A TN visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows qualifying Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily enter the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Over 60 professions qualify for TN visa status, making it a very popular option for professionals seeking to live and work in the United States.
Benefits of a TN Visa
Reasons why the TN visa is an attractive option for Canadians include:
- Quick processing times. Canadian citizens seeking to work in the United States may get the visa processed same-day at a port of entry. This ability to avoid consular processing is a huge advantage;
- The application fees are inexpensive. Compared to other visa types, the fees for applying at a port of entry are relatively inexpensive. Attorney fees also tend to be less expensive than for other forms of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications (see Sisu Legal’s fees for your TN visa investment here);
- TN visas can be renewed indefinitely (although renewal is never guaranteed). TN visas are valid for up to three years, and may be renewed indefinitely - although this is never guaranteed. Most other employment visa categories have maximum duration caps;
- Your spouse and dependent children can live in the United States with you. Your spouse and unmarried, minor children may live with you in the United States under “TD status”. Although they may live in the U.S. with you, they will not be issued open permits;
- No labor certification (PERM) is required. The employer does not have to prove that there are no qualified U.S. citizens who can do the job, making the immigration process more straightforward, quicker, and employer-friendly.
More information on the TN Visa is available in our Canada & U.S. TN Visa Guide.
Graphic Designer Profession
Per the USMCA agreement, eligibility under the profession of Graphic Designer requires one of the following:
- Bachelor’s degree;
- Licenciatura degree;
- Post-secondary diploma and three years of experience; or
- Post-secondary certificate and three years of experience
The regulations themselves do not define the job duties of a Graphic Designer. Therefore, immigration officers rely on the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to establish whether proposed job functions are consistent with those of a Graphic Designer. Per the Handbook, Graphic Designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. Job duties typically involve the following:
- Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
- Use digital illustration, photo editing software, and layout software to create designs
- Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations to help deliver a message
- Design layouts, including selection of colors, images, and typefaces
- Present design concepts to clients or art directors
- Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
- Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them
Further information on the Graphic Designer profession per the Handbook can be found here.
In addition to the above, the applicant will only qualify for a TN visa if:
- They are a citizen of Canada or Mexico - permanent residents of either country are not eligible;
- They are seeking temporary entry - The TN visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning the applicant must have temporary intent. The applicant must satisfy the examining officer that they will leave the United States when their employment concludes;
- They have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer or be servicing a contract with a U.S. client. Self-employment is not allowed under TN status;
- They must perform duties consistent with the profession, as defined by the Occupational Outlook Handbook (see above); and
- The applicant meets the qualifications of the profession.