FAQ » TN Status

What occupations are on the TN occupational listing?



A: TN was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement and it is available for professionals in certain occupations that are nationals of Canada or Mexico. The main advantage of the TN for Canadian nationals is that this status can be acquired very quickly. Canadians can apply at a U.S. Port of Entry and generally have the application decided on the same day. The TN process for Mexican nationals, however, is similar to that of an H-1B petition, in which case the petition must be filed with the INS prior to entry.

TN status may be approved for no more than a one-year period, though it may be renewed indefinitely after the initial entry. Please see TN Occupations below for a list of the occupations allowed and the requirements for each occupation.


Appendix 1603.D.1 (Annotated)

Abbreviations used:

B/L Degree = Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

Cert. = Certificate

P/S = Post Secondary

s/p license = state/provincial license

Accountant - B/L Degree; or C.P.A., C A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.

Architect - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Computer Systems Analyst - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert. and three years' experience. 

Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster
(claims adjuster employed by an insurance company located in the territory of a Party, or an independent claims adjuster)-B/L Degree, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years of experience in claims adjustment, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims.

Economist - B/L Degree

Engineer - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Forester - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Graphic Designer - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.

Hotel Manager - B/L Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert. in hotel/restaurant management, and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management.

Industrial Designer - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.

Interior Designer - B/L Degree or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.

Land Surveyor - B/L Degree or s/p/federal license.

Landscape Architect - B/L Degree

Lawyer (including Notary in the Province of Quebec) - LL.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., or Lic. Degree (five years); or membership in a st/pr. bar.

Librarian - M.L S. or B.L.S. (for which another B/L Degree was a prerequisite).

Management Consultant - B/L 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) - B/L Degree

Range Manager/Range Conservationist - B/L Degree

Research Assistant (working in a P/S educational institution) - B/L 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 - B/L Degree

Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist) - B/L Degree

Technical Publications Writer - B/L Degree, or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.

Urban Planner (including Geographer) - B/L Degree

Vocational Counsellor - B/L Degree

Medical/Allied Professionals

Dentist - D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or s/p license

Dietician - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States) - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.

Nutritionist - B/L Degree

Occupational Therapist - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Pharmacist - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Physician (teaching or research only) - M.D., Doctor en Medicina; or s/p license

Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist - B/L Degree; or s/p license

Psychologist - S/p license; or Lic. Degree.

Recreational Therapist - B/L Degree

Registered Nurse - S/p license or Lic. Degree.

Veterinarian - D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor en Veterinaria; or s/p license


Agriculturist (including Agronomist) - B/L Degree

Animal Breeder - B/L Degree

Animal Scientist - B/L Degree

Apiculturist - B/L Degree

Astronomer - B/L Degree

Biochemist- B/L Degree

Biologist- B/L Degree

Chemist - B/L Degree

Dairy Scientist - B/L Degree

Entomologist - B/L Degree

Epidemiologist - B/L Degree

Geneticist - B/L Degree

Geochemist - B/L Degree

Geologist - B/L Degree

Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States) - B/L Degree

Horticulturist - B/L Degree

Meteorologist - B/L Degree

Pharmacologist - B/L Degree

Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada) - B/L Degree

Plant Breeder - B/L Degree

Poultry Scientist - B/L Degree

Soil Scientist - B/L Degree

Zoologist - B/L Degree


College - B/L Degree

Seminary - B/L Degree

University - B/L Degree

Can I start PR process?



A: Yes, one can start the PR status while in TN status. However, we recommend that you change your status over to H-1 at this time because TN status does require non-immigrant intent. Thus, the USCIS is likely to deny re-entry to the U.S. or deny a TN extension if they learn that you have shown an intent to immigrant.

Can I travel internationally while the H-1B petition/change of status on my behalf is pending with the USCIS?



A: Yes. However, by leaving the U.S. while the petition is pending, the H-1 change of status request on your behalf is voided out and the new I-94 USCIS issues with the I-797 reflecting H-1 status is not valid. The new I-94 received upon re-entering the U.S., while the H-1B was pending, is controlling. To effectuate the H-1, you will be required to depart the U.S., apply for the H-1B visa, and return in H-1 status. This must be done before the TN expires.

Can I stay in TN status indefinitely?



A: Technically, the TN status is renewable indefinitely. However, since TN status does require non-immigrant intent, USCIS could eventually ask you what your true intentions are and perhaps deny you re-entry to the U.S.

Do I need a visa?



A: Mexican nationals do need visas to enter the U.S. in TN status. Canadians are visa exempt and do not need a visa to enter the U.S.

Does my spouse/family need a visa?



A: Yes, accompanying family members need visas unless they are Canadian nationals.

Can my spouse/child work?



A: No, your spouse is not allowed to work in an accompany family member status (TD, H-4, L-2) unless they can secure their own work authorization.

Can my spouse attend school?



A: Yes, however, your spouse cannot work on campus.

Can I buy a house?



A: Yes, but typically it is often hard for a non-immigrant to secure a home loan.

How long will a TN extension take?



A: Varies depending on current USCIS processing time and current USCIS priorities. See the USCIS processing reports at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do.

Do I have to go to a U.S. Port of Entry again to extend my TN?



A: No. This can be done by filing an extension petition with the USCIS prior to the expiration date.