A TN visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows qualifying Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily enter the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Over 60 professions qualify for TN visa status, making it a very popular option for professionals seeking to live and work in the United States.
Benefits of a TN Visa
Some of the reasons why the TN visa is an attractive option for Canadians include:
- Quick processing times. Canadian citizens seeking to work in the U.S. may get the TN visa processed same-day at a port of entry. This ability to avoid consular processing is a huge advantage;
- The application fees are inexpensive. Compared to other work authorization visa types, the fees for applying at a port of entry are relatively inexpensive. Attorney fees also tend to be less expensive than for other forms of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications (see Sisu Legal’s fees for your TN visa investment here);
- TN visas can be renewed indefinitely (although renewal is never guaranteed). TN visas may be granted for up to three years, and may be renewed indefinitely - although this is never guaranteed. Most other employment visa categories have maximum duration caps;
- Your spouse and dependent children can live in the United States with you. Your spouse and unmarried, minor children may live with you and study in the United States under “TD status”. Although they may live in the U.S. with you, they will not be issued open permits;
- No labor certification application (PERM) is required. The employer does not have to prove that there are no qualified U.S. citizens who can do the job, making the immigration process more straightforward, quicker, and employer-friendly.
More information on the TN Visa is available in our Canada & U.S. TN Visa Guide.
Eligibility for a TN visa under the profession of Accountant requires one of the following:
- Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate) degree
- Licenciatura degree
- Certification as a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.)
- Certification as a Chartered Accountant (C.A.)
- Certification as a Certified General Accountant (C.G.A.)
- Certification as a Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.)
Licensure is a post-entry requirement for a TN visa and is not a requirement to obtain a TN visa under the profession of Accountant. A bachelor’s degree is not required under the regulations if the individual holds one of the above-listed certifications. The regulations also do not specify the types of bachelor degrees or majors suitable for an occupation, but the Occupational Outlook Handbook suggests that it is typically a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, such as business.
The regulations themselves do not define the job duties of an Accountant. Therefore, immigration officers rely on the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to establish whether proposed job functions are consistent with those of a Graphic Designer. Per the Handbook, accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records, identify potential areas of opportunity and risk, and provide salutations for businesses and individuals. They ensure that financial records are accurate, that financial and data risks are evaluated, and that taxes are paid properly. They also assess financial operations and work to help ensure that operations run efficiently. Accountants and auditors typically do the following:
- Examine financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
- Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
- Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures and identify potential risks for fraud
- Organize, analyze, and maintain financial records
- Assess financial operations, identify risks and challenges, and make best practices recommendations to management
- Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
Additional details on Accountant job duties that an immigration officer will look at are available in the Handbook.
In addition to the above, the applicant will only qualify for a TN visa if:
- They are a citizen of Canada or Mexico - permanent residents of either country are not eligible;
- They are seeking temporary entry - The TN visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning the applicant must have temporary intent. The applicant must satisfy the examining officer that they will leave the United States when their employment concludes;
- They have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer or be servicing a contract with a U.S. client. Self-employment is not allowed under TN status;
- They must perform duties consistent with the profession, as defined by the Occupational Outlook Handbook (see above); and
- The applicant meets the qualifications of the profession.