Moving to the US on TN Visa and How Helpful Are Canadians Generally

I am expecting to become a Canadian citizen this year and would like to move to the US, where I did my undergraduate and graduate degree. I left the US a year after grad school due to my PE firm (at the last minute) not being able to sponsor my H1B (CEO shut down my team). Afterwards, I moved to Canada, where I've been working since to complete my citizenship requirements, so I can use TN Visa to move back to States. 

My background is in IB, PE, and Corp Dev and I have a solid network in the US through my graduate school (top one). 

I plan on recruiting for roles by utilizing my network / doing cold emails / leveraging headhunters 

People on this forum - albeit undergrad kids - make it seem as if TN Visa has gotten much harder to get, which might be true. All of my info is anecdotal, but I have seen many folks on LinkedIn in the last 6 /12 months - with decent (not spectacular) finance backgrounds - moving to the US.

I wanted to revisit this forum to learn how the TN visa experience for more mature / experienced Canadians has been lately? And second, this is a very broad question, but how helpful are Canadians to each other in general? In other words, if I do a cold reach out to some Canadian at a US based investment firm, would they be inclined to respond (generally speaking of course). The only thing Canadian about me is that I've been working in Canada for the last 3 years - neither did I grow up here nor did I ever go to school


First of all, I didn’t know you get citizenship in 3 years after PR. I gotta marry my Canadian girlfriend quick.

I did my undergrad in the US and MFin in Canada and has been a pain when I almost land something in the US but don’t qualify for TN.

Second, I have seen Canadians with some experience going to the US here and there in recent years at firms like Lazard, Evr, HL
People say TN is not dependable, but have even seen a few Canadian kids landing sth straight out of school on TN as early as last year. It is easier to argue for an experienced professional hire.
Lawyers always find some way. I’d advise to maybe consult an immigration lawyer in the US on your own. Just pay for like 20-30 mins  and really understand the way. 

Canadians are great at gatekeeping so I don’t know how your response rate will be. Even alums are not answering my emails but I had someone whom I had no relation to speak to me.

So always a good idea to use the Canadian angle. Just try to find Canadians who went to the States on LinkedIn and cold email them with brief info on how you’d like to learn about their experience lateralling to the US. Doesn’t hurt to try.

And if you can land some networking calls and referrals at sponsor-friendly places, they will guide you themselves if they like you enough as they have an in house legal team. 


Thank you for responding and sharing. 

what kind of roles were you looking at that you found later to be not TN-eligible? That sounds really shitty, tbh. Going through a process, getting an offer, and finding out you can't move...

I would ideally like to move on to the infra investing side. Will consult a lawyer, as you suggested, but based on the brief research I've done, I'd be eligible for economist (my BA is also in economics

And yep you can get citizenship after 3 years. I am applying next month and hoping everything goes smoothly...


It was in banking (which they play it as economist or sth similar anyway). Role wasn’t the issue, I am not Canadian so I am not eligible for TN was the issue. And the only way to start is to directly apply for the H1B lottery which banks are hesitant about. I have seen an international friend get into a hedge fund directly on H1B though just this cycle.

If you can find firms that are sponsorship friendly and can interview well, I don’t think it will be an issue. Do you already have infra investing exp in Canada? Easier to make a case when you’re already in the industry.

Most Helpful

Good for your friend! I dont think it's common for firms to sponsor H1B without first testing your work performance, which is what the OPT/TN visa help with. And in your friend's case, it seems as if he got moved from Canada to US directly on a H1B

Since moving here, I didn't even bother applying for any roles in the US until I have my canadian passport

I dont have direct experience in infra investing, but I've done corp dev for a data center, and also have Power Utilities IB experience, in addition to other sectors. I've pretty much done every sector under the sun (except for healthcare) including financials, industrials, telcos, towers, media, B2B saas, industrials. My most recent work aligns with infra.   


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