The TN Visa education requirements can be confusing and often difficult to understand. When looking at the list of TN visa professions, specific degree concentrations are not listed. There are TN Visa professions where you can qualify with a Bachelors Degree, TN Visa professions where you can qualify with a diploma or a certificate plus years of experience, and even TN visa professions where you can qualify based on experience alone. This complicates the process of determining your TN visa degree requirements under the USCMA (NAFTA).
How to Determine TN Visa Education Requirements
When determining whether or not your education meets the minimum TN visa degree requirements for a TN visa profession, keep the following guidance in mind:
TN Visa Education Requirements – Degrees, Licenciatura Degrees, Certificates, and Diplomas
- Both CBP and USCIS have determined that the TN Visa Degree Requirements under the USCMA (NAFTA) require a degree, certificate, or diploma to be in the field of study or in a closely related field, i.e., A TN Visa Accountant must have a Degree in Accounting, Finance, or a field closely related to accounting.
- Your degree must be from North America (U.S., Mexico, or Canada). If your degree is from outside North America, you must obtain a credentials evaluation to determine the equivalency of your degree to a U.S. degree.
- Under the USMCA (NAFTA) a “Post Secondary Diploma” means a credential issued, on completion of two or more years of post secondary education, by an accredited academic institution in Canada or the United States.
- Under the USMCA (NAFTA) “Post Secondary Certificate” means a certificate issued, on completion of two or more years of post secondary education at an academic institution, by the federal government of Mexico or a state government in Mexico, an academic institution recognized by the federal government or a state government, or an academic institution created by federal or state law.
- Certificates and diplomas from outside North America (U.S., Mexico, and Canada) DO NOT meet TN Visa education requirements.
- A Licenciatura is a the first higher-education degree awarded at universities, varying from 3 to 5 years of study, depending on the field. In Mexico, every graduate who obtained a Licenciatura diploma is legally a Licenciado, or licensed. Although a Licenciatura Degree is the equivalent of a U.S. 4 year degree, the main difference is that a Licenciatura Degree grants a license while a Bachelor’s degree doesn’t.
TN Visa Experience Requirements
- When relying on experience for TN Visa professions that allow experience as a qualification, the experience must be supported by letters from former or current employers attesting to the experience. The letters should include the position held, the duties performed, and the dates of employment.
- A resume or CV is considered self serving. Neither CBP or USCIS will accept a resume or CV as proof of experience to meet TN visa experience requirements.
- For TN visa professions that allow experience as a qualification, you can combine education and experience. This is common with TN Visas for Management Consultants.
TN Visa Education Evaluation Requirements
- When obtaining a credentials evaluation you CANNOT combine degrees with experience to meet the minimum degree requirements. The credentials evaluation must only consider your degree and supporting transcripts.
- Unlike the H-1B Visa where you can substitute experience for education, you CANNOT combine degrees with experience to meet the minimum TN visa education requirements.
- All degrees obtained outside of North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) must be accompanied with a foreign degree equivalency evaluating the degrees to their U.S. equivalency.
Additional Considerations for TN Visa Education Requirements
- CBP requires you to bring your original degree, certificate, or diploma when applying in person for a TN visa.
- When there is a question about whether your degree is in a specific field of study or a closely related field, provide your supporting academic transcripts. Some CBP Officers will insist on your original transcripts.
- When filing by mail with USCIS DO NOT submit originals. Only submit legible copies of all supporting degrees and related transcripts.
- Certificates and diplomas for courses of study less than two (2) years DO NOT meet TN visa education requirements.
- I.T. Certificates CANNOT be used to meet TN visa education or degree requirements.
- If your degree is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied with an English language translation.
Our TN Visa Lawyers will assess your education and experience for free. We offer assessments via telephone or video conference. We will review your documents to determine if you meet the minimum TN Visa education requirements.
Speak with a TN Visa Lawyer