Question: I am a Canadian citizen currently living in the U.S. under H-4 visa status. Could I get a TN visa for a part time job? I have a B. SC. degree in Geophysics and a job offer for providing energy conservation seminars. Would it affect my HB-4 visa?
Reply: Yes, you can obtain TN visa status for a part-time job. The TN visa regulations also permit the performance of training functions, including conducting seminars, as long as the training is in one of the TN occupational categories and the subject matter presented discussed “professional level” issues in the field. 8 C.F.R. 214.6 (c) n.1; NAFTA Handbook (1999).
The Geophysicist profession is listed on the NAFTA TN occupational list. Whether the subject matter of your seminar involves Geophysics requires further analysis. Any documentation supporting this should be documented in the TN application paperwork. For more on the Geophysicist occupation, consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
You cannot maintain more than one non-immigrant status at a time while in the U.S. When you move to TN visa status, you relinquish your H-4 visa status. Provided your husband remains in H-1B status, you can change back to H-4 status when you stop working.
You can change from H-4 to TN status and back again in one of two ways. You can request the change at a U.S. port of entry, U.S. immigration office at certain Canadian airports, or upon arrival at a U.S. international airport. Alternatively, you can file for a change of status with USCIS. One caveat with filing through the USCIS: you cannot start working until the petition for TN status is approved, which could take 1-3 months. Premium processing of the petition is available for an additional $1,000 filing fee.