TN status and H-1B visas

TN status

TN status is a special status for Canadian, American and Mexican non-immigrants that wish to work in the United States or Canada. Canadian citizens with a TN visa can work in specific fields in the USA and visa-versa.

In order to obtain TN status (also called TN visa or a NAFTA work visa), the applicant needs to have an offer of employment in one of the specific categories and meet specific requirements. Applicants will need to present the specific offer of employment and the necessary supporting documents to obtain an american or canadian TN visa to work. TN/NAFTA visa applications are usually presented at a port of entry or at pre-flight inspection in airports. TN status, if admissible, will then be immediately granted and the applicant will be given an I-94 card reflecting TN status.

Who is eligible for TN status?

Only Mexican, Canadian and American professionals working in specific fields can be admitted to work in the USA and Canada under TN-1 status. Once a worker is granted a TN work visa, he may work in the United States or Canada for the employer for which the TN visa was granted. A TN professional that wishes to change employers will need to undergo the application process again. The TN applicant would need to reenter the country again to apply for a new work visa. Below is a list of professions that qualify for a TN visa application along with the required specifications:

  • Accountant - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A, C.A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.
  • Agricultural (Agronomist) - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Animal Breeder - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Animal Scientist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Apiculturist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Architect - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
  • Astronomer - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Biochemist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Chemist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • College teacher - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Computer Systems Analyst - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate and three years experience
  • Dairy Scientist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Dentist - D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor enOdontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental or state/provincial license
  • Dietician - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
  • Economist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Engineer - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
  • Entomologist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Epidemiologist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Forester - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
  • Geneticist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Geochemist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States) - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Graphic Designer - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or post-secondary diploma and three years experience
  • Horticulturist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • 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
  • Insurance Claims Adjuster - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree and training in insurance adjustment for disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and training in insurance adjustment for disaster relief claims
  • 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 (including Notary in the province of Quebec) - L.L.B., J.D., L.L.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 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 (including statistician) - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • 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
  • Meteorologist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Nutritionist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Occupational Therapist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state provincial license
  • Pharmacist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state provincial license
  • Pharmacologist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Physician (teaching or research only) - M.D., Doctor enMedicina; or state/provincial license
  • Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada) - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
  • Plant Breeder - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Poultry Scientist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Psychologist - State/provincial license; or Licenciatura degree
  • Range Manager/Range Conservationist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Recreational Therapist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Registered Nurse - State/provincial license or Licenciatura degree
  • Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution) - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura 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
  • Seminary teacher - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree University - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Social Worker - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Soil Scientist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Sylviculturist (including forestry) - 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 (including Geographer) - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Veterinarian - D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor enVeterinaria; or state/provincial license
  • Vocational Counselor - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
  • Zoologist - Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

Duration of stay and extension of a TN visa

The period of stay for a TN work visa is between 1 and 3 years. A TN visa holder may request an extension of his stay.

Termination of employment under TN status

Once a TN worker stops working for the employer for which the TN visa was granted, he is expected to leave the country withing 10 days.

Children and dependents

The spouse and children of TN status professionals may apply for a TD status in order to accompany the applicant in the country as long as they are citizens or permanent residents in the applicant's country of origin. Although a TD status does not allow them to work in the United States, they can live with a TN professional and go to school.

Be advised

TN status application can be perceived to be straight forward. A TN professional must be very well prepared for his TN application. A denial due to many factors is always a challenge to overcome. Many TN classifications such as Management Consultant and Scientific Technician are always under high scrutiny.

Please contact our staff for a free consultation before applying for TN status. Applicants are never too prepared for their TN status application.

Please note that different port of entries and even different USCIS/CBP officers within the same port of entry can have different interpretations of the TN applicant title, duties and qualifications. We at USA VISA EXPRESS monitor the different port of entries and their interpretation of NAFTA. Our FREE CONSULTATION again would be useful before applying for a TN. When applying for a TN be alert and answer only the questions that are asked. If you feel your TN application will be denied it is recommended to withdraw your TN application and consult TN/US Immigration consultants. A TN denial is always complex to correct. When applying for the TN you may also ask to consult a US immigration Supervisor or NAFTA specialist.

Differences between the TN visa and the H1-B visa

A TN/NAFTA visa may be easier and quicker to obtain than an H1-B visa for Canadian professionals as TN status is granted upon entry to the country where an H1-B visa is granted in a US Service Center and there is no yearly limit on the number of workers admitted under TN status. Although TN status might be harder to obtain in certain classifications, the requirements for a Canadian/American wishing to obtain one are not as strict as those for an H-1B visa

 
 

THE H-1B VISA

An H-1B visa allows non-immigrant workers with special occupations to obtain employment in the United States. Just like TN status, an H-1B visa is associated with a single employer, which means a Canadian or American worker with H-1B status will have to apply again to work for another employer abroad.

H-1B quotas

There is a quota on the quantity of H-1B visas distributed, which is generally fixed at 65 000 visas per financial year. Professionals who currently hold H-1B status or did in the past 6 years are not affected by these limits.

H-1B requirements

  • Have a 4 years bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree
  • Possess at least 12 years of experience
  • At least 2 years of post-secondary education and 6 years of experience.

Duration of an H-1B visa

H-1B visas are valid for 3 years and may be extended to 6 years.

Further inquiries

With over 20 years of experience, our highly qualified immigration experts can provide you with expert advice on immigration issues.  The personalized approach of USA VISA EXPRESS puts all the chances on your side. Call us now for a free assessment.

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