TN Visa Status as an Interior Designer

Interior Designers is one of the several professions that can qualify for TN Visa status under the USMCA(NAFTA). If you are a Canadian or Mexican Interior Designer with an offer of employment to work in the United States, you may qualify for TN Visa status. We discuss the profession of an Interior Designer and how to qualify for TN Visa status here.

What is an Interior Designer for TN Visa purposes?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) the profession of Interior Designers is defined as follows for immigration purposes:

Interior designers make indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They must be able to draw, read, and edit blueprints. They also must be aware of building codes, inspection regulations, and other considerations, such as accessibility standards. Interior designers typically do the following:

  • Search for and bid on new projects
  • Determine the client’s goals and requirements for the project
  • Consider how the space will be used and how people will move through the space
  • Sketch preliminary design plans, including electrical and partition layouts
  • Specify materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures
  • Create a timeline for the interior design project and estimate project costs
  • Place orders for materials and oversee the installation of the design elements
  • Oversee construction and coordinate with general building contractors to implement the plans and specifications for the project
  • Visit the site after the project is complete, to ensure that the client is satisfied

Interior designers work closely with architectscivil engineersmechanical engineers, and construction laborers and helpers to determine how interior spaces will function, look, and be furnished. Interior designers read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations.

How do I qualify for TN Visa status as an Interior Designer?

You might qualify for TN Visa status as a teacher 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 an interior designer under the OOH;
  4. You have a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura in fine arts or a closely related field, with fine arts subjects being the most common. Studies should include courses in interior design, drawing, and computer-aided design (CAD); OR Post-Secondary-Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years of experience; 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.

Do I need a license to qualify for TN Visa status as an Interior Designer?

Licensure requirements vary by state. In some states, only licensed designers may do interior design work. In other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may do such work; however, only licensed designers may use the title “interior designer.” In still other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may call themselves interior designers and do interior design work. However, licensure is a post-entry requirement and not required to obtain TN Visa status.

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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.

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