Does Your Job or Degree Determine the Applicable TN Visa Category?

Question: What decides the profession I file under for my TN visa? My degree/education or the actual job I would be offered? Or both?

Reply: A prospective TN visa applicant has to assess two primary issues: (1) whether the position falls under one of the TN occupational categories; and (2) whether the applicant has the credentials for that particular occupational category. Both the applicant's job offer and credentials must meet the regulatory requirements to qualify for TN visa status.

I think it is more prudent to first assess whether the position offered falls under one of the TN visa occupational categories, and then determine if the applicant has the requisite credentials for the occupation. To make this assessment, a potential applicant should consult the following sources in this order: (a) the TN regulations; (b) the CBP Inspector’s Field Manual; and (c) the Occupational Outlook Handbook.