Mexican citizens aspiring to work in the United States under TN Visa status, as per the USMCA agreement, must meet specific educational criteria. Each qualifying profession under Appendix 2 of Annex 16-A.A.2 of the USMCA has designated requirements. This article breaks down the recognized Mexican degrees and their applicability for TN Visa purposes.
Mexican Degrees Qualifying for TN Visa Status
The US Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) specifies acceptable educational credentials for TN Visa eligibility. Under 9 FAM 402.17-5(C) Education and/or Experience Requirement, Mexican citizens can present:
- Cedula Professional: Issued by the Mexican Public Education Secretariat (SEP), this professional credential is a recognized testament of educational attainment.
- Título: This university diploma signifies the completion of a degree program, equivalent to a bachelor’s degree (“Licenciatura”), for professions requiring such educational level.
Additionally, a cedula professional issued by Mexican state governments is also considered a valid credential.
The Role of Carta de Pasante in TN Visa Eligibility
Contrary to cedula professional and título, a Carta de pasante does not fulfill the TN Visa educational requirements. It only verifies the completion of coursework, not the entirety of a degree program necessary for a Licenciatura.
Field Specificity of the Degree
The degree’s field of study is also an important consideration. While the degree need not always be in the exact field of employment, there should be a substantial overlap between the subject matter of the degree and the intended work in the U.S. For instance, a chemistry degree holder may qualify for a Biochemist role, given the significant relevance between the two fields. However, when a specific degree is required for a TN classification, a combination of education and experience cannot substitute for the exact degree requirement.
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