TN STATUS FOR CANADIANS

TN STATUS FOR CANADIANS

The TN visa was originally created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, U.S. and Mexico. Though the term “visa” is often used, Canadians are not actually issued a TN “visa.” Instead, they are admitted in “TN Status” if approved.

As of July 2020, TN visas are being issued under the newly-formed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), with Appendix 1603.D.1, that governs TN visas having been incorporated into the USMCA, and the procedure and criteria remain unchanged.

*You must have a job offer from a U.S. employer in one of the occupations specified in the following TN Occupations and Professions List before applying for TN status.

  • TN status is valid for three years and is renewable indefinitely.
  • TN status is easier obtain than other work visas, such as the H-1B visa.

*

  • There are two ways to apply for a TN status: 1) in person at a port of entry (POE) to the United States,
    such as a major Canadian airport or a land border; or 2) the employer files a petition to USCIS.

List of TN Occupations and Professions

Below is the list of occupations and mandatory education and experience that are eligible for TN visas.  If your occupation is not on the list, or if you do not meet the education/experience requirement for a particular occupation, you will not be eligible for TN status.

Profession Education and Experience Requirements
General
Accountant Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.
Architect Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Computer Systems Analyst Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster Baccalaureate or Licenciatura 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 or Licenciatura Degree
Engineer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Forester Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Graphic Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Hotel Manager Baccalaureate or Licenciatura 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 or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Interior Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Land Surveyor Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal license
Landscape Architect Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Lawyer LL.B., J.D., LL.L., B.C.L. or Licenciatura Degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar
Librarian M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)
Management Consultant Baccalaureate or Licenciatura 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 and Statistician Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Range Manager and Range Conservationalist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Scientific Technician and  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
  • 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 or Licenciatura Degree
Sylviculturist and Forestry Specialist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Technical Publications Writer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Urban Planner and Geographer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Vocational Counselor Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Medical / Allied Professional
Dentist D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license
Dietitian Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada) / Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Nutritionist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Occupational Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Pharmacist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Physician (teaching or research only) M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Psychologist State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
Recreational Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Registered Nurse State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
Veterinarian D.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license
Scientist
Agriculturist (including Agronomist) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Animal Breeder Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Animal Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Apiculturist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Astronomer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Biochemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Biologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Chemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Dairy Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Entomologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Epidemiologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geneticist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geochemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Horticulturist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Meteorologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Pharmacologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Plant Breeder Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Poultry Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Soil Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Zoologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Teacher
College Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Seminary Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
University Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

One thing to keep in mind about TN visas is that the Canadian citizen must demonstrate an intention to return to Canada upon the expiration of TN status. This is not usually an issue when it is an applicant’s first application, but becomes more challenging after six or nine years, seeking another three years in TN status. By this time, a CBP officer may conclude that the applicant has no intention to return to Canada and deny the renewal. If a Canadian citizen has been in TN status for several years, he or she should speak with an immigration lawyer about changing to another visa category, such as an H-1B visa.

Moreover, it is more difficult to apply for an employment-based green card while in TN status based upon the “intent to return” rule. However, there are ways to apply for an employment-based green card while in TN status. Contact an immigration lawyer who is experienced in TN-to-Green Card cases to discuss this situation should it arise.