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TN Spotlight: Lawyer

The TN category permits citizens of Canada and Mexico to enter the U.S. to provide prearranged professional services to a U.S. entity. Under the regulations, there are limited professional occupations under which an individual may qualify. 

How to Qualify for TN Status as a Lawyer

To qualify for TN visa status as Lawyer, an individual must possess one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Law degree (L.L.B.);
  • Juris Doctor degree (J.D.);
  • Civil Law degree (L.L.L.);
  • Bachelor of Civil Law degree (B.C.L.);
  • Licenciatura degree (five years); or
  • Membership in a state/provincial bar.

Degrees received by the applicant from an educational institution not located within Canada, Mexico, or the United States must be accompanied by an evaluation by a reliable credentials evaluation service which specializes in evaluating foreign educational credentials.

Is State Licensure Required?

Notably, the requirements for TN admission or classification as a Lawyer do not include licensure in the United States; rather, the Foreign Affairs Manual clarifies that licensure to practice a given profession in the United States, including law, is a post-entry requirement subject to enforcement by the appropriate state authority. Proof of state or federal licensure to practice law may be offered in support of the applicant’s TN application, but admission or TN visa classification must not be denied based solely on the fact that the applicant does not already hold a license to practice in the United States.

Typical Job Duties: Lawyer

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. Lawyers typically do the following:

  • Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters
  • Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case
  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses
  • Present facts in writing and verbally to their clients or others, and argue on behalf of their clients
  • Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds

Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors.

Application Process

For citizens of Canada, applicants can submit a TN petition to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at any land port of entry or airport preclearance location throughout Canada. A decision will be made on the spot, and, if approved, the applicant may begin working in the U.S. the same day.

For citizens of Mexico, applicants need to schedule and attend an in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico. Upon approval, the applicant will be issued a TN visa inside his or her passport, which can then be used to gain entry to the U.S. in TN status. 

Individuals may also apply through the mail with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if they would like to change or extend their current status from within the U.S. 

Additional Resources

Berardi Immigration Law regularly helps Canadian and Mexican citizens obtain TN status. We provide an individualized approach for each client. If you have a job offer as a lawyer in the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!

To see an example of one of our successful TN cases under the attorney classification, be sure to watch this video.