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Canadian And Mexican Temporary Work Visas

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) permits Canadians and Mexicans to enter the United States to perform the work set forth below without the requirement of work visas. Written proof must be shown that applicants will do any of the following for a company in Canada or Mexico:

a. Research and design;
b. Growth, manufacture and production;
c. Purchasing;
d. Conducting commercial transactions;
e. Attending trade fairs;
f. After-sales services of machinery.

Canadian and Mexican specialized workers may use an alternative to the H-1 category (which is currently closed) by availing themselves of TN status. A bachelor’s degree is necessary from a college or university; or a license from a Canadian or Mexican Province or an American State. The professions listed below should satisfy the TN requirements:

Accountant, architect, economist, engineer, forester, graphic designer, hotel manager, industrial designer, interior designer, land surveyor, landscape architect, lawyer, librarian, mathematician, medical professionals, clinical lab technologist, dentist, dietitian, medical lab technologist, medical technologist, nutritionist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, physician, physio/physical therapist, psychologist. Recreational therapist, registered nurse, veterinarian, research assistant (college and university only), scientists (agronomist, agriculturist, animal breeder, animal scientist, apiculturist, astronomer, biochemist, biologist, chemist, dairy scientist, entomologist, epidemiologist, geneticist, geochemist, geologist, geophysicist, horticulturist, meteorologist, pharmacologist, physicist, plant breeder, poultry scientist, soil scientist, zoologist); social worker, teacher (college, university or seminary only), systems analyst, technical publications writer, urban planner, vocational counselor.

There is no limitation on the number of those who may qualify. A TN visa will be issued for one year and then the TN may be renewed annually for an indefinite period.

If you have any questions or difficulties, please call us.


Under Immigration Law Extraordinary Ability means a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of a small percentage who have risen to the top of their field of endeavor. The petitioner must demonstrate either a major onetime achievement, such as an internationally recognized award or patent or that he or she meets at least three of the enumerated criteria set forth below:

1. Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards.
2. Membership in associations in the field of the expert, which requires outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts.
3. Published material about the applicant in professional, artistic, or major trade publications or other major media.
4. Participation as a judge of the work of others.
5. Evidence of original scientific, scholastic, artistic, athletic or business related contributions of major significance.
6. Authorship of scholarly articles in the field.
7. Artistic exhibitions.
8. Performance in a leading or cultural role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
9. High salary or remuneration compared to others in the field.
10. Commercial success in the performing arts.


A CGFNS Certificate must be obtained or a passing grade for the NCLEX-RN exam, to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. by a registered nurse. Also a nurse must demonstrate he/she has a degree from a nursing school and a license to work as a registered nurse in a foreign country; or a license to work as a registered nurse in the U.S. or a Certificate of successful completion of the aforesaid exams.

Registered nurses are considered in short supply in the U.S., hence no Labor Certification is required. An immigration application for preference and adjustment of status may be immediately submitted, if the nurse is in valid status in the U.S. If the nurse is abroad, the immigration approval will be sent to the National Visa Center to forward the approval to the U.S. Consulate where the foreign registered nurse is living. An offer of employment will be necessary and passage of the CGFNS, the TOEFL (test of English language) and TWE (test of written English) and TSE (test of spoken English). Evaluation that the applicants license and education are equivalent to a U.S. nursing program must be made. The Visa Screen Certificate and green card authorization will be
granted by the U.S. Consulate and the applicant may then enter the U.S. as a permanent residence


For qualified physicians, a national interest waiver may be obtained to do medical services in a Health and Human Services Department (HHS)-designated for an underserved area or for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility.
The petitioner must submit evidence to support the request for his or her national interest waiver.

a. The physician will be an employee on a full-time employment contract (issued and dated within 6 months prior to the date the petition is filed) for the required period of clinical medical practice, or an employment commitment letter from a VA facility. Or the
b. Physician will establish his or her own practice in an underserved area committing to the full-time practice of clinical medicine for the required period, and the steps the physician has taken or intends to actually take to establish the practice,
c. In a geographical areas or in a facility under the jurisdiction of Veteran Affairs.

A national interest waiver may also be sought by a Federal Agency or the Department of Public Health or the equivalent in a State for the physician in the following manner:

a. Federal Agency must attest to the Agency’s knowledge of the alien’s qualifications and the agency’s background in making determinations in medical affairs, and substantiate the finding that the alien’s work is or will be in the public interest;
b. The attestation from the Public Health Department of the U.S. or a State, must reflect that the agency has jurisdiction over the place where the alien physician intends to practice clinical medicine. If the alien physician intends to practice clinical medicine in more than one underserved area, attestations from each intended area of practice must be included.

If applicable for Exchange Students, candidates must prove that he/she has a Waiver of the foreign residence requirements.

If you need help or advise, call us at (212)944-9420

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