General Occupations

TN Visa: Technical Publications Writer


The TN visa occupational category for Technical Publications Writers 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 Technical Publications Writers was carried over and included in the NAFTA list of available occupations in 1994. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).


Initially, under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (the predecessor to NAFTA) it was proposed that an individual could qualify as a Technical Writer based solely on possession of a bachelor’s degree. 55 FR 6694 (Feb. 26, 1990). A post-secondary diploma with three years’ experience was later included as an alternative to the bachelor’s degree requirement. 56 FR 480 (Jan. 7, 1991).

Except for the addition of a Licenciatura Degree, the credentials acceptable for eligibility under the Technical Writer category remained unchanged following the implementation of NAFTA. To qualify for TN visa status under the occupational category for Technical Writers, an individual must possess one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Licenciatura Degree.
  • Post-Secondary Diploma and three years of experience.
  • Post Secondary Certificate and three years of experience.

The regulations governing TN visa status generally do not provide any guidance on the type of degrees or majors suitable for a particular TN occupational category. To determine the types of degrees suitable for Technical Writers 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 Technical Publications Writer 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.