of TN professionals that often work as independent contractors. These TN professionals provide services that analyze and resolve management problems to improve the performance of public and private business entities.
Can one work as an independent contractor if they are not a management consultant? This is generally allowed although TN regulations do not provide a specific answer. TN regulations have no explicit requirements that TN employees are W2s rather than independent contractors.
An examiner expects most TN applicants are employees and may have doubts whether a real job exists for a TN independent contractor. TN applicants who will work as independent contractors in the U.S. should be prepared for further questioning at the border.
Can I start a company in the U.S. and work for it on TN visa?
As mentioned, an applicant is not allowed to self-petition or be self-employed on TN visa. You cannot work for a company on a TN visa where you are the owner or a controlling stockholder. You must work for the petitioning employer in the job position stated on your application.
If you want to establish a company in the United States that you want to operate, you may determine if the E-2 Treaty Investor visa is a good, first choice. An experienced immigration attorney can provide more information to help clarify the matter.
Contact Richards and Jurusik
The improper filing of a TN visa application can lead to disapproval and, consequently, employment delays. Or worse, a denied visa application can result in lost fees, a missed employment opportunity, and further expenses for appeals.
Our specialized practice of the Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States has provided us the particular expertise in the preparation, filing and obtaining TN visa status for Canadian citizens. Contact our office today to receive the latest legal advice relevant to your situation. We can identify any potential legal problems that can complicate your TN visa application process.
To discuss the TN visa application with an experienced immigration lawyer, feel free to contact us by email or call us at (866) 697-1832.