The TN category Medical Laboratory Technologists permits Canadian and Mexican professionals to work in the United States under The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The complete list of NAFTA professions you can find here.

Medical Laboratory Technologists also wear the name Clinical Laboratory Technologists. They analyze different substances, like body fluids and tissues. Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor offers guidance for general job duties under the Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians category.

Typical duties are:

  1. Perform analysis on different samples and record the results
  2. Analyze blood samples intended for transfusion
  3. Uses laboratory equipment in the analysis process
  4. Document the patient’s medical record based on the results
  5. Communicate with other healthcare professionals

A TN visa for Medical Laboratory Technologist can be sought if a petitioner fulfills some educational requirements. For details about required education, we can refer to the OOH.

Petitioner has to obtain and provide evidence of one of the following:

  1. Bachelor’s degree or a Licenciatura Degree.
  2. Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, in which case the petitioner has to obtain three years of experience.

Post-Secondary Diploma represents proof of qualifications given by an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada or the U.S. to a TN nonimmigrant who had not less than two years of post-secondary education.

On the other hand, a Post-Secondary Certificate is given to a nonimmigrant by an accredited post-secondary institution by Mexico’s federal or state government. The Certificate is available for a TN nonimmigrant who had not less than two years of post-secondary education. Also, it can be issued if the federal or state government recognizes the academic institution or if the institution is established by federal or state law.

Additionally, the petitioner who wants to work in the United States as a healthcare professional has to earn a Health Care Worker (Visa Screen) certificate issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) for five years. The VisaScreen requirement has caused a lot of confusion in determining the TN visa admission and the question of which professions are required to obtain the Health Care Worker certificate under the Medical Technologists category. Hence, the CGFNS had to define this rule applied only to the “medical laboratory generalists.”

Additional requirements that TN nonimmigrants have to submit are:

  1. Proof of Mexican or Canadian citizenship (passport);
  2. A proof of the job offer written as the letter of support by the employer, with all job details;
  3. Proof that a nonimmigrant does not intend to stay in the U.S. after the TN visa expires.

How to seek admission as a TN nonimmigrant?

Canadian citizens should apply with all required documentation to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the U.S. Port of Entry. They are not required to obtain a visa first. It is also possible to apply at a pre-flight inspection or an airport after arriving in the United States. The decision is immediate.

On the other hand, Mexican citizens should apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. After the TN visa is approved, they can seek admission at the U.S. Port of Entry. Both Canadian and Mexican citizens can file the online I-129 petition with USCIS.

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