Work and Employment

TN Visa: Everything You Need to Know

The TN visa is a temporary work visa designed for Canadian and Mexican citizens who have job offers in the U.S. In this TN visa guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about the TN visa requirements, processing time, and costs.

Chelsea Spinos, Writer
Simon Craven, Manifest Immigration Lawyer

By:

Chelsea Spinos

Chelsea Spinos is a contributing writer for Manifest Law. She covers all topics related to U.S. visas and green cards. She is passionate about helping people navigate their immigration journey with clarity and confidence.

Reviewer:

Simon Craven, Esq.

Simon Craven is an immigration attorney with 11+ years of experience working on thousands of successful immigration cases. Simon is passionate about US immigration and helping people.

10 min read • Feb 16, 2024

TN Visa flag showing U.S., Mexico, Canada
TN Visa flag showing U.S., Mexico, Canada
TN Visa flag showing U.S., Mexico, Canada

Key takeaways

The TN visa is for Canadians and Mexicans coming to work in certain professions in the U.S.

To be eligible for the TN visa, you have to show that you have the right qualifications for the TN visa occupation.

Canadians can apply for the TN visa at the border. Mexican citizens need to apply at the US embassy or consulate.

TN visa duration is for 3 years with unlimited extensions.

Our experienced TN visa lawyers can help you prepare the full package of documents and avoid most common mistakes

What is a TN visa?

What is a TN visa?

Mexican and Canadian flags on table
Mexican and Canadian flags on table
Mexican and Canadian flags on table

The TN visa is a temporary work visa designed for Canadian and Mexican citizens who have job offers in the U.S. within specific TN professions (see below) and meet certain educational and professional requirements for their job.

If you are looking for a TN visa to green card change of status, you may want to consider applying for an EB3 PERM.

The TN visa is a temporary work visa designed for Canadian and Mexican citizens who have job offers in the U.S. within specific TN professions (see below) and meet certain educational and professional requirements for their job.

If you are looking for a TN visa to green card change of status, you may want to consider applying for an EB3 PERM.

The TN visa is a temporary work visa designed for Canadian and Mexican citizens who have job offers in the U.S. within specific TN professions (see below) and meet certain educational and professional requirements for their job.

If you are looking for a TN visa to green card change of status, you may want to consider applying for an EB3 PERM.

What are the benefits of the TN visa?

What are the benefits of the TN visa?

The TN visa category stands out for several reasons:


  1. Many people choose TN visa vs H1b due to the fact that there is no annual visa "cap" or "lottery" on a TN visa.

  2. Does not require an investment in the US like the E2 visa

  3. Spouse of a TN visa holder can receive work authorization.

  4. No limit to the total number of times you can review a TN visa.

  5. Direct application process: If you are outside the U.S., you can apply directly at the border (for Canadian citizens) or consulate (for Mexican citizens) without the need for a petition with USCIS.


With these advantages in mind, it's no wonder that professionals applying for a variety of TN visa jobs find this visa option to be extremely attractive.

The TN visa category stands out for several reasons:


  1. Many people choose TN visa vs H1b due to the fact that there is no annual visa "cap" or "lottery" on a TN visa.

  2. Does not require an investment in the US like the E2 visa

  3. Spouse of a TN visa holder can receive work authorization.

  4. No limit to the total number of times you can review a TN visa.

  5. Direct application process: If you are outside the U.S., you can apply directly at the border (for Canadian citizens) or consulate (for Mexican citizens) without the need for a petition with USCIS.


With these advantages in mind, it's no wonder that professionals applying for a variety of TN visa jobs find this visa option to be extremely attractive.

The TN visa category stands out for several reasons:


  1. Many people choose TN visa vs H1b due to the fact that there is no annual visa "cap" or "lottery" on a TN visa.

  2. Does not require an investment in the US like the E2 visa

  3. Spouse of a TN visa holder can receive work authorization.

  4. No limit to the total number of times you can review a TN visa.

  5. Direct application process: If you are outside the U.S., you can apply directly at the border (for Canadian citizens) or consulate (for Mexican citizens) without the need for a petition with USCIS.


With these advantages in mind, it's no wonder that professionals applying for a variety of TN visa jobs find this visa option to be extremely attractive.

More than 33,000 people have received their TN visa last year

US Government stats, 2022

Who qualifies for the TN visa?

Who qualifies for the TN visa?

Group of two men and two women by a laptop smiling and laughing
Group of two men and two women by a laptop smiling and laughing
Group of two men and two women by a laptop smiling and laughing

In order to qualify for the TN visa, you must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico and must be coming to work in the U.S. in one of the specified TN visa professions.

The TN visa occupation list includes minimum requirements for each job, and you must meet those requirements to qualify.


Let’s take a closer look below at TN visa jobs list below.

In order to qualify for the TN visa, you must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico and must be coming to work in the U.S. in one of the specified TN visa professions.

The TN visa occupation list includes minimum requirements for each job, and you must meet those requirements to qualify.


Let’s take a closer look below at TN visa jobs list below.

TN Visa Occupation List

TN Visa Occupation List

General

General

General TN Visa jobs icon
General TN Visa jobs icon

Accountant

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Architect

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Computer Systems Analyst

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Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster

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Economist

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Engineer

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Forester

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Graphic Designer

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Hotel Manager

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Industrial Designer

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Interior Designer

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Land Surveyor

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Landscape Architect

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Lawyer

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Forester

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Librarian

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Management Consultant

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Mathematician

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Range Manager

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Research Assistant

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Scientific Technician/Technologist

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Social Worker

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Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)

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Technical Publications Writer

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Urban Planner (including Geographer)

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Vocational Counselor

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Medical Professionals

Medical Professionals

Medical TN Visa jobs icon
Medical TN Visa jobs icon

Dentist

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Dietitian

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Medical Technologist

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Nutritionist

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Occupational Therapist

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Pharmacist

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Physician

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Physical Therapist

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Psychologist

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Recreational Therapist

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Registered Nurse

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Veterinarian

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Scientist

Scientist

Scientist TN Visa jobs icon
Scientist TN Visa jobs icon

Agriculturist

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Animal Breeder

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Animal Scientist

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Apiculturist

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Astronomer

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Biochemist

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Biologist

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Chemist

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Dairy Scientist

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Entomologist

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Epidemiologist

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Geneticist

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Geochemist

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Geologist

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Geophysicist

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Horticulturist

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Meteorologist

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Pharmacologist

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Physicist

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Plant Breeder

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Poultry Scientist

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Soil Scientist

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Zoologist

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Teacher

Teacher

Teacher TN Visa jobs icon
Teacher TN Visa jobs icon

College

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Seminary

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University

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[2] The terms “state/provincial license” and “state/provincial/federal license” mean any document issued by a state, provincial, or federal government, as the case may be, or under its authority, but not by a local government, that permits a person to engage in a regulated activity or profession.

[3] “Post-Secondary Diploma” means a credential issued, on completion of two or more years of postsecondary education, by an accredited academic institution in Canada or the United States.

[4] “Post-Secondary Certificate” means a certificate issued, on completion of two or more years of postsecondary education at an academic institution, by the federal government of Mexico or a state government in Mexico, an academic institution recognized by the federal government or a state government, or an academic institution created by federal or state law.

[5] The term “Mathematician” includes the profession of Actuary. An Actuary must satisfy the necessary requirements to be recognized as an actuary by a professional actuarial association or society. A professional actuarial association or society means a professional actuarial association or society operating in the territory of at least one of the Parties.

[6] A business person in this category must be seeking temporary entry for work in direct support of professionals in agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics.

[7] A business person in this category must be seeking temporary entry to perform in a laboratory, chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic or bacteriological tests and analyses for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases.

[8] The term “Biologist” includes the profession of Plant Pathologist.

Not sure if you meet TN visa requirements?

Not sure if you meet TN visa requirements?

Take our free quiz to find out if you are eligible.

Can I get a TN visa as a Management Consultant?

Woman showing man tablet in office setting
Woman showing man tablet in office setting
Woman showing man tablet in office setting

Navigating the "Management Consultant" category for a TN visa can be a bit nuanced, but let's break it down.


In simple terms, management consultants are professionals who assist businesses in identifying and addressing operational or strategic challenges. They can either work independently as a contractor or be part of a consulting firm.


Now, to meet the TN visa requirements as a management consultant, you need either a degree or 5 years of experience as a management consultant. Unlike most other TN visa professions, a bachelor's degree isn't mandatory.


Many Canadian TN visa applicants apply as management consultants and we're seeing that this job category attracts more scrutiny from US immigration officials than other TN visa jobs.


With any TN visa application, the key is to clearly demonstrate how your role as a Management Consultant closely aligns with the specific occupation on the TN visa occupation list.

Generally, management consultants are professionals who help businesses identify issues and provide guidance to improve overall operations.


Management consultants can work independently for a U.S. company, or be employees of a consulting firm.


To qualify for a TN visa as a management consultant, you need either a degree, 5 years of experience as a management consultant, or 5 years of experience in a related job.


One unique aspect of the TN visa for management consultants is that it doesn't require a bachelor's degree.


However, the Management Consultant category also faces higher scrutiny from immigration officials.


Some people try applying in this category when their job doesn’t really fit the definition of a Management Consultant set by the government. As a result, immigration officers might take a closer look at these applications.


Like with any TN visa application, it’s important to show how your Management Consultant job matches TN visa requirements.

Not sure If you qualify for an TN visa?

Reach out to us and our TN visa attorneys can help evaluate the strength of your case.

Can I get a TN visa as an Economist?

Table with financial reports
Table with financial reports
Table with financial reports

Applying for a TN visa in the Economist category can present its unique challenges. To meet the TN visa requirements as an Economist, you'll need a degree in Economics or a related field, along with an offer from a U.S. employer as an Economist.


It's worth noting the government has taken a very strict view of what it means to be an Economist, and only certain roles will qualify.


So, what does the government expect Economists to do? USCIS emphasizes a focus on microeconomics or macroeconomics specialization. Your job responsibilities should include research, report preparation, and addressing economic issues related to production, distribution, or monetary and fiscal policy. Economists typically analyze sectors on a broad scale, ranging from international trade to health and education.


On the flip side, the government explicitly says that TN visa Economists shouldn't be working as financial analysts or market researchers. Financial analysts mainly analyze investments, while market researchers gather data for marketing strategies, and both of these jobs would be outside of the definition of Economist.


If you’re submitting a TN visa application as an Economist, it’s important to make sure that your job matches the duties outlined by the government very closely.


Our TN visa attorneys have substantial experience dealing with various applications for Canadian and Mexican economists and can advice on the best way to present your case.

TN visa approval rate in recent years exceeds 90%

USCIS, 2022

How do i prove that i meet the TN visa requirements?

How do i prove that i meet the TN visa requirements?

All TN Visa requirements are job specific. Some may require a bachelor's degree or a license. Check out our complete TN visa occupation list to see if you meet the requirements.


To prove that you qualify, you must include documents, like your diploma or license, with your TN visa application.


Our experienced TN visa lawyers will review your job offer and description to ensure it complies with TN visa requirements and best practices.

TN Visa Processing Time

TN Visa Processing Time

Man in business attire standing outside on mobile phone
Man in business attire standing outside on mobile phone
Man in business attire standing outside on mobile phone

Most people apply for a TN visa from outside of the U.S.


If you’re looking for a TN visa for Canadian, you can apply directly at the border, like a land crossing or airport.


If you're looking for a TN visa for Mexican citizen, you’ll need to set up an appointment at a US consulate to get the visa stamp in your passport before you can travel.


The processing time for a TN visa will depend on where you apply, since different locations have different appointment availability.

Most people apply for a TN visa from outside of the U.S.


If you’re looking for a TN visa for Canadian, you can apply directly at the border, like a land crossing or airport.


If you're looking for a TN visa for Mexican citizen, you’ll need to set up an appointment at a US consulate to get the visa stamp in your passport before you can travel.


The processing time for a TN visa will depend on where you apply, since different locations have different appointment availability.

Visa TN Premium Processing

Visa TN Premium Processing

TN cases filed in the U.S. are currently eligible for Premium Processing. For an additional USCIS filing fee of $2,805 you will receive a decision on your application within 15 business days. A decision could be an approval, a denial, or a request for additional evidence.

TN cases filed in the U.S. are currently eligible for Premium Processing. For an additional USCIS filing fee of $2,805 you will receive a decision on your application within 15 business days. A decision could be an approval, a denial, or a request for additional evidence.

The Form I-129

If you are filing from within the U.S. (as a change from another status), the time to receive an E2 visa decision after filing is usually about 1 or 2 months.

You can download form i-129 here for free.

Or see an example of form i-129 below:

Form I-129, Petition for Nonmmigrant Worker
Form I-129, Petition for Nonmmigrant Worker
Form I-129, Petition for Nonmmigrant Worker

When can I start working under a TN Visa?

If you're applying from INSIDE the U.S., you can start working on the day your TN visa is approved.


If you're applying from OUTSIDE the U.S., you will come into the US in TN status and can work on the next day after your arrival.

If you're applying from INSIDE the U.S., you can start working on the day your TN visa is approved.


If you're applying from OUTSIDE the U.S., you will come into the US in TN status and can work on the next day after your arrival.

TN Visa Cost

TN Visa Cost

There are two types of fees associated with your TN visa application:

  1. TN lawyer fees

  2. Government fees and other costs

TN visa lawyer fees

When it comes to TN visa attorney fees, they can vary on who you go to. For a more personalized touch, we suggest checking out smaller law firms that have substantial experience in TN visas like Manifest Law, where our lawyer fees for a TN visa start at $3,500 and can be paid on a flexible payment plan.


TN processing fees

Below is a summary of the current government filing fees for the TN visa:

When it comes to lawyer fees for an L1 visa, they can vary on who you go to. For a more personalized touch, we suggest checking out smaller law firms that specialize in L1 visas like Manifest Law where our lawyer fees for an L1 visa start at $7,500 and can be paid over 6 months.


USCIS L1 visa cost

Below is a summary of the current government filing fees for the L1 visa (note that all fees are subject to change).

  • USCIS (From within the U.S.)

When it comes to lawyer fees for an L1 visa, they can vary on who you go to. For a more personalized touch, we suggest checking out smaller law firms that specialize in L1 visas like Manifest Law where our lawyer fees for an L1 visa start at $7,500 and can be paid over 6 months.


USCIS L1 visa cost

Below is a summary of the current government filing fees for the L1 visa (note that all fees are subject to change).

Most Organizations

Organizations with fewer than 25 employees

Nonprofits

I-129 Fee

$1,015

$510

$510

Asylum Program Fee

$600

$300

N/A

TOTAL

$1,615

$810

$510

Manifest Law©️. Learn more on www.manifestlaw.com

  • Department Of State Visa Fee: $185
    (only for Mexican citizens when getting visa stamp abroad)

When it comes to lawyer fees for an L1 visa, they can vary on who you go to. For a more personalized touch, we suggest checking out smaller law firms that specialize in L1 visas like Manifest Law where our lawyer fees for an L1 visa start at $7,500 and can be paid over 6 months.


USCIS L1 visa cost

Below is a summary of the current government filing fees for the L1 visa (note that all fees are subject to change).

Do I need a lawyer for a TN visa?

Do I need a lawyer for a TN visa?

Since TN visa applications can be complex and involve a lot of job related paperwork, many people find it helpful to work with an experienced immigration lawyer.


Hiring an TN visa lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes and increase your TN visa chances of approval. Qualified immigration lawyers know how the TN visa process works, help you gather the right evidence, and make sure you meet the TN visa requirements.


Here at Manifest Law, our TN visa lawyers have 10+ years of experience. We offer flexible payment plans stretching up to 6 months, a visa-approved or money-back guarantee (terms apply), and immigration lawyers who are well-versed in the TN visa process.

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What are the differences between TN visa vs H1B?

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Is it difficult to get TN visa?

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How long can you stay in the U.S. with a TN visa?

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How long does it take for a TN visa to be approved?

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Do TN visas require sponsorship?

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What happens if you lose your job on a TN visa?

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Can I go from TN visa to Green Card?

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Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.