TN visa

Urban Planners play a critical role in shaping the physical and social landscapes of urban environments. Under the USMCA (formerly NAFTA), Urban Planners from Canada and Mexico have the opportunity to bring their expertise to the United States through the TN Visa program.

Role of an Urban Planner for TN Visa Purposes

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) categorizes Urban and Regional Planners under a specialized profession that involves developing land use plans and programs for communities. These professionals are responsible for:

  • Collaborating with public officials, developers, and the public on development plans and land use.
  • Implementing government plans or policies affecting land use.
  • Gathering and analyzing data for community development and decline.
  • Conducting field investigations and reviewing site plans submitted by developers.
  • Assessing proposal feasibility, recommending approvals or denials, and presenting projects to communities and planning commissions.
  • Staying informed on zoning, building codes, environmental regulations, and legal issues.

Urban and Regional Planners are integral in managing the challenges that accompany population growth and urban development, addressing economic, social, and environmental issues.

Qualifying for TN Visa as an Urban Planner

To be eligible for TN Visa status, Urban Planners must meet these criteria:

  • Citizenship: Must be a Canadian or Mexican citizen; Permanent Residents do not qualify.
  • Employment Offer: A job offer from a U.S. employer or a contract with a U.S. client is necessary.
  • Professional Role: Duties should align with those of an Urban or Regional Planner as defined in the OOH.
  • Educational Requirement: A Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in urban planning or a closely-related field is required.
  • Non-Immigrant Intent: Demonstrating the intention to return to your home country after temporary employment is crucial.

Licensure Requirements for Urban Planners

As of 2016, New Jersey was the only U.S. state requiring licensure for Urban and Regional Planners. It’s important to note that while licensure may be a post-entry requirement in some cases, it is not mandatory for obtaining TN Visa status as an Urban Planner.

For Canadian and Mexican Urban Planners seeking opportunities in the U.S., the TN Visa offers a streamlined pathway to apply their skills and knowledge. Understanding and meeting these specific requirements are key to a successful application under the TN Visa program.

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