TN Visa Status as a Recreational Therapist

The profession of a Recreational Therapist is listed under the USMCA(NAFTA) professions list as a profession that qualifies for TN visa status. Suppose you are a Canadian or Mexican Citizen with an offer of employment from a US employer as a Recreational Therapist. In that case, you might qualify to work and live in the US under TN Visa status. We discuss the profession of a Recreational Therapist for TN Visa status under the USMCA and how to qualify here.

What is a Recreational Therapist for TN Visa purposes?

Under the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), a Recreational Therapist is outlined as follows:

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based medical treatment programs to help maintain or improve patients’ physical, social, and emotional well-being. These therapists use a variety of techniques, including art expression; drama, music, and dance; sports and games; aquatics; and community outings. Recreational therapists typically do the following:

  • Assess patients’ needs through observation, medical records, tests, and discussions with other healthcare workers and patients and their families
  • Develop and implement treatment plans that meet patients’ goals and interests
  • Engage patients in therapeutic activities, such as exercise, games, and community outings
  • Help patients learn social skills needed to become or remain independent
  • Help patients to reduce and cope with stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Document and analyze a patient’s progress to ensure that their goals are met and to modify treatment as needed

Recreational therapists use recreation-based medical treatment to help people reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.

How do I qualify for TN Visa status as a Recreational Therapist?

You might qualify for TN Visa status as a Recreational Therapist 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 Recreational Therapist;
  4. You have a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, and
  5. You can demonstrate that you have non-immigrant intent, that is, the intent to return to your foreign residence at the end of your temporary employment.

Is certification or licensure required for a TN Visa as a Recreational Therapist?

Employers may require or prefer recreational therapists to be certified. However, licensure is a post-entry requirement for TN visa status and is NOT a requirement to obtain TN visa status as a Recreational Therapist.


At Richards and Jurusuk, our legal practice is devoted to U.S. Immigration Laws, focusing on the USCMA and TN Visas. We have helped thousands of qualified professionals successfully obtain TN Visa status to work and live in the United States. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced TN visa lawyers to help you with the TN visa application process.

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You may have questions regarding the TN Visa requirements for a Recreational Therapist. We invite you to contact our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. We aim to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Please read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today to assess your legal situation.

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