Qualifying for TN Visa Based on Experience

Question: I understand that the H-1B visa applications will accept years of previous work in a specific field. Are there any comparable provisions with a NAFTA TN visa?

Answer: There are only two NAFTA TN occupational categories that an individual may qualify for without a degree or diploma: the Management Consultant and the Scientific Technician. If you refer to the specific pages for these categories (linked here), you’ll see that each is heavily scrutinized with respect to qualifications and severely limited with respect to permissible job duties and employment relationship.

Several other TN categories permit eligibility based on the possession of a post-secondary diploma plus three years experience, such as the Computer Systems Analyst, Graphic Designer, and Technical Publications Writer. The remaining categories generally require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Note: In proving eligibility for an H-1B, an individual may combine his or her related experience with any educational coursework completed in order to obtain an equivalency of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. An individual may not use this type of equivalency to support eligibility for a TN. Read more about TN degree requirements.