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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 94143
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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Hi. I own a small business (sole proprietorship) in Canada.

Customer Question

Hi. I own a small business (sole proprietorship) in Canada. I have an American client right now and I'd like to travel there for 3 months to be available for in person meetings while we work on a project. Please bear in mind that I will not be an employee of this company at any time, but rather a 3rd party contractor. During this time I'd be working on their project from home, while also working with my other clients (all Canadian based companies at the moment). My question is concerning what type of travel Visa if any would be required for a trip of this nature? I have looked in to the various types available however I do not understand which type fits my unique situation. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thank you for using our service. All I ask is that before you sign off, you rate me positively. If you are inclined to use the "poor service" or "bad service" options, please ask follow-up questions first and give me a chance. Sometimes the law doesn't have a good solution, but I will try hard to find it if it is available.

Take a look at this official link:

http://travel.state.gov/pdf/BusinessVisa.pdf

If you fit into those situations, then you can either use just your passport which you should be able to stay 180 days, or you can apply for a B-1 visa and that could also get you a maximum of 180 days.

If your activity is outside of what is listed, then we would need to discuss some other visa.


 

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-guillermosenmartin/. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi. I do not fit in to any of those categories listed on page one.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Well, that is not good. What exactly will you be doing while inside of the U.S.? Please keep in mind that IF I have bad news for you, I am only the messenger. Please do not shoot the messenger. If there is a loophole or way around it, I will tell you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My company does consulting, interactive (web and mobile) development, and graphic design. I am currently under contract with the American company to work on their product. The purpose of the visit is to enable in person meetings during launch of their new product.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I am still unsure what you would be doing in the U.S. Please describe what you would be doing in the U.S.

If it looks like you could be taking away a job from a U.S. worker or creating unfair competition in the U.S. marketplace against U.S. companies, it probably will not work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi. I'd be doing consulting, interactive (web and mobile) development, and graphic design.


 


This work would fall under "Computer Systems Analyst" and/or "Graphic Designer" on the NAFTA professional list.


 


I am most certainly not taking away a US job since my company is already contracted to do the job.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Sounds to me like you will be working in the U.S. If it falls under the TN list, then you will need to have a firm job offer from the company and apply for a TN visa.

And by the way, the U.S. will not just take your word for it that you are not taking away a job from a U.S. worker. There is a system that one must go through in order to prove that to their satisfaction. So I think your best and easiest solution would be to apply for a TN visa at the Port of Entry. Here are a few links:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1274.html



http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextchannel=bac00b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextoid=bac00b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD



Sorry. I know this isn't an easy or convenient solution for you, but at least you know what the real deal is. Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. I'm aware of the TN visa. I have the documentation prepared if necessary. I was looking for clarification and understanding on whether or not my travel situation falls under that type of visa - since I'm struggling to see it as a match. For example, if a Canadian based law firm had an American client, would a lawyer representing the Canadian firm apply for a TN Visa to go spend time working / meeting with the client? That seems odd to me and doesn't seem to fit. Of course I understand that it's possible it may be the "best fit".


 


Are there any other visa types I should look in to?


 


You said that I must prove that my current relationship with the U.S based company must be shown to not have take away a U.S job and there is a system in place to prove this to their satisfaction. What system is this, and what is the process involved?

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Well, let me clarify a few things. Even though it is a Canadian-based company, where is your salary coming from? And how can you be so sure that your presence in the U.S. would not be taking a job away from a U.S. worker? I mean couldn't to company hire a U.S. consultant to do the same job?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My salary comes from my Canadian-based company, which has funds collected from the US company and other Canadian companies. Of course this is a grey area since I own the company and pay myself as I see fit. But yes, all company income goes to a Canadian business account, and I pay myself and anybody else from there.


 


My company has been contracted to do the work because we have a unique skill set that fits with the product, but of course it's entirely possible that there could be an individual or company in the US that *could* do the same job. When I say that it has not taken away a U.S. job - what I mean is that our company has been hired to do the work regardless of whether or not I travel to the US. For example, I may choose not to travel to the U.S. but my company will still be performing the work.


 


My company accepts clients anywhere in the world and this is quite common in the computer industry, but I'm sure many others as well.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
So the U.S. company is paying your Canadian company? And either you or another employee would basically be hired by the U.S. company to perform work in the U.S. for the U.S. company?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes that's correct. The U.S. company is paying the Canadian company.


 


It is not correct that myself (or anyone else) have been hired by the U.S. company to work in the U.S. Rather, they have hired my company as an independent contractor. Where I am located during the work is not part of the contract. I am not an employee of the U.S. company and I could theoretically work from any location in the world.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
BUT, you will be working for that company (albeit as an independent contractor), and you want to be located in the U.S. and you will be getting paid through a U.S. source even though it won't be directly since it will go to the Canadian company and then the Canadian company would pay you, correct? I hope you see where I am going with this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, everything you said is correct. And of course that's why I'm inquiring, as it seems to be a bit of a grey area? I have not seen this scenario covered on any of the travel information sites.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Well, because of the nasty economic conditions, USCIS and ICE often decide gray areas against the non-U.S. Citizen. So I think the best solution would be a TN visa as it is the easiest and seems to still fit. Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. It looks like you are seeing my responses but you are not responding. Are you having technical difficulties? I want to make sure that you are satisfied with my responses and have a positive experience with the website and with my service. So please let me know if there is anything else that I can answer for you because I will do my best. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. I'm busy at the moment, but will be reviewing the conversation later this evening.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Sorry. Didn't mean to bother you. No problem. I will be around if you have additional questions. Thank you.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Don't mean to bother you, just wanted to know if there is anything else that I can answer for you. Please let me know. Thank you.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Just checking in again. Please let me know if there is anything else that I can answer for you. Thank you!

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