Every single US Visa has different rules and their own set of strict requirements. That is why it is vital to check the exact parameters of any visa before making any changes in your life, like a second job. Failing to understand the rules can put your immigration status in jeopardy and cost you in penalties and fees. So, let’s take a deeper look at the TN Visa to figure out the best path for getting a second job.
Current Status of the TN Visa
In September 2018, the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to a new trade deal between the three countries. The new deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) would, if approved by all three countries, replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).
This radical shift in trade had many who follow US immigration law concerned for the fate of the TN, or trade NAFTA, visa program. Luckily, at the time of this writing, the provisions that provide for the temporary entry of professionals to work in the US, the TN visa, will remain the same as they were under NAFTA.
Basic TN Visa Requirements
The TN Visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, in a narrow set of professions and circumstances, to work in the US on a temporary work visa.
The requirements for the TN visa include:
- The TN applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico
- An applicant’s profession is on the NAFTA professions list, a narrow list of only 60 jobs
- The job requires someone of the level of a NAFTA professional
- An offer to work in the US in a NAFTA profession
- The TN applicant has the qualifications required for such profession
What About a Second Job?
The TN Visa is employer specific. Therefore, the visa is for that employer only. It does not give the holder the right to work anywhere else in the US or obtain a second job.
Unlike other visas, though, an individual can apply for more than one TN visa at a time. So, you may work a second job while here in the US, but you will have to obtain another TN for that employer before beginning your second job.
What If I Don’t Get a Second TN Visa?
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the strict rules surrounding the TN visa and second jobs. Working for a second employer without a new TN is a direct violation of a person’s immigration status. This may subject you to significant penalties in the future.
Having a second job without first getting a TN visa is a serious violation. In some of the worst cases this is deemed unauthorized employment and can result in being banned from certain immigration benefits in the future.
Can I Work From Home?
Home and internet based businesses are often touted as “working for yourself”. Therefore, many think that selling makeup or supplements online has nothing to do with one’s immigration status. But, any and all work performed while a person is physically located in the US requires employment authorization. You must obtain a TN visa for this work as well. And, unfortunately, working without authorization, even simply selling online, is a serious offense in the eyes of the US immigration services.
The US visa system is complicated. If you don’t watch out, the varying rules and regulations can get you in trouble. The TN visa certainly falls into that category. Knowing exactly what you can and cannot do while in the US is vital. Your current and future immigration status is too important.
Navigating the system is challenging. Let one of our skilled immigration attorneys assist in determining if you need a second TN visa or if another visa entirely would better serve your purpose. LawTrades can match you up with a knowledgeable immigration attorney to do just that.