TN Visa: Hotel Manager

Background of TN Visa Category

The TN visa occupational category for Hotel Managers was first listed in the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1989. See 54 Federal Register 12 (Jan. 3, 1989). The predecessor to NAFTA, the FTA provided work authorization under TC visa status, which was only available to Canadian citizens. The occupational category for Hotel Managers was carried over and included in the NAFTA list of available occupations in 1994. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).

TN Visa Applicant Requirements

Initially, under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (the predecessor to NAFTA) an individual could qualify as a Hotel Manager based solely on possession of a bachelor’s degree plus 3 years of experience in hotel management. 54 FR 48575 (Nov. 24, 1989).

In 1991, there was a proposal to modify the requirements for the Hotel Manager category in response to concerns over the vagueness of its initial requirement, and in order to "account for a number [of] highly-qualified individuals in the industry" who did not have bachelor degrees. 56 FR 11528 (March 19, 1991). Consequently, in 1992 a "post-secondary diploma in Hotel/Restaurant Management and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management" was added as an alternative requirement. 57 FR 33272 (July 28, 1992).

Except for the addition of a Licenciatura Degree, the credentials acceptable for eligibility under the Hotel Manager category remained unchanged following the implementation of NAFTA. To qualify for TN visa status under the occupational category for Hotel Managers, an individual must possess one of the following:
  • A Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate) degree in hotel / restaurant management.
  • Licenciatura Degree in hotel / restaurant management.
  • Post-Secondary Diploma in hotel / restaurant management and three years experience in hotel / restaurant management.
  • Post Secondary Certificate in hotel / restaurant management and three years experience in hotel / restaurant management.
The Hotel Manager category is the only TN category in which the regulations list a specific degree or post-secondary diploma as a requirement. See also Cronin Memo: TN Visa Degree Requirements (07-24-00).

Read more about the TN visa degree requirements.

TN Visa Job Duties Requirements

The TN visa regulations do not specifically define the types of Hotel Manager positions or job duties that are permissible under this TN category. Like the degree requirement, individuals should refer to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) for guidance on the generally accepted job duties for this occupation.

According to one consulate, this TN category is only available for individuals working within hotels:
Restaurant Managers. Although the category "Hotel Management" says that a TN visa applicant can qualify by having a degree in Restaurant Management, a TN visa applicant cannot receive a TN visa to be a restaurant manager - unless the restaurant is in a hotel. The Hotel Management job is reserved for those applicants who will be managers in hotels. Standing Instructions, CDJ, pg. 6, 2012.
I previously discussed this issue in an earlier article where I came to a similar conclusion.

Read more about TN visa job duties.



Revised Oct. 3, 2013.