The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides Canadian and Mexican citizens opportunities to engage professionally in business activities under certain occupations. One of the available categories under which nonimmigrants can seek a TN Visa is a Pharmacist.
The complete list of NAFTA professions you can find here.
Pharmacists work with patients on dispensing prescription medications and teaching them how to use those medications safely. We use guidance from the regulations written in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor to define pharmacists’ general job duties. Some of those duties are:
Make sure that patients get a proper amount of medication
Make sure that it is safe for the patient to use prescriptions due to his or her health condition and other used drugs at that moment
Inform patients how to use medicine and warn them about potential side effects
Inform patients about healthy lifestyles
Work with insurance forms and insurance companies
Monitor the performance of technicians and interns
Educating healthcare subjects about medication therapies
There are different types of pharmacists, such as Community pharmacists, Clinical pharmacists, Consultant pharmacists, and Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists.
What are the educational requirements?
It is necessary to have one of the following educational requirements to be eligible to obtain a TN visa as a Pharmacist:
Bachelor’s degree or Licenciatura degree
Degree type is determined based on OOH, where it stated that it has to be in the Pharmacy field or a closely related field.
State or Provincial License
State or a provincial license presents any document issued by a state, provincial, or federal government, as the case may be, or under its authority, but not by a local government, that permits a person to be engaged in a regulated activity or profession.
Additional requirements that TN nonimmigrants have to submit are:
Proof of Mexican or Canadian citizenship (passport);
A proof of the job offer written as the letter of support by the employer, with all job details;
A 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 made immediately.
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.
What are the common issues?
All states have their requirements for licenses. If a petitioner does not have a license of a particular state, a border inspector can bring the decision to deny the petition. However, it is possible to obtain TN visa status as a Pharmacist first and then, afterward, to obtain the requisite state license, which is stated in the Hrinyak Memo.