What is the NAFTA TN-1 Visa?
US work permit for Canadians? Welcome to TN-1 status!
What if you’re a Canadian Citizen who wants to work in the United States in an actuarial role? Then the NAFTA TN-1 visa could be for you!
The NAFTA TN-1 visa allows Canadian Citizens to work in the United States on a temporary (but renewable!) basis. What this means is that you simply have to renew your work permit every 3 years. You can renew an unlimited number of times as long as you remain eligible!
How It Works – TN-1 visa For Canadians
UPDATE: I’ve experienced this process first-hand and have posted about it here: my experiences moving to the US under TN status for actuaries
This is the easy part. After you get your employment offer letter, you apply at the border as you cross into the United States from Canada (by air or land). The employment letter must meet the requirements under the NAFTA TN-1 program; I heard that that’s essentially just an offer of employment saying you’ll be working in one of the valid professions listed below. If your employer is large (such as a Big 4 Accounting Firm like Deloitte), their in house Human Resources and Immigration Lawyers will have ample experience with this and walk you through the process. A friend of mine who is currently working for one of the Big 4 Audit Firms said she just went up to HR where they drafted a letter for her in the afternoon and then flew back in, valid work permit and all!
The downside as you might have noticed, is that you don’t know if your TN-1 work permit will be accepted or rejected until you cross the border. And each time you cross the border, you run the risk of the immigration officer not accepting your application. Scary stuff indeed!
TN-1 Visa For Actuaries:
You probably noticed that you don’t see Actuary or Actuarial on the above list. So how does TN-1 Visa apply for Actuaries, Actuarial Analysts, and Actuarial Students?
Actuaries typically go through the Mathematician role. While some may debate the honesty of taking this route, it is the route taken by many Canadian actuaries (at the junior level that I personally know of, although it’s safe to assume fully qualified actuaries would be even easier to get through) working in the United States.
Note: I am not a lawyer. These are my experiences the experiences of Canadian actuaries I know who moved to the US for actuarial jobs.
TN-1 Visa Status Process
What’s the process for entering the US on TN status? It’s actually quite simple for Canadians.
1) Obtain job offer and get employer support letter
2) Bring support letter and other documents to the border
3) (Hopefully) get TN-1 visa status and pay $50
4) Voila! You now have an American work permit 🙂
Paperwork and Documentation
Documentation Required for TN-1 Status:
-degree (ORIGINAL COPY REQUIRED)
-support letter (ORIGINAL COPY REQUIRED)
-resume (may not be required)
-experience records – these are letters from prior employers confirming your experience
I managed with just the degree, support letter, and resume. It is incredibly important for the TN-1 visa process that the degree and employer support letter be ORIGINAL COPIES. I got rejected the first time because the support letter was emailed to me and printed out (amongst other things).
TN-1 Visa Employer Support Letter
The Employer Support Letter must be in a specific format.
-must be original copy
-must be addressed to the US Customs and Border Patrol
-must be requesting TN-1 status for you under a specific category
-must include your salary and office location
-must indicate a period of not more than 3 years – it’s renewable but TN is supposed to be a non-immigrant temporary visa status
TN-1 Visa List of Professions:
|Profession1||Minimum Education Requirements or Alternative Credentials|
|Accountant||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.|
|Architect||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license2|
|Computer Systems Analyst||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma3 or Post-Secondary Certificate4, and three years experience|
|Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster (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|
|Economist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Engineer||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license|
|Forester||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license|
|Graphic Designer||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience|
|Hotel Manager||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|
|Industrial Designer||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience|
|Interior Designer||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience|
|Land Surveyor||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal license|
|Landscape Architect||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Lawyer (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|
|Librarian||M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)|
|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 (including Statistician)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Range Manager/Range Conservationalist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Scientific Technician/Technologist5||Possession of:
(a) 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
|Social Worker||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Technical Publications Writer||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience|
|Urban Planner (including Geographer)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Vocational Counsellor||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Dentist||D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license|
|Dietitian||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license|
|Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)6||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience|
|Nutritionist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Occupational Therapist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license|
|Pharmacist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license|
|Physician (teaching or research only)||M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license|
|Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license|
|Psychologist||State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree|
|Recreational Therapist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Registered Nurse||State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree|
|Veterinarian||D.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license|
|Agriculturist (including Agronomist)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Animal Breeder||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Animal Scientist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Apiculturist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Astronomer||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Biochemist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Biologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Chemist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Dairy Scientist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Entomologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Epidemiologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Geneticist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Geologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Geochemist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Horticulturist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Meteorologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Pharmacologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Plant Breeder||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Poultry Scientist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Soil Scientist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Zoologist||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|College||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|Seminary||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|
|University||Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree|