An individual may obtain authorization to work in the U.S. under TN visa status in one of sixty-three occupations.
TN Visa Occupational Categories
An individual may apply for TN visa status to pursue an employment opportunity in one of the sixty-three occupations listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 to Annex 1603 of NAFTA. The occupations available are classified into four groups:
Parameters of TN Visa Occupations
- The NAFTA TN laws and regulations do not specifically define the types of positions or job duties permissible under the TN occupational categories.
- Under INA § 214 (e), 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); 8C.F.R. § 214.6 (a).
- The regulations define “business activities at a professional level” as “those undertakings which require that, for successful completion, the individual has a least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional in a profession set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1." 8C.F.R. § 214.6 (c).
- For example, a position may qualify for TN visa status under the Industrial Designer category if in order to successfully complete the duties of the position, an individual must possess one of the three credentials listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 for the Industrial Designer category. If a position requires a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design, then the position should be eligible for TN visa status under the Industrial Designer category.
- Individuals should refer to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) for guidance on the generally accepted job duties of a particular TN occupational category. See Royal Siam Corp. v. Chertoff, 484 F.3d 139, 145 (1st Cir. 2007); Blacher v. Ridge, 436 F. Supp. 2d 602, 609 (SDNY 2006).
Revised Aug. 18, 2018