Degree Equivalency Not Permitted for TN Visa
Question: I am a horticulturalist and have a job offer from a U.S. company for this position. I have a diploma (2 years) in Horticulture and I have (7) years experience with (5) years experience in hort. management. I have letters of reference to prove my work history. My question is: Is my (2) year diploma and (7) years experience equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree? If so, do you feel I would be qualified to be issued a TN visa if I take all my paperwork to the Peace Bridge?
Answer: You won’t be able to qualify for a TN as a Horticulturalist. Under the TN regulations, an individual may qualify for a Horticulturist if he or she possesses a Bachelor's or Licenciatura Degree. You must possess an actual bachelor’s degree to qualify. A degree from an educational institution outside of the NAFTA countries (U.S., Mexico, or Canada) would qualify for a TN provided the degree is evaluated as the equivalency of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. But unlike the H-1B visa category, if you lack an actual bachelor's degree, you cannot combine your education and experience to secure a bachelor’s degree equivalency for purposes of qualifying for a TN.