Who is qualified to apply for TN visa to US?



Canadian and Mexican citizens have different requirements to qualify for TN status. Canadian applicants may apply for TN status at a U.S. Port of Entry directly but Mexican citizen should additionally obtain a TN visa stamp in their passport before entering U.S. For a person to enter U.S a travel document like a pass called visa is required. For the visa application most of the applicants present supporting documents to a U.S. consulate but that’s not the case with Canadian citizens who can hand it directly to a Border Patrol Officer when entering the U.S. So on the spot the paperwork is checked and decision to admit that Canadian citizen to the U.S. is taken.

The general requirements for TN eligibility are the same for both Mexican and Canadian citizens but they have slightly different pre-admission processes. Following three criteria must be met by both Mexican and Canadian citizen applicants:

1. Citizenship: Canadian or Mexican citizenship proof should be shown by the applicants.  Landed immigrants in Canada and resident-aliens in Mexico who belong to the Permanent Residents of Canada or Mexico category are not eligible for TN status.

2. Professional Qualifications:  For all TN jobs the usual requirement is a Bachelor’s degree. Except for Scientific Technician/Technologist, Psychologist, and Registered Nurse jobs all other jobs list at least a Bachelor’s degree as the primary job requirement.  A state and/or provincial license which most likely require some level of college education as well is the basic requirement for Psychologist and Registered Nurse.

Additional professional license or experience in addition to the college degree is required for some jobs. For example Lawyers and Dentists require advanced degrees. Bachelor’s degree plus specialized training in insurance adjustments for disaster relief claims is required for job as Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjusters.

Instead of a Bachelor’s degree alternate requirements are also listed for several TN jobs. A post-secondary diploma or certificate plus three years of experience are the alternate requirements for Computer Systems Analyst instead of a Bachelor’s degree. TN jobs like Graphic Designer, Hotel Manager, Interior Designer, and Technical Publications Writer also provide non-degree alternatives to the primary Bachelor’s degree requirement.

The Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA agreement lists the qualifications for each TN designated job. Professional evaluation of their edu­cation credentials must be provided by applicants who have completed education somewhere other than the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. The foreign education must be equivalent to a U.S. education in the same field. Evaluation is not required for education documents from Canada or Mexico.  Specified qualification must be met or should be exceeded for a designated job category.

The applicant must possess a Bachelor’s degree if a job category requires a Bachelor’s degree unlike other visa categories such as the H-1B, alternative documentation is not acceptable.  As an equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree professional experience deemed is not acceptable.  Also only documentation from a national or state licensing organization will suffice for occupations requiring a professional license or certification. To meet the requirement local certification is not sufficient.

3. Admissibility to the U.S.: Criminal history or health related reasons of a Canadian or Mexican citizen disqualifies their admissibility to the U.S. even if they are eligible for one of the TN designated jobs.

A TN visa in their passport must be obtained from a U.S. consulate by Mexican TN applicants before entering the U.S. TN Visa are not required for Canadian TN applicants. When entering the U.S. Canadian TN applicants can simply present an application for admission in TN status to a Border Patrol Officer.

For admission to the U.S. all TN applicants must meet three main criteria. Firstly they must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico, secondly they are required to possess professional qualifications for the TN designated job and thirdly they should be admissible to the U.S.

The applicant must also be admissible to the U.S. apart from being eligible for TN status. The U.S. government has decided that they possess certain traits that are undesirable or may threaten the health and safety of U.S. citizens and hence not allowed ­into the United States at all and are considered to be inadmissible to enter U.S. The TN visa applications will be denied if applicants are found to be inadmissible.

INS N 400 Form

N400 application form

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1 Comment

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