TN Visa Approval for 3 Years – Management Consultant


The applicant in this case (a Canadian citizen who we’ll call Mr. Telecom), had a 3 year Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Canada and about 13 years of project management experience in the telecommunications industry. For the past 6 years, Mr. Telecom operated his own consulting firm in Canada. He had a job opportunity with a U.S. consulting firm (let’s call it Consult USA), which wanted to engage Mr. Telecom to provide consulting services to Consult USA’s clients regarding their wireless network development and deployment projects. Mr. Telecom came to us to see if he could qualify for a TN visa.


The first issue we looked at was whether Mr. Telecom’s opportunity fell under the Management Consultant TN visa category. His engagement was with a U.S. consulting firm, so we did not have to worry about the supernumerary requirement for Management Consultant TN visas. Mr. Telecom would be advising Consult USA’s clients on how to improve the project management of their wireless network development and deployment projects. As long as Mr. Telecom himself was not engaging in any managerial duties, which is generally impermissible for a Management Consultant TN visa, we could make a case for a Management Consultant. As Mr. Telecom’s duties were consistent with the description of a Management Consultant provided in the NAFTA Handbook, we did not see a problem on this point.  

The second issue was to confirm that Mr. Telecom possessed the credentials to qualify for TN visa status as a Management Consultant. To qualify for this TN visa category, the applicant must possess either (1) a bachelor’s degree; (2) five years of experience in the field; or (3) five years experience in consulting. Mr. Telecom had both the sufficient amount of experience in the field and in consulting to qualify, but did not have immediate proof to document the required 5 years of experience (e.g. reference letters or consulting contracts). He would have to rely on his Bachelor’s degree, which could have posed a problem because it was a 3 year degree. Normally a 3 year degree may not be sufficient to meet the bachelor degree requirements for U.S. immigration. However, legacy INS guidance tells us that a 3 year bachelor’s degree from Canada is common and acceptable for purposes of a TC visa (the precursor to the TN visa). Based on this guidance, we believed Mr. Telecom could qualify for a Management Consultant TN.


We assisted Mr. Telecom with preparing a consulting agreement between his company and Consult USA and also a support letter describing the petitioner, the consulting engagement including the nature of Mr. Telecom’s consulting assignments, and Mr. Telecom’s credentials. We also prepared a cover letter to U.S. CBP outlining how Mr. Telecom qualified for TN visa status as a Management Consultant and prepared supporting documentation to address Mr. Telecom’s degree if it became an issue during inspection.


We accompanied Mr. Telecom to a U.S. port-of-entry for submission of the application. Following review and inspection by CBP, Mr. Telecom received TN visa status for a 3 year period under the Management Consultant category.