Originally Posted by jefferyd
This is wrong- most people who enter for work do so on a visa, not on a green card (an employment-based EB-1 green card is hard to get).
My apologies. I thought H-1B visas were mostly for those working in huge corporate IT jobs (Indians, generally). In any case I doubt OP would be able to get one.
A TN is easiest but subject to the border guard's moods- a grouchy one can deny (re)entry at just about any time. It also does not allow dual-intent (meaning you intend to immigrate permanently) so if they think you are coming to stay they will deny you entry.
I'm not so sure there is a huge benefit to being an American citizen if you are Canadian, though. Even a visitor visa allows you to be in the US for 6 months, IIRC. Unless you really want to vote or collect Social Security...
Your first month will be difficult without a SSN since you need it to get everything (it takes about a month to get the SSN), and you will not carry your credit history with you so credit cards, cel phones, car loans, mortgages etc. are a real hassle.
I got my SSN as a student in about a week, but I don't know if that's the same for everyone.
Protip: American Express will give you an American credit card based on your foreign (including Canadian) credit with them. I applied for some no-fee Canadian Amex, then immediately transferred it to an American Amex. They have a department just for global transfers.
AT&T will waive the credit requirement if you pay them a deposit. T-Mobile will do it depending on reps (I went with them).