Who qualifies for a TN Visa?
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a citizen of Canada or Mexico may work in TN Visa status in a professional occupation in the U.S. provided that:
The category “Professionals Under the North American Free Trade Agreement” is available only to Citizens of Canada and Mexico.
1) the profession is on the NAFTA list (see below),
2) the alien possesses the specific criteria for that profession,
3) the prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity and
4) the alien is going to work for a U.S. employer.
TN Visa Degree Requirement:
You are required to have earned an actual 4 year bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for TN status.
The degree may be obtained by any country. You may use a foreign degree evaluation agency, such as Trustforte, to obtain an “Academic Evaluation”.
DHS / CBP will NOT accept a “work experience evaluation” where you combine your education and prior work experience.
The spouse and unmarried, minor children of the TN Visa holder are entitled to the derivative status (TD Visa), but they are unable to accept employment in the United States.
How can I obtain a TN visa?
Citizens of Canada must provide the following at the port of entry:
1. A request for TN visa status;
2. A copy of the applicant’s college degree and employment records which establish qualification for the prospective job;
3. A letter from the alien’s prospective U.S.-based employer offering him or her a job in the United States, which is included on the professional job series (NAFTA list – see below).
Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa, but instead receive “TN” status with the USCIS at the port of entry.
The TN visa status will only be granted if the period of stay is temporary.
How can I file a TN Visa Extension/Renewal?
Applications for extension of stay for the TN visa are either processed by a Customs Officer at the Canadian Border Post, or by the USCIS Vermont Service Center. Canadian citizens have two options:
1) They may have their employer file an I-129 form at the Vermont USCIS office. This option does not require leaving the U.S.
2) They may return to Canada to re-apply at the port of entry with the same documentation that is required for an original application.
TN Visa Occupation List (NAFTA):
- Animal breeder
- Animal Scientist
- Computer systems analyst
- Dairy Scientist
- Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
- Forester (Also see Sylviculturist, below)
- Geographer / Urban Planner
- Graphic Designer
- Hotel Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Land Surveyor
- Landscape Architect
- Management Consultant
- Medical Technologist/Medical Lab Technologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Physician (teaching and/or research only)
- Physio/Physical Therapist (baccalaureate or state/provincial license)
- Plant Breeder
- Poultry Scientist
- Psychologist (must have state/provincial license. Cannot qualify with just baccalaureate degree)
- Range Manager/Range Conservationist
- Recreational Therapist
- Research Assistant (baccalaureate and U.S. job in a post-secondary educational institute)
- Scientific Technician or Technologist
- Social Worker
- Soil Scientist
- Sylviculturist/Forestry Specialist (also see Forester, above)
- Teacher (baccalaureate degree: must be coming to work for a college, seminary or university only); no secondary or elementary school teaching.
- Urban Planner
- Veterinarian (DVM, DMV, or state/provincial license)
- Vocational Counsellor
- Writer, Technical Publications(Technical Publications Writer) Must have:
- baccalaureate or
- post secondary diploma *and three years’ experience
Providing the correct qualifying documentation for your TN visa petition is critical, so it is recommended that the application be carefully prepared by an experienced TN Visa immigration attorney. If you prefer to do it yourself we have a step by step guide that can assist you.
If you have a general question about the TN visa please complete and submit the form below and we will do our best to answer it. You can also follow us on facebook as we usually post the answers there.