Licensing Requirement for Pharmacist TN Visa
Question: I have been researching as to whether a Canadian pharmacist, with many years of practice and licensed in Saskatchewan, can obtain a TN status before completing her U.S. (California) pharmacist license.
Answer: In order to qualify for a Pharmacist under the TN classification, an applicant needs either (1) a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or (2) a state/provincial license. This individual should qualify for the TN based on her Saskatchewan license alone. She does not need to obtain her California pharmacist license prior to securing the TN. See 69 FR 60939 and the Hrinyak Memo available here. She may be admitted under TN status and then obtain her California pharmacist license as required by state law.
One caveat: I have seen some border inspectors deny TNs in this situation because the applicant did not possess the requisite state license. It may be a good idea to have either the above Federal Register notice or the Hrinyak Memo on hand to present to the inspector in case he or she attempts to deny the application due to lack of the state license.
See also the new H-1B policy on licensing requirements.