I would like to draw everyone's attention to NAFTA and the TN Work Visa, offering a pre-primer or re-primer of sorts. Although a citizen of Canada or Mexico will not qualify for the TN where the purpose is self-employment, it was recently brought to my attention that the INS interprets self-employment to include "any" ownership interest in the employing entity, with no de minimis rule. It is my understanding that many TN holders, and even some immigration practitioners, are not aware of this interpretation guidance, and all may be in for a nasty surprise when it comes time to renew the TN.
Much has changed since the terror attacks of 2001, and continues to do so in their ongoing aftermath, with continued threats and a general climate of very heightened awareness and concern. We have already seen renewed and novel enforcements, such as the AR-11 Change of Address reporting requirements and the widespread registration requirements for various and assorted "non-US citizens". It comes, then, as no surprise, to see enhancements in other aspects of immigration law and procedure, especially with the impending amalgamation of the INS and many other entities into the Department of Homeland Security, and perhaps some concern for job security on the part of the personnel to be affected by this amalgamation.
I do not practice immigration law, and am therefore not widely knowledgeable in the area. However, we all know for a fact that there is much more vigilance, dotting of "I"s, and crossing of "T"s when it comes to crossing the US border, from anywhere. While it is quite possible that Canadians and Mexicans who might arguably fall, or appear to fall, into the self-employment category may have slipped through the system before, they would be well-advised to seek-out competent and knowledgeable immigration counsel and fully consider other types of work Visa that might be available to them as citizens of these countries.
Ekundayo George, Esq.
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