TN Visa Status as a Physician

The profession of a Physician is listed under the USMCA(NAFTA) professions list as a profession that qualifies for TN visa status. However, this only applies to physicians that are teaching or conducting research. If you are a Canadian or Mexican Citizen with an offer of employment from a US employer as a Physician, you might qualify to work and live in the US under TN Visa status. We discuss the profession of a Physician for TN Visa status under the USMCA and how to qualify here.

What is a Physician for TN Visa purposes?

Only physicians that will be teaching or conducting research qualify for TN visa status under the USMCA. Direct patient care is only permitted when incidental to teaching and or research. Under the Bednarz Memo issued on March 13, 1995, the following guidance is provided on which physicians qualify for TN visa status:

A TN physician, therefore, is limited by the NAFTA and the regulation to teaching and/or research only. There is no provision for a TN physician to engage primarily in clinical, or direct, pacient care… The Parties to the NAFTA have agreed, for purposes of implementation or as a practical matter, that patient care incidental to the teaching and or research is permissible.

How do I qualify for TN Visa status as a Physician?

You might qualify for TN Visa status as a Physician if you meet the following minimum qualifications:

  1. You are a Canadian or Mexican Citizen (Permanent Residents do NOT qualify);
  2. You have a job offer from a US employer or are servicing a contract with a US client;
  3. You will be performing duties consistent with a teaching or research physician;
  4. You have an M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; OR State/Provincial License; and
  5. You can demonstrate that you have non-immigrant intent, in other words, the intent to return to your foreign residence at the end of your temporary employment.

Is certification or licensure required to obtain TN Visa status as a Physician?

Although you can qualify for TN visa status as a physician with a state/provincial license, licensure is a post-entry requirement for TN visa status and is NOT a requirement to obtain TN visa status as a Physician. 

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The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 30+ years of TN Visa experience helping people to live and work in the United States. Contact us today for a free assessment of your qualifications for TN Visa status as a Physician.

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