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|Immigration and Nationality Law|
|Issues to Consider Under the TN Category
The following are issues to consider in assessing one’s eligibility for TN classification. The information provided below is from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations and/or the NAFTA Handbook.
Terms of Employment
A professional must enter the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level, meaning the performance of pre-arranged business activities for a United States entity, including an individual. The pre-arranged business activities may be through an employee-employer relationship or through a signed contract. Temporary employment of this nature may include performing training functions related to the profession, including conducting seminars. Training functions, however, must be conducted in the manner of pre-arranged activities performed for a U.S. entity and the subject matter must be at a professional level.
The business activities of a TN professional cannot be services to an entity owned or substantively controlled by the TN applicant. In other words, a TN professional is not permitted to engage in self-employment in the United States. According to the NAFTA Handbook, a TN applicant may be considered to have substantive control over a company if:
1. The applicant has established the receiving enterprise;
2. As a matter of fact, the TN applicant has sole or primary control of the U.S. enterprise (without regard to what the applicant’s actual ownership percentage is);
3. The applicant is the sole or primary owner of the business; or
4. The applicant is the sole or primary recipient of income of the business.
Scientific Technician/ Technologist
This classification does not require the TN applicant to hold a Bachelor’s degree. However, the Scientific Technician/ Technologist must have theoretical knowledge of agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics, and the ability to solve practical problems in any of these disciplines or the ability to apply principles of any of these disciplines to basic or applied research. The applicant’s skills can be documented through attestations from the prospective employer or the applicant’s previous employer, or other documentation that can support the applicant’s claim.
An individual applying for TN status as a Scientific Technician/ Technologist must be seeking temporary entry for work in direct support of professionals in agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics.
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/ Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)
TN applicants for this classification must be seeking temporary entry to perform in a laboratory chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic or bacteriological tests and analyses for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases.
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