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Can I work as a W2 or 1099 on a TN Visa?

First, some quick clarifications: A W2 makes you an employee of a company and the employer deducts various taxes from your paycheck. A 1099 is an independent contractor (similar to Corp to Corp) and you are paid the gross amount without any deductions. Your are responsible to pay the taxes to the government and you are treated like a corporation.

The Definite TN Visa Classification and Employment Status

Under the TN, you must be employed by an U.S. employment agency. Working as a 1099 is a grey area and may or may not be considered to meet the TN requirements. Tell your employer, you need to work as a W2. If they decline to do this, have the recruiting firm hire you as a W2 and then contract you out to the employer. The cleanest option is to work as a W2 employee.

Confused about working as W-2 or 1099 with your TN visa? Don’t be! Our TN visa lawyers can clarify your eligibility and ensure your employment status meets all requirements. Work with peace of mind. Contact us now!

The Grey Area with TN Visa Classification

There are rumors that Immigration Field Officers have been advised that the E-2 treaty investor visa may be required when working as a 1099. Most lawyers will recommend working only as a W2 since this is the safest option. People have been obtaining the TN when working on a 1099, so there is ambiguity here.


If you wish to work as a 1099, you can attempt to obtain your TN Visa — many people have done so successfully. Nevertheless, you may want to also determine if the E2 visa will work for you first.

 Contact us for further clarification.

Your Next Step: Download the TN Application Employer Edition to get to know everything about TN Visa Classifications and Employment Statuses.

The choice is yours, please choose wisely – your future depends on it.