TN Visa Worker to be Sentenced for Visa Violations

A Texas attorney will be sentenced in November for up to 5 years for making false statements in connection with his TN visa status.

After obtaining TN visa status in 1997 with a law firm, the attorney purchased the law practice in 2000, and became the majority shareholder. He then apparently used that firm to sponsor his TN visa applications for the next 14 years. Questions about his ownership must have been raised as a possible violation of the self-employment prohibitions under TN status. But when asked by investigators in 2014, the attorney falsely told investigators that another attorney was the majority shareholder of the firm. The attorney was later indicted for making false statements in connection with his application.

While there is no bright line test for what will violate the self-employment prohibitions under TN status, a TN visa applicant who is the sole or primary owner of the business generally would run afoul of this restriction. Normally, if U.S. immigration determines that a TN visa applicant is engaging in self-employment, the result will simply be a denial of the application. In more severe cases, there can also be a risk of expedited removal, which carries a 5-year bar to re-entry to the U.S. These are civil penalties. It is rare to see a criminal prosecution in connection with a TN visa, but as we can see with this case, TN visa applicants can face criminal prosecution for egregious misconduct in connection with their visa applications.

I-129 TN Visa Extension Approved - Systems Analyst

TN VisaCase Info.
Background:The applicant, a citizen of Canada, had been working in the U.S. under TN status for the same employer since 2002. He had previous issues regarding meeting the temporary entry requirements for TN status when attempting to his renew at the border. We assisted in overcoming these issues, and the applicant had successfully obtained his renewals by mail with USCIS. The applicant sought another renewal of his TN.
TN Category:Computer Systems Analyst
Job title / duties:The duties of this position involved working on computerized criminal justice information systems.

Education:The applicant possessed a Post-Secondary Diploma in Business Information Systems, and a 2-year Diploma in Business Data Processing. He also had over 20 years of experience.

Filing Process:I-129 TN visa status petition filed with USCIS’ Vermont Service Center
Processing time:Approx. 6 months
Approval period:3 years

TN Visa to Green Card Approved in 4 Months

Green CardCase Info.
Case History / Issues:Applicant was a Canadian citizen, and was working in the U.S. under valid TN visa status. Applicant married a U.S. citizen.
Strategy:Reviewed case for adjustment of status eligibility, and to ensure no preconceived intent issues, potential employment gap or travel issues, or maintenance of status issues. Reviewed case to assess the merits of the green card application. The applicant and his spouse had sufficient documentation evidencing the bona fides of their marriage, and therefore, should not have an issue securing approval of the I-130 petition. The U.S. citizen was working part-time, and therefore we relied upon the applicant’s TN employment income to meet the I-864, Affidavit of Support income requirements.
Filing Process:I-130 / I-485 application @ USCIS
Filed:March 2016
Biometrics Scheduled:April 2016
Employment Authorization / Travel Card Issued:April 2016
Interview Date:June 2016 at USCIS' Buffalo, NY local office.
Green Card Received:June 2016
Processing Time:Approx. 4 months