TN Visas 101: What They Are and How Park Evaluations Can Help
What is a TN visa?
The TN visa is a special classification issued under the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2020. Under this classification, citizens of Mexico or Canada can fill certain specialty occupations—listed under the approved list of USMCA professions—in the United States for an initial period of three years.
What eligibility requirements must be met to file a TN visa?
As outlined by USCIS, an applicant is eligible for a TN visa if they meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must be a citizen of Mexico or Canada.
- The applicant must have a pre-arranged job offer in the United States.
- The proffered position in the United States must qualify as one of the approved USMCA professions and must require a USMCA professional.
- The applicant must meet the qualifications of the USMCA professional required for the proffered position in the United States.
The first two stipulations listed above are rather straightforward, so let’s focus on how a position qualifies under one of the accepted USMCA professions, requiring a USMCA professional, and how an applicant meets the qualifications of the USMCA professional needed for the position.
How does a position qualify as an accepted USMCA profession?
While the job title of proffered position in the United States does not need to be a replication of the USMCA profession classification, the petitioner must establish that the position’s duties align with the business activities typically associated with the USMCA profession as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. As with H-1B specialty occupations, USCIS will scrutinize the duties of the position in question, so it is critical that the proffered position be properly classified and that the listed duties of the proffered position appropriately coincide with the classified USMCA profession.
How does a candidate meet the qualifications of the USMCA professional?
Each USMCA profession has its own academic requirements and/or alternative credential requirements—the list of professions and correlating requirements can be found here. The applicant must meet the minimum requirements for the USMCA profession under which the proffered position has been classified in order to be eligible for a TN visa. For academic requirements, a candidate must either have a post-secondary degree from Mexico, Canada, or the United States or the equivalent of a United States post-secondary degree. It is important to note that, unlike a petition for an H-1B visa, the applicant’s academic and experiential credentials cannot be evaluated together to produce an academic equivalence. The candidate’s academic and experiential credentials must stand on their own to meet the necessary requirements as set out by USCIS.
What do Park Evaluations’ TN expert opinion letters do?
The TN expert opinion letters that Park Evaluations provides can help build upon and strengthen your TN visa petition by analyzing the proffered position and/or the applicant’s credentials. In terms of analyzing the proffered position, the TN expert opinion letter compares the job duties outlined by the petitioner and the job duties typically associated with the USMCA profession and makes the argument that the position does, in fact, coincide with the professional business activities of the USMCA profession category and thus falls within the specified USMCA classification. Park Evaluations’ TN expert opinion letters can also provide an analysis of the applicant’s academic and/or experiential credentials, arguing that the applicant has met the qualifications of the specified USMCA professional through their attainment of a relevant degree and/or work experience in the field. Ultimately, Park Evaluations’ TN expert opinion letters can help reduce the risk of your TN visa petition receiving an RFE or a denial from USCIS by providing a supplemental analysis of the petition from an expert in the field.
To request an expert opinion letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.