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Everything You Need to Know When Applying as a TN Visa Management Consultant

TN Visa NAFTA Occupation of Management Consultant is incontrovertibly the most popular among all categories however it is also the most scrutinized by Immigration Officers. This is partly because it is one of the few NAFTA occupations that you can apply and qualify for without holding a formal degree. It is one of the most highly scrutinized NAFTA professional categories due to various reasons we will discuss in this article.

The TN visa management consultant category was first listed in the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1989 and was available only to Canadian citizens. [54 Federal Register 12 (Jan. 3, 1989)].

In 1994, the management consultant occupational position was included in the NAFTA list of available positions. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).

TN Visa Management Consultant Job Description

According to NAFTA, “Management consultants provide services that are directed toward improving the managerial, operating, and economic performance of public and private entities by analyzing and resolving strategic and operating problems and thereby improving the entity’s goals, objectives, policies, strategies, and administration, organization, and operation” NAFTA Handbook, pg. 145.

Essentially, a TN management consultant visa is for a qualified professional designated to help businesses or organizations improve their performance by providing expert advice to solve problems hence promoting growth.

TN Visa Management Consultant Requirements:

#1. Education and/or professional experience

Eligible applicants for TN Visa must possess at least one of the three:

  • A Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • At least 5 years of experience as a management consultant
  • 5 years of experience in the field of specialty related to the consulting agreement

It is best to understand that an individual seeking to qualify for a consultant visa can fail if the submitted job description is not consistent with the TN management occupation as defined by NAFTA.

#2. Must not be involved in an active management role of the company or a department and cannot fill a regular or permanent position

Management consultant TN status applicant, as per the guidelines, cannot fill any regular or permanent position within the company. Instead, he or she can only act as an outside consultant to the company—reporting and giving suggestions and recommendations to the company without helping implement them.

The TN management consultant can either be an independent consultant or an employee of a consulting firm contracted by US entities to which they provide consulting services. 

If an employee of such entities, the management consultant must not be assuming an existing position or filling a newly created position within the company. He or she may only come in to fill supernumerary temporary positions. 

On the other hand, if the TN applicant is an employee of a U.S. management consulting firm, he or she may come in temporarily to fill a permanent position. This means that the TN applicant may attain a visa to provide services for the clients of the consulting firm.

TN Visa Denials for Management Consultant Applications

As we mentioned earlier, the NAFTA management consultant category is highly scrutinized and can be quite difficult to qualify for. In some cases, TN consultant visa applications will be denied altogether under circumstances that may include:

  • TN applicant for management consultant position fails to provide documented proof describing the nature of work to be performed, how long the assignment will take as well as failing to justify the time requested for the assignment to be completed.
  • TN applicant does not provide evidence of educational (Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree) or professional experience consistent with the requirements under the NAFTA management consultant occupation.

Why is The Management Consultant Visa Category Highly Scrutinized?

The main reason TN visa for a management consultant is a heavily scrutinized category under NAFTA is that it is susceptible to misuse and abuse by employers who seek to fill positions within their companies.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors, therefore, must determine that the position you are pursuing is truly a consultant position.

Also, its scrutiny is partially a result of the fact that eligibility for the position does not necessarily require a formal degree; this flexibility itself is considered to be a pitfall.

Recommendations When Applying as a TN Visa Management Consultant

1. Use the TN Visa Expert Kit – Platinum Edition with Sample Management Consultant Application Letter

TN Visa applicants have successfully used the TN Visa Kit – Platinum Edition for over 18 years to obtain their TN Visa as a Management Consultant. The Kit provides:

  • Several Management Consultant sample letters to use as a reference
  • Step by Step instructions on how to create your TN Visa Application Letter
  • What supporting documents are required
  • What extra supporting documents to bring with you but not show unless you are being scrutinized
  • Latest border information and the questions Immigration Officers are asking 
  • Special Chapter of how to prepare for the Border – what to say, what not to say

The TN Visa Expert Kit – Platinum Edition prepares you so you can confidently create your application, teach you everything about the TN Visa and be prepared to stand in front of the Immigration Officer and apply for your TN Visa.

The TN Visa Kit is all inclusive. It contains special Chapters for Americans and Mexicans explaining the additional steps required and supporting documents to include in your application.

2. Contact TN Visa Expert to schedule a free initial consultation

If you need more support than the TN Visa Expert Kit, working with an experienced lawyer is your next best option. The complexity of management consultant petitions means that it is hard to get a TN visa in this category approved.

To save yourself from all the predicaments associated with it, it is best to seek the help of a lawyer experienced in working on TN visa cases, especially TN visas for management consultants.

An Experienced lawyer can help you with the general presentation of your TN visa management consultant applications as well as petition letters. Moreover, a lawyer can help you navigate and prepare for TN-related questions.

3. Anticipate possible questions related to your case

If you are applying for a TN consultant visa in person at the border, the border agent will ask you questions that you will need to answer on the spot.

This can make your application a bit trickier especially if you are not able to answer the questions right.

Remember, this is a very difficult visa to be approved and your answers should be able to persuade/convince the agent. Otherwise, you’d miss out.

  • Be Prepared to Answer Questions – about your TN Management Consultant role.

These questions are meant to determine whether you understand your job duties as a consultant and if they are consistent with the NAFTA requirements for this category. Therefore, you should be able to correctly answer if asked about your daily job duties.

  • Be Prepared to Answer Questions – about your Employer’s company

The border agents will ask you about your new company, and they may visit your new employer’s website for a better understanding of the firm. Such being the case, you should have a greater understanding of your new employer and be able to clearly explain the main purpose of the firm.

  • Questions about your Immigration (temporary) Intent

TN status is a non-immigrant status meaning it offers a temporary stay (mostly up to 3 years) during your assignment. As such, you must not have any intentions of permanently staying in the US. Any possible intentions of permanent resident status in the US may lead to your application denial.

  • Be prepared to talk about your experience and qualifications

It is important to outline and provide papers relevant to the category under which you are applying. For management consultant jobs under NAFTA, business management courses may strengthen your application. Similarly, reference letters from your past employers may boost your chances of approval as a TN visa holder. These reference letters, however, must be legitimate as forged letters may lead to TN management consultant visa denial.

Documents Required when Applying as a TN Visa Management Consultant:

  1. Copy of passport or birth certificate (to prove your citizenship)
  2. A Bachelor’s Degree transcript (if applicable) or proof of relevant 5-year prior experience.
  3. A cover letter that explains:
    • The reason why the company needs a management consultant.
    • A confirmation that the consultant will not engage in the day-to-day managerial role within the company.
    • The system of methods that the consultant will use to identify and solve issues/problems.
    • To whom will the management consultant report findings and recommendations?
    • Evidence of the applicant’s non-immigrant intent.

Talking about letters, you must know the difference between an application letter and a contract letter. The application letter addresses each item that determines how you and the job you are applying for meet the NAFTA TN management consultant visa requirements. On the other hand, a contract letter is a signed legal document between you and your employer. 


TN Visa for management consultants offers a simple way for Canadian and Mexican citizens who qualify as management consultants to work in the United States. Among over 60 available NAFTA professional occupations, the management consultant category is the most difficult category to get approval for even though it does not require formal education qualifications. Before applying for this category, it is vital to understand the requirements–which can be a bit confusing. That being the case, the best and sure way to get your TN visa as a management consultant is to follow recommendations put forward by experts.

TN Visa Expert is here to provide you with options to successfully obtain your TN Visa and help you with as much or as little support as you want.

You can talk to Jacob Sapochnick, the founder of TN Visa Expert to strategize about your situation and learn how to live long term in the US.

If you intend to save money and apply on your own, download the TN Visa Expert Kit – Platinum Edition.

Finally, you can contact us and we’ll schedule a call with Jacob Sapochnick or a Lawyer. Let us know what works best for you and we’ll help support you in this amazing journey you are starting!

Last week US Immigration granted my TN Status. I wanted you to know how much I appreciate the advice you (TN Visa Expert Kit and Legal Network Lawyer) provided, the assistance in drafting and assembling appropriate documents, and your coaching.
I had been turned away twice in the last eight months for insufficient documentation.
I am so pleased with your work that I am recommending your services to the President of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.


-Don Fowke, Management Consultant
From Toronto, Ontario
Member of Canadian Management Association of Canada