Can Canadians Use TN Status To Work Remotely From Canada For US Employer?

If you aren’t already aware, the TN status allows Canadian Citizens to enter United States for work purposes. For Canadian citizens, The TN status does not involve a visa application.

Can you work under TN status from Canada?

Yes, it is possible to work remotely under the TN status from Canada but the question applies under what scenario does it make sense to get the TN status while working for US based companies.

Do you really need TN status to work remotely for US employer?

No, if you are going to be permanently based in Canada and not entering the United States for work then usually you are not required to have TN status.

As a Canadian Citizen, you have unrestricted right to live and work in Canada and that includes any work you do remotely for any non-Canadian company while residing in Canada.

Why get the TN Status if working from Canada?

Under certain scenarios, it can make sense to get the TN status.

  • Working in both US/Canada – If you are going to be working in both US and Canada then it makes sense for you to get the TN status.
  • Company is not incorporated in Canada – Some companies might not be willing to employee you unless you are on their W2 payroll.

How to work remotely for US company without TN status?

There are three routes on how you can work for US company without TN Status –

  • Canadian subsidiary – In case the US Employer has a Canadian subsidiary, you can ask them to hire you as an employee through them as a Canadian Employee.
  • Contractor (Sole Proprietor/Incorporated) – It might be worth asking the US based company, if you can work for them as a contractor.
  • Umbrella company – Your US employer could utilize a company that offers Canadian payroll and benefits to you while you work remotely in Canada.

Do you get double taxed while on TN status working in Canada?

The tax treaty between Canada and United States allows you to avoid double taxation however you would need to file your returns in both countries.

How to get the TN status?

Canadian Citizens can get the TN status by showing up at any US border crossing or when flying to the US. Steps to be followed –

  • Request for the TN status
  • Provide proof of job offer for temporary employment (not to exceed a period of three years)
  • Proof of degree (original document) and employment history to prove qualification for the job
  • Proof of citizenship (original document)
  • Pay required fee

Alternatively, an employer can request a visa status change to TN on behalf of the applicant. However this can be a time consuming process.

Are all jobs eligible for TN status?

Only a limited number of professions are eligible for TN status.

  • Accountants
  • Engineers
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Scientists
  • Teachers

If you are not sure if your profession is eligible, you should contact USCIS.

Beware of the limitations of the TN status

While the TN status gives you right to work in the United States, you should be aware that –

  • You are authorized to work for only 1 employer in the US
  • The TN status has to be renewed every three years.
  • The job needs to be listed on the qualified TN professionals list.
  • You need to have a bachelors degree.

4 thoughts on “Can Canadians Use TN Status To Work Remotely From Canada For US Employer?

  1. If I need to be working in both US and Canada for a US company, having TN1 Visa, living more than 183 days in Canada because of 6 weeks vacation per year, bouncing between Canada and US, on a US payroll, having two residences and working mostly from the two residences, no need to be in the office except one day per week, a Canadian citizen. Does the tax treaty cover this situation? Would I still pay my work tax in US? and for Canada, my total income in Canada – foreign tax credit?

    1. You will be filing income taxes in both US and Canada.
      Canada and the US have a tax treaty to avoid double taxation but you will need to report your full income in both countries.

  2. Can I keep my canadian job in canada while also, apply for TN VISA and work for a US employer, again all while living in canada?

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