How to Get a US Work Visa for Canadians

Can a Canadian work in the United States? The answer is, yes! However, like every foreign national who wishes to work in the United States, they do require a work visa. But Canadians are usually luckier than other foreign nationals because there are more opportunities for them to obtain a work visa for the United States, and the process is generally faster.  

One such option, and a very popular one at that, is the TN Visa. Canadian citizens (permanent residents cannot apply, but Mexican citizens can) can apply for a TN Visa to work in the United States if they meet all of the requirements. For starters, if they work in a professional occupation that generally requires a high level of education, such as a biologist, a chemist, a pharmacist, a scientist, a registered nurse, a doctor, an engineer, a therapist or a lawyer, the TN Visa may be the perfect choice.

Requirements for a TN Visa to work in the United States

There is a long list of requirements for a TN Visa, so it is important to ensure you meet them before you apply. If you are unsure of whether you meet them, you should talk to an immigration lawyer.

1. You must be a Canadian citizen, and have the documentation to demonstrate this.
2. You must have a job offer from a US employer that is of a temporary nature in a qualifying occupation. The list of those qualifying occupations is available here.
3. Your job offer will have to be formatted for a TN Visa as a petition on your behalf for a TN Visa, which you will include in your own application. Most employers get immigration lawyers to draft these job offers for them. The job offer will indicate all of the details of the job to the immigration department in the United States.
4. You must be qualified for the job you have been offered, and be able to show a resume, educational transcripts, degrees, diplomas and work history if necessary.
5. You might have to provide references from former or current employers.

If you do not meet one or more of these requirements, you might not be qualified for a TN Visa and may need to look into the other types of United States work visas available. However, if your job offer is not on the qualified job list, we may be able to help you.

Note: Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the TN visa is considered a “fast” way to enter Canada, that it is easy to obtain. This is absolutely not the case and you will benefit greatly from assessing your case and reviewing your application with a licensed immigration lawyer to avoid being denied.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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