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TN status

TN status

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TN status is a special non-immigrant status in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 unique to citizens of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Professions identified in the Canada - United States Free Trade Agreement which began in 1988 are permitted TN Visas for legal work in the United States and Canada, creating freedom of labor movement. TN status is recognized in the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA) which began in 1994. It allows U.S., Canadian and Mexican citizens the opportunity to work in each other's countries in certain professional occupations. It bears a similarity, in some ways, to the H-1B visa
H-1B visa
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101. It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations...

, but also has many unique features. Within the TN set of occupations, an American, Canadian or Mexican can work for up to three years (until October 16, 2008, one year) at a time. However, the TN status may be renewed indefinitely in three-year increments, although it is not a 'permanent' visa and if US immigration officials suspect it is being used as a de facto green card
United States Permanent Resident Card
United States lawful permanent residency refers to a person's immigration status: the person is authorized to live and work in the United States of America on a permanent basis....

, they may elect to deny further renewals. The set of occupations permitted to petition for TN status is also quite a bit more limited than for the H-1B visa.

Spouse and dependent children of a TN professional can be admitted into the United States in the TD status.

Canadian citizens in the USA


Canadian professionals are admitted into the USA in the TN-1 status. Applying for this status is a fairly streamlined procedure. The Canadian must first obtain proof of a job offer, in the form of an employment letter detailing employment for not more than three years, and documentation (often in the form of a university degree and/or evidence of former employment) in the occupation area. This paperwork is then brought to the border (most commonly it is done upon entry to the USA from Canada, but entry in TN status is permitted at any port of entry), along with proof of Canadian citizenship and the $50 fee (plus an additional $6 at a land or sea crossing; this is included in airline tickets when arriving by air). The US immigration officer will then adjudicate the application on the spot and grant or deny TN status. If the decision is to grant TN status, the Canadian immediately enters the US and begins TN employment. If the decision is to deny, the immigration officer will often detail the shortcomings in the application; if these are relatively straightforward to correct, the Canadian will often correct the problem in a day or so and then return to the border to reapply.

Certain TN status categories are known to be more difficult than others. For example, 'Management Consultant' applicants will often be scrutinized closely to determine if they will really be serving as consultants, or are in practice simply 'managers'. (The latter is generally not allowed under TN status.) Similarly, 'Computer Systems Analysts' will often have their applications carefully examined to ensure that their qualifications and job duties truly rise to the level of Computer Systems Analyst, and that they are not in practice simply serving as computer programmers.

Once TN status is granted, it is good for three years but only for the specific employer for which it was originally requested. Changing employers will require the Canadian to return to the border and start from scratch with a new application. If employment with a single employer is desired for more than three years, it may be renewed indefinitely. Renewal is accomplished either by a mail-in renewal within the United States, or by returning to the border and, in effect, presenting a new application. Renewal is possible, in theory, indefinitely, but the TN status is not a substitute for permanent residency (a green card), and the border official has the discretion to refuse further renewals if she feels the ability for indefinite renewal is being abused. How this happens in practice depends largely on the mood of the individual border official. Some Canadians have successfully renewed TN status for a decade or more; others have found that after 3–4 years a border official denies further renewals.

Canadian citizenship for TN status purposes may be by descent or naturalization. Those with qualifications from sources outside Canada or the U.S. must prove equivalency to the U.S. requirements. There is no appeal recourse if one is refused TN status.

Canadian tax requirements


Canadian TN status workers appear to be responsible for US Medicare, State, Federal and Social Security taxes whether they are resident or non-resident (working remotely) in the U.S. If their legal residence is still in Canada, workers are also required to file Provincial and Federal income tax but can credit some part of the taxes paid in the United States. Bilateral treaties exist to allow workers to regain benefits. For example, years worked in the U.S. may contribute to the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security eligibility with the proper paperwork.

Comparison to H-1B visa


TN status has some similarities with the H-1B visa
H-1B visa
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101. It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations...

. TN status may be easier for some Canadians or Mexicans to obtain, as they are not subject to the annual cap for H-1B visas issued. However, because the TN status is adjudicated at the border, TN status can also be revoked at any time at the border (if a Canadian is re-entering the US), even if it is not up for renewal. Thus it is important to be sure that any application is perfectly airtight. But the most important difference is that TN status does not include the doctrine of dual intent
Dual intent
Dual intent is a United States immigration law concept. It generally refers to the fact that certain U.S. visas allow foreigners to be temporarily present in the U.S. with lawful status and immigrant intent. This allows those visa holders, particularly H-1B professionals, to enter the U.S...

. Therefore, Canadians or Mexicans on TN status must be careful if they desire to ultimately pursue the green card
United States Permanent Resident Card
United States lawful permanent residency refers to a person's immigration status: the person is authorized to live and work in the United States of America on a permanent basis....

. Either they should first switch to the H-1B visa before applying for the green card, or they must carefully time things to ensure they do not attempt to renew TN status after the green card application is formally pending (generally meaning that Form I-485 package has been filed for TN holder; those pursuing consular process can renew until just before the interview appointment at an Immigrant Visa issuing US Consulate). TN status has become the better alternative recently for Canadian citizens, rather than trying for an H-1B visa which is most in demand.

TN Status


The TN status is sometimes informally referred to as a TN visa. However, because a Canadian does not formally need to request a TN visa at a US consulate, it is technically not a visa, but rather a status.

Mexican citizens in the USA


The procedures for Mexican citizens applying for TN status are a bit more complex than for Canadians, although they have been significantly simplified. At one time, Mexicans were subject to an annual quota and to procedures similar to an H-1B visa. However, since January 1, 2004, a Mexican citizen must follow a similar procedure to Canadians, but they must first obtain a US TN-2 visa at a US consulate (generally in Mexico). Once the TN visa stamp is obtained in the Mexican citizen's passport, they may enter the US in TN status in a similar manner to a Canadian citizen, and are admitted into the US in the TN-2 status.

In US Fiscal Years 2007 through 2009, between 4,000 and 5,000 TN visas (i.e., TN-2 visas for Mexicans) were issued by US consulates each year.

Recognized TN Professionals

Profession Minimum Education Requirements and Alternative Credentials

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A

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Accountant
Accountancy
Accountancy is the process of communicating financial information about a business entity to users such as shareholders and managers. The communication is generally in the form of financial statements that show in money terms the economic resources under the control of management; the art lies in...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.

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Agriculturist
including Agronomist

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Animal Breeder
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

----
Animal Scientist
Animal science
Animal Science is described as "studying the biology of animals that are under the control of mankind". Historically, the animals studied were farm animals, including livestock and horses, but courses available now look at a far broader area to include companion animals, for example dogs, cats and...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Apiculturist
Beekeeping
Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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Astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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B

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Biochemist
Biochemist
Biochemists are scientists who are trained in biochemistry. Typical biochemists study chemical processes and chemical transformations in living organisms. The prefix of "bio" in "biochemist" can be understood as a fusion of "biological chemist."-Role:...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Biologist
Biologist
A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of life. Typically biologists study organisms and their relationship to their environment. Biologists involved in basic research attempt to discover underlying mechanisms that govern how organisms work...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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C

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Chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Computer Systems Analyst
Systems analyst
A systems analyst researches problems, plans solutions, recommends software and systems, and coordinates development to meet business or other requirements. They will be familiar with multiple variety of programming languages, operating systems, and computer hardware platforms...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary certificate, and three years experience

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D

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Dairy Scientist
Dairy
A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Dentist
Dentist
A dentist, also known as a 'dental surgeon', is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. The dentist's supporting team aides in providing oral health services...


D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license

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Dietitian
Dietitian
Dietitians supervise the preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, participate in research, and educate individuals and groups on good nutritional habits. The goals of dietitians are to provide medical nutritional intervention, and to obtain, safely prepare, serve and advise on...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
Emergency management
Emergency management is the generic name of an interdisciplinary field dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause events like disasters or catastrophes and to ensure the continuance of the...

claims adjuster employed by an insurance company located in the territory of a Party, or an independent claims adjuster

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims

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E

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Economist
Economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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Entomologist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Epidemiologist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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F

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Forester
Forester
250px|thumb|right|Foresters of [[Southern University of Chile|UACh]] in the [[Valdivian forest]]s of San Pablo de Tregua, ChileA forester is a person who practices forestry, the science, art, and profession of managing forests. Foresters engage in a broad range of activities including timber...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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G

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Geneticist
Geneticist
A geneticist is a biologist who studies genetics, the science of genes, heredity, and variation of organisms. A geneticist can be employed as a researcher or lecturer. Some geneticists perform experiments and analyze data to interpret the inheritance of skills. A geneticist is also a Consultant or...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

----
Geologist
Geologist
A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

----
Geochemist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

----
Geophysicist
including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

----
Graphic Designer
Graphic designer
A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures and...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience

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H

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Horticulturist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Hotel Manager
Hotel manager
A hotel manager or hotelier is a person who holds a management occupation within a hotel, motel, or resort establishment. Management titles and duties vary by company. In some hotels the title hotel manager or hotelier may solely be referred to the General Manager of the hotel...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management, and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management

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I

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Industrial Designer
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience

----
Interior Designer
Interior design
Interior design describes a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an effective setting for the range of human activities are to take place there. An interior designer is someone who conducts such projects...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience

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J

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K

----


L

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Land Surveyor
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal license

----
Landscape Architect
Landscape architect
A landscape architect is a person involved in the planning, design and sometimes direction of a landscape, garden, or distinct space. The professional practice is known as landscape architecture....


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

----
Lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

including Notary in the Province of Quebec

LL.B., J.D., LL.L., B.C.L. or Licenciatura Degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar

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Librarian
Librarian
A librarian is an information professional trained in library and information science, which is the organization and management of information services or materials for those with information needs...


M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)

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M

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Management Consultant
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement

----
Mathematician
Mathematician
A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

including Statistician

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)
Medical technologist
A Medical Laboratory Scientist is a healthcare professional who performs chemical, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological diagnostic analyses on body fluids such as blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid , peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience

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Meteorologist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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N

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Nutritionist
Nutritionist
A nutritionist is a person who advises on matters of food and nutrition impacts on health. Different professional terms are used in different countries, employment settings and contexts — some examples include: nutrition scientist, public health nutritionist, dietitian-nutritionist, clinical...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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O

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Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapist
An occupational therapist is trained in the practice of occupational therapy. The role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of "purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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P

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Pharmacist
Pharmacist
Pharmacists are allied health professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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Pharmacologist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

teaching or research only

M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license

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Physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

including Oceanographer in Canada

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

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Plant Breeder
Plant breeding
Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the genetics of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Poultry Scientist
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...


State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree

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Q

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R

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Range Manager/Range Conservationalist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Recreational Therapist
Recreational therapy
Recreational therapy, also referred to as recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation, is a treatment service that provides treatments and recreation activities to individuals with illnesses or disabling conditions to improve or maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being and help reduce...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Registered Nurse
Registered nurse
A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program at a university or college and has passed a national licensing exam. A registered nurse helps individuals, families, and groups to achieve health and prevent disease...


State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree

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Research Assistant
Research assistant
A research assistant is a researcher employed, often on a temporary contract, by a university or a research institute, for the purpose of assisting in academic research...

working in a post-secondary educational institution

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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S

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Scientific Technician/Technologist
Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research

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Social Worker
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Soil Scientist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Sylviculturist
Soil science
Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.Sometimes terms which...

including Forestry Specialist

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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T

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Teacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

College, Seminary or University teaching only

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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Technical Publications Writer
Technical writer
A technical writer is a professional writer who designs, creates, and maintains technical documentation...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience

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U

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Urban Planner
Urban planner
An urban planner or city planner is a professional who works in the field of urban planning/land use planning for the purpose of optimizing the effectiveness of a community's land use and infrastructure. They formulate plans for the development and management of urban and suburban areas, typically...

including Geographer

Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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V

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Veterinarian
Veterinarian
A veterinary physician, colloquially called a vet, shortened from veterinarian or veterinary surgeon , is a professional who treats disease, disorder and injury in animals....


D.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license

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Vocational Counsellor
Vocational Guidance Counsellor
Vocational Guidance Counsellor is a Monty Python sketch that first aired on December 21, 1969 in the episode "Episode 10". The sketch is credited with creating the popular stereotype of accountants being boring. Four decades on, the Financial Times reported that it still haunts the...


Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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W

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X

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Y

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Z

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Zoologist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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TN status extension options


Renewal/extension of TN status can be done either by mail (which requires filing of form I-129 "Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker" by the employer, along with proof of the TN holder's citizenship and education, and an extension letter similar to the original offer letter) or by duplication of the original process (for Mexican citizens, a trip to a US consulate; for Canadians leaving and re-entering US, document requirements are similar to those for obtaining the original TN).
TN holders (and any dependents) are required to leave the US as soon as the TN status expires or the job is terminated; there is no formal grace period as there is with an H1-B. The individual is legally not allowed to remain in the USA to look for another job. If they wish to re-enter, they must secure an offer of employment from abroad. USCIS will usually allow a non-immigrant to enter the US to attend a specific pre-arranged job interview in visitor status. (Visitor status is allowed up to a maximum of six months - entry in any other non-immigrant category including TN counts against this limit.)

Dependents


The spouse (and dependent children) of someone with TN status may apply for TD status (TD-1 for the family members of a Canadian citizen worker, or TD-2 for those of a Mexican worker). TD status does not allow them to work, although they may attend school. In most states, non-resident tuition rates will apply for post-secondary institutions. If the spouse requesting TD status is not a Canadian citizen, he or she will usually still qualify for TD status, but must first request a formal TD visa at a US consulate.

The US consulates report 3,000 to 4,000 TD visas issued in each US Fiscal year from 2007 to 2009; this includes visas issued both to family members of Mexican TN-2 visa holders and to non-Canadian family members of Canadian TN-1 entrants.

See also

  • Canadian nationality law
    Canadian nationality law
    Canadian citizenship is typically obtained by birth in Canada, birth abroad when at least one parent is a Canadian citizen and was born or naturalized in Canada, or by adoption abroad by at least one Canadian citizen. It can also be granted to a permanent resident who lives in Canada for three out...

  • E-3 visa
    E-3 visa
    The E-3 visa is a United States visa for which only citizens of Australia are eligible. It was created by an Act of the United States Congress as a result of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement , although it is not formally a part of the AUSFTA. The legislation creating the E-3 visa...

  • United States Permanent Resident Card
    United States Permanent Resident Card
    United States lawful permanent residency refers to a person's immigration status: the person is authorized to live and work in the United States of America on a permanent basis....

  • United States citizenship

External links