There are various visa and employment authorization options available for healthcare professionals wishing to gain employment in the United States. The TN nonimmigrant classification provides a convenient option for Canadian and Mexican healthcare professionals. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the United States, Canada and Mexico share special economic and trade relationships. TN work authorization was created under this agreement.
According to NAFTA, the TN classification includes various jobs in the healthcare industry including: dentists; dietitians; medical technologists; nutritionists; occupational therapists; pharmacists; physicians; physical therapists; psychologists; recreational therapists; and registered nurses. Only professions specifically listed under NAFTA are eligible for TN classification.
Canadian and Mexican citizens who fulfill the requirements for a TN may be authorized to work in the U.S. for up to three years, with the option to apply for extensions. In addition, the spouse and any dependents of the TN holder are permitted to live and study in the U.S. for the duration of the principals’ stay.
It is important to note that there are various restrictions on these professions under TN classification. Importantly, a physician may only teach and conduct research while on a TN visa; clinical work is not permitted. Generally, TN work authorization requires a bachelor’s degree in the intended field of employment. However, some professions require additional degrees or experience.
The requirements for Canadian and Mexican citizens differ. TN qualified Canadians are not required to have a visa to perform this work, although a visa can be provided upon request. Additionally, Canadian citizens can apply for TN classification at a U.S. port-of-entry. Mexican citizens require a visa to request admission to the United States for TN work authorization.
The TN is one option for Canadian or Mexican healthcare professionals to work in the United States. If you are a healthcare professional and have questions regarding employment in the U.S., our attorneys at Berardi Immigration Law will be happy to speak with you!