Doctor Faces Criminal Charges for TN Visa Fraud
Unlike under the H-1B visa, Physicians working in the U.S. under TN visa status may only fill teaching or research positions. They cannot provide direct patient care.
A Florida doctor is being charged criminally with visa fraud for allegedly utilizing the TN visa Physician category to operate his own medical practice for more than a decade. Apparently this doctor, a Canadian citizen, had applied for a TN under the Physician category claiming he was working in a research position only, and continued to renew his TNs making the same claim. Immigration officials began to investigate the doctor in 2012, and he is now facing criminal charges in a federal court in Florida.
It is unusual for a TN visa worker to be charged criminally with visa fraud. In most cases, a TN visa worker's alleged fraudulent act, or visa violation comes to light during inspection by USCBP at a U.S. port-of-entry. If a CBP officer believes some type of violation occurs, the officer will usually deny the individual entry and revoke his/her TN visa status. In more egregious cases, an individual may be expedited removed (resulting in a 5-year ban to the U.S.), or charged with fraud (a lifetime ban). While still very severe, these are both civil penalties issued directly at the port-of-entry, and are not considered criminal proceedings.