In the most recent Buffalo AILA / CBP Liaison meeting held on August 20, 2008, the Buffalo CBP office has confirmed that an applicant does not need to be en route to his or her place of business as a condition of applying for an L-1 or TN at the border port-of-entry.
According to the Buffalo office, it is inconsistent with CBP procedures for port-of-entries to refuse to adjudicate a NAFTA application where the applicant is not en route to his place of business. The only requirement is that the individual must be making an application for admission to the U.S. According to the Buffalo office, any “person presenting themselves for inspection shall be processed.”
Regardless of the Buffalo CBP office's view on this issue, many other port-of-entries still require an applicant to be en route to his or her place of employment as a condition of applying for an L-1 or TN. The best practice is to contact the port-of-entry before hand to determine any specific requirements.