Citizens of Canada and Mexico who want to work in the United States can apply for a TN Visa under The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is possible to work under the Physician category as a teaching or a research physician.

The complete list of NAFTA professions you can find here.

Physicians work on treating different injuries and illnesses. They track medical history, perform various examinations, define medical therapy and prescribe medicines, run diagnostics and do counseling about healthy lifestyles. More information about general job duties is available in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The previous agreement between Canada and the United States offered Canadians the possibility to practice direct patient care activities. However, that is not the case under NAFTA, and a Physician is unable to practice medicine or to perform patient care activities under the TN visa. This category applies only to the positions of teaching in medical schools or research programs. However, it is possible to be engaged partially in patients care activities under the condition that this activity is crucial for the Physicians teaching or research work and that patient care activities take no more than 10% of time spent on job duties. Additionally, the decision is made based on several factors such as compensation for medical services, how much the salary is offered in teaching or research, how many regular patients will be there, etc.

Eligibility to obtain a TN visa as a Physician seeks from petitioner to fulfill 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:

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor en Medicina
  • State / 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.
States may have different license regulations, in which case the petitioner has to provide the state-required license.

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 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.

If Physicians want to work full time at direct patient care, they should consider applying for an H-1B visa instead of a TN visa.

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