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TN Occupations: Physicians

Overview & Job Duties

Seeking admission to the U.S. as a Physician under the NAFTA treaty has very strict limitations. A Physician may enter in TN status to engage in a teaching or research position only. Direct patient care is prohibited. There is, however, a caveat to this general condition patient care that is incidental to a teaching and/or research position is permissible.

Keep in mind, physicians seeking entry to the U.S. are not limited to the TN category. Other visa options are available for physicians who wish to provide direct patient care.


To qualify for TN status as a Physician, an applicant must be entering the U.S. for teaching and/or research purposes only and possess one of the following:

Common Issues

Common issues for physicians seeking TN status generally relate to whether the applicant will be providing direct patient care or patient care that is incidental to a teaching and/or research position. In making this determination an adjudicating officer will consider the following factors:

  1. The amount of time spent in patient care relative to teaching and/or research;
  2. Whether the physician receives compensation for such services;
  3. Whether the salary offer is so substantial in teaching and/or research that direct patient care is unlikely; or
  4. Whether the physician will have a regular patient load.