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TN Visas


The TN visa was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, U.S. and Mexico. Under this visa, a Canadian citizen may work in a professional occupation.

What are TN Visas?

A unique non-immigrant classification created as result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the TN (for Trade NAFTA) visa exists solely for the benefit of Canadian and Mexican citizens. Under NAFTA, a Canadian or Mexican citizen may temporarily enter into the United States and engage in certain designated professional services. Although the TN visa classification originated with the promise of facilitating trade in services under transparent criteria, this is hardly the case in today's U.S. immigration environment.

U.S. immigration's increasingly enforcement-minded attitude — which frequently results in arbitrary denials or allegations of immigration violations that carry severe penalties — underscores the importance of a diligently and well-prepared TN visa application. With law offices on both sides of the border, Millar & Hayes is uniquely situated to assist in TN visa applications. This is true not just because of our convenient border locations, but because of our extensive experience handling a large, ongoing number of TN and other professional visas. TN visas are one of our specialties.

Consultation

If you are serious about getting legal assistance a consultation is the best place to start. Spend up to a full hour with an immigration attorney to discuss the details of your case, get answers to your questions, work through complex issues and supporting documents and plan an immigration strategy for obtaining benefits.

Schedule a Consultation

Eligibility Factors

Education

The majority of the TN visa occupational categories require some form of educational credential. Most require a bachelor's degree, while some also offer as an alternative for qualification possession of a post-secondary diploma and three years of experience. An individual may qualify for a TN visa without a degree or diploma in three categories:

  • Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster
  • Management consultant
  • Scientific technician
  • Immigration inspectors routinely require a specific degree in the occupational field in order to qualify for TN visa status. This is often contrary to the government's own guidance on the issue. U.S. immigration memoranda state that the degree possessed by the TN applicant “should be in the field or in a closely related field.”

    TN applicants who possess a degree from an educational institution outside of the United States, Canada, or Mexico must obtain an academic evaluation by a reliable credentials evaluation service that specializes in such evaluations. Unlike the H-1B category, an applicant for a TN cannot combine education and experience and obtain a degree equivalency in order to meet the bachelor degree requirements for a TN. Where a TN occupational category requires a bachelor’s or licenciatura degree, an individual may satisfy this requirement by possessing a degree from an educational institution outside of the NAFTA countries (from a college or university outside the U.S., Canada, or Mexico).

    TN Visa Occupational Categories

    The TN visa occupational categories are:

  • General
  • Medical
  • Scientific
  • Teaching
  • An individual may apply for TN visa status under NAFTA in 1 of the 63 occupations set forth in NAFTA. The NAFTA TN laws and regulations do not specifically define the types of positions or job duties permissible under the TN occupational categories. A citizen of Canada or Mexico may enter the U.S. under TN visa status “to engage in business activities at a professional level” in one of the professions set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1. INA § 214 (e); 8 C.F.R. § 214.6 (a). For example, a position may qualify for TN visa status under a given category if in order to successfully complete the duties of the position, an individual must possess one of the credentials listed for that category. If a position requires a bachelor's degree, then the position should be eligible for TN visa status under that category.

    Documentation

    Documents for TN visa application for land or air port-of-entry applications:

  • Evidence of citizenship and entry document
  • Executed TN support letter
  • Copy of applicant’s resume
  • Copy of applicant’s degrees, transcripts, diplomas, or certificates
  • Executed attestation letter of supervising professional (Sci/Tech TN)
  • Copy of supervising professional’s degrees, diplomas, certificates (Sci/Tech TN)
  • Executed consulting agreement (management consultant TN and independent contractor)
  • Copies of previous experience letters evidencing five years of experience (non-degreed management consultant TN)
  • Previous experience letters (if necessary)
  • Academic / experience evaluation (if degree issued outside NAFTA country)
  • Informational literature on employer
  • Payment for the I-94 filing fee
  • Additional documentation to submit if filing through the USCIS:

  • Completed and executed Form I-129
  • Completed and executed Form I-129 free trade supplement
  • Copy of valid passport face page
  • Copy of document evidencing current non-immigrant status in U.S.
  • Payment in the amount of $320 for I-129 petition filing fee
  • TN Visa vs. TN status

    Individuals new to U.S. immigration law and unfamiliar with the NAFTA provisions for Canadian and Mexican citizens often confuse a TN visa with TN non-immigrant status. There is a significant difference between a TN visa and TN non-immigrant status. In order to understand the differences, speak with our Seattle WA and Vancouver, BC immigrations attorneys regarding your specific needs.

    If you are serious about getting legal assistance a consultation is the best place to start. Spend up to a full hour with an immigration attorney to discuss the details of your case, get answers to your questions, work through complex issues and supporting documents and plan an immigration strategy for obtaining benefits.

    Schedule a Consultation

    NAFTA Professions

    A Canadian individual must be coming to the U.S. to work temporarily in one of the professions listed in the appendix to the North American Free Trade Agreement. These are the listed professions:

    Accountant (baccalaureate, CPA, CA, CGA, or CMA)
    Agriculturist/Agronomist
    Animal breeder
    Animal Scientist
    Apiculturist
    Architect (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial license. Also see Landscape Architect, below)
    Astronomer
    Biochemist
    Biologist
    Chemist
    Computer systems analyst who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or post secondary diploma *and three years' experience
    Dairy Scientist
    Dentist (DDS, DMD, or state/provincial license)
    Dietician (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial license)
    Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or 3 years' experience in claims adjustment, and completed training in appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims.
    Economist
    Engineer (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial license)
    Entomologist
    Epidemiologist
    Forester (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial license) (Also see Silviculturist, below)
    Geneticist
    Geochemist
    Geographer
    Geologist
    Geophysicist
    Graphic Designer who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or post secondary diploma and three years' experience.
    Horticulturist
    Hotel Manager who must have: Baccalaureate Degree in hotel/restaurant management, or post secondary diploma in hotel/restaurant management, and three years' experience in hotel restaurant management.
    Industrial Designer who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or post secondary diploma and three years experience.
    Interior Designer who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or post secondary diploma and three years' experience.
    Land Surveyor (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial/federal license)
    Landscape Architect
    Lawyer (member of state/provincial bar, or LLB, JD, LLL, or BCL)
    Librarian (MLS, or BLS. BLS must be one for which another Baccalaureate Degree was a pre-requisite)
    Management Consultant who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or five years' experience in consulting or related field.
    Mathematician
    Medical Technologist/Medical Lab Technologist (Canada) who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or post secondary diploma *and three years' experience. (U.S. job must be in a laboratory to perform chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, or bacteriological tests, and analyses for diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease)
    Meteorologist
    Nurse, Registered (must have state/provincial license)
    Nutritionist
    Occupational Therapist (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial license)
    Oceanographer
    Pharmacist (Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial license)
    Pharmacologist
    Physician (teaching and/or research only, MD or state/provincial license)
    Physicist
    Physio/Physical Therapist (Baccalaureate Degree 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 Degree and U.S. job in a post-secondary educational institute)
    Social Worker
    Soil Scientist
    Statistician
    Silviculturist/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.
    Technician or Technologist, Scientific (E.g.: Electronic engineering technician.) who must: work in direct support of professionals in one of these disciplines: biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, physics OR possess theoretical knowledge of discipline, and solve practical problems in discipline, or apply principles of the discipline to basic or applied research
    Urban Planner
    Veterinarian (DVM, DMV, or state/provincial license)
    Vocational Counsellor
    Writer, Technical Publications (Technical Publications Writer) who must have: Baccalaureate Degree or post secondary diploma and three years' experience.
    Zoologist

    Credentials

    In order to pursue a TN visa an applicant must have evidence that they have the necessary credentials to be considered a professional in one of the Schedule 2 NAFTA fields listed below. Call or email us with any questions that you may have. We are always happy to let you speak directly with a NAFTA immigration lawyer.

    PROFESSION MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
    Accountant Baccalaureate Degree; or C.P.A, C.A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.
    Architect Baccalaureate Degree; or state/provincial license
    Computer Systems Analyst Baccalaureate Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post Secondary Certificate and
    3 years experience
    Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster Baccalaureate Degree and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas
    of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience
    in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of
    insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims
    Economist Baccalaureate Degree
    Engineer Baccalaureate Degree; or state/provincial license
    Forester Baccalaureate Degree; or state/provincial license
    Graphic Designer Baccalaureate Degree; or post-secondary diploma and three years experience
    Hotel Manager Baccalaureate Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or post-secondary
    diploma or post-secondary certificate in hotel/restaurant management and
    three years experience in hotel/restaurant management
    Industrial Designer Baccalaureate Degree; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary
    certificate, and three years experience
    Interior Designer Baccalaureate Degree; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary
    certificate, and three years experience
    Land Surveyor Baccalaureate Degree or state/provincial/federal license
    Landscape Architect Baccalaureate Degree
    Lawyer
    (including Notary in the province of Quebec)
    L.L.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., degree; or membership in a state/provincial bar
    Librarian M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate Degree was prerequisite)
    Management Consultant Baccalaureate Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by
    statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a
    management consultant , or five years experience in a field of specialty related
    to the consulting agreement
    Mathematician (including statistician) Baccalaureate Degree
    Range Manager/Range Conservationist Baccalaureate Degree
    Research Assistant
    (working in a post-secondary educational institution)
    Baccalaureate Degree
    Scientific Technician/ Technologist Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines:
    agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry,
    geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical
    problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any
    of those disciplines to basic or applied research
    Social Worker Baccalaureate Degree
    Silviculturist (including forestry) Baccalaureate Degree
    Teacher: College Baccalaureate Degree
    Teacher: Seminary Baccalaureate Degree
    Teacher: University Baccalaureate Degree
    Technical Publications Writer Baccalaureate Degree, or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate,
    and three years experience
    Urban Planner (including Geographer) Baccalaureate Degree
    Vocational Counselor Baccalaureate Degree

    Credentials: Medical Field

    In order to pursue a TN visa an applicant must have evidence that they have the necessary credentials to be considered a professional in one of the Schedule 2 NAFTA fields listed below. Call or email us with any questions that you may have. We are always happy to let you speak directly with a NAFTA immigration attorney. To view credential requirements for scientists, go to the Credentials: Science tab.

    PROFESSION MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
    Dentist D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia
    or Doctor en Cirugia Dental or state/provincial license
    Dietician Baccalaureate Degree; or state/provincial license
    Medical Lab Technologist (Canada)
    Medical Technologist (Mexico and U.S.)     
    Baccalaureate Degree; or post secondary diploma or post secondary certificate and 3 years experience
    Nutritionist Baccalaureate Degree
    Occupational Therapist Baccalaureate Degree; or state provincial license
    Pharmacist Baccalaureate Degree; or state provincial license
    Physician (teaching or research only) M.D., Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
    Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist Baccalaureate Degree; or state/provincial license
    Psychologist State/provincial license; degree
    Recreational Therapist Baccalaureate Degree
    Registered Nurse State/provincial license degree
    Veterinarian D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor en Veterinaria;
    or state/provincial license

    Credentials: Science

    In order to pursue a TN visa an applicant must have evidence that they have the necessary credentials to be considered a professional in one of the Schedule 2 NAFTA fields listed below. Call or email us with any questions that you may have. We are always happy to let you speak directly with a NAFTA immigration lawyer. To view credential requirements for professions in the medical field go to the Credentials: Medical tab.

    PROFESSION MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
    Agricultural (Agronomist)       Baccalaureate Degree
    Animal Breeder Baccalaureate Degree
    Animal Scientist Baccalaureate Degree
    Apiculturist Baccalaureate Degree
    Astronomer Baccalaureate Degree
    Biochemist Baccalaureate Degree
    Chemist Baccalaureate Degree
    Dairy Scientist Baccalaureate Degree
    Entomologist Baccalaureate Degree
    Epidemiologist Baccalaureate Degree
    Geneticist Baccalaureate Degree
    Geochemist Baccalaureate Degree
    Geophysicist Baccalaureate Degree
    Horticulturist Baccalaureate Degree
    Meteorologist Baccalaureate Degree
    Pharmacologist Baccalaureate Degree
    Oceanographer Baccalaureate Degree
    Physicist Baccalaureate Degree
    Plant Breeder Baccalaureate Degree
    Poultry Scientist Baccalaureate Degree
    Soil Scientist Baccalaureate Degree
    Zoologist Baccalaureate Degree
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