TN applicants may qualify for this position by:
• Holding a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura degree;
• Having five (5) years of experience in the field of management consulting, or;
• Having five (5) years of experience in a field of specialty related to the consultant agreement.
A Management Consultant is a profession listed Chapter 16 Appendix 2 of USMCA and is noted in 8 C.F.R. 214.6(c) as a qualifying profession for TN status.
The old Inspector's Field Manual (author's note: the IFM is no longer in service) defines a Management Consultant as providing services which are directed toward improving the managerial, operating, and economic performance of public and private entities by analyzing and resolving strategic and operating problems and thereby improving the entity's goals, objectives, policies, strategies, administration, organization, and operation. Management Consultants are usually independent contractors or employees of consulting firms under contracts to U.S. entities. As salaried employees of such U.S. entities, they can fill supernumerary temporary positions.
It is also important to note that there is a difference between a technical consultant and a functional consultant. Technical consultants focus on advising businesses in how to improve their operational performance by solving technical operating issues and are therefore not Management Consultants under NAFTA. However, functional consultants advise businesses in how to improve operational performance by solving strategic and operating problems, and therefore do qualify as Management Consultants under NAFTA.
Potential Areas of Concern
Applications for the Management Consultant often face more scrutiny at the border as the category. A successful case will show that the applicant holds the required education or experience and that the job in the U.S. qualifies as a consultancy.
Applicants should be prepared to explain and show that the work they will be doing in the U.S. is functional consulting. Jobs that involve hands-on duties beyond consulting do not qualify as a Management Consultant.
Applicants should also be prepared to present documentary evidence of their degree specialization or related experience. Though a degree in a related field is not specifically listed as a requirement, CBP officers will want to see that a degree is related to the scope of the consultancy. This can be shown through a degree in a related field or transcripts showing a specialization or numerous classes taken in a related field. If applying based on experience, applicants should provide letters of experience from previous employers attesting to their relevant experience.
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