TN Visa Status as an Architect

The profession of an Architect is one of the 63 listed professions under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that qualifies for TN Visa status to work in the United States. We discuss the profession of an Architect for TN Visa status under the USMCA and how to qualify here.

What is an Architect for TN Visa purposes?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), architects fall under the profession of Architect.  These professions as are defined follows for immigration purposes:

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures. Architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
  • Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
  • Prepare structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings, either with computer software or by hand
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations

People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places. They work on public or private projects and design both indoor and outdoor spaces. Architects can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings. Architects discuss with clients the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project. In some cases, architects provide predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses, and design requirements.

Architects develop final construction plans on the initial proposal after discussing with clients. The architects’ plans show the building’s appearance and details of its construction. These plans include drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; and plumbing. Sometimes, landscape plans are included as well. In developing designs, architects must follow state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring reasonable access for people with disabilities.

Architects use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still required, especially during the conceptual stages of a project and when an architect is at a construction site.

As construction continues, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, adhere to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid.

Architects may also help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts.

How do I qualify for TN Visa status as an Architect?

You might qualify for TN Visa status as an architect 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 architect under the OOH;
  4. You have a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; OR 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.

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

All states and the District of Columbia require architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include completing a degree program in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination. 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 as an architect.

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