General occupations

TN Visa: Accountant


The TN visa occupational category for Accountants was first listed in the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1989. See 54 Federal Register 12 (Jan. 3, 1989). The predecessor to NAFTA, the FTA provided work authorization under TC visa status, which was only available to Canadian citizens. The occupational category for Accountants was carried over and included in the NAFTA list of available occupations in 1994. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).


Under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA), the predecessor to NAFTA, only a Bachelor's degree was listed as an acceptable credential to qualify for visa status as an Accountant.See 54 Federal Register 48575 (Nov. 24, 1989).

In 1991, the legacy INS proposed adding the C.P.A. and C.A. credentials as "alternatives to a baccalaureate for an accountant" to enable "a means of qualification for individuals who [were] well-established in the profession, but who [did] not hold baccalaureates." See 56 FR 11528 (March 19, 1991). During the finalization of this rule change, the INS added both the C.M.A. and the C.G.A. designations as acceptable alternatives for qualification as an Accountant. See 57 FR 33272 (July 28, 1992). With the addition of a Licenciatura degree, the credential requirements for Accountants listed in the FTA were carried over and included in the requirements for TN visa status for an Accountant under NAFTA. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).

To qualify for TN visa status under the occupational category for Accountants, an individual must possess one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate) degree.
  • Licenciatura Degree.
  • Certification as a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.).
  • Certification as a Chartered Accountant (C.A.).
  • Certification as a Certified General Accountant (C.G.A.).
  • Certification as a Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.).

The regulations governing TN visa status generally do not provide any guidance on the type of bachelor degrees or majors suitable for a particular TN occupational category. To determine the types of degrees suitable for an Accountant position for purposes of a TN visa, we may refer to U.S. Department of Labor publications such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). See Royal Siam Corp. v. Chertoff, 484 F.3d 139, 145 (1st Cir. 2007).

Read more about the TN visa degree requirements.


The TN visa regulations do not specifically define the types of Accounting positions or job duties that are permissible under this TN category. Like the degree requirement, individuals should refer to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) for guidance on the generally accepted job duties for this occupation.

Read more about TN visa job duties.