Skip to main content

Do I need to Have a State License to Qualify for the TN Visa to Work as a Lawyer in the US?

By February 6, 2023Immigration, TN Visa
a lawyer in their office with the scales of justice and a gavel on their desk

In order for a Canadian or Mexican national to qualify for the TN visa to work as a lawyer in the United States, they must possess a J.D., LL.B., LL.L, BCL, or five-year Licenciatura degree in the field, or show membership in a state or provincial bar. Although a U.S. state license is required to practice law in a U.S. state, the applicant can qualify for the TN visa even if they do not have the U.S. state license at the time of application.

This is because a new rule was published in October 13, 2004 that removed the requirement that a TN professional present a United States license at the time of application for admission to the U.S. An October 26, 2004 policy memorandum by the Customs and Border Protections (CBP) clarified this change as follows:

All TN nonimmigrants are subject to any individual state’s licensure requirements, but such state license is not a mandatory documentary requirement for entry.  State or federal law will continue to require the alien’s employer to ensure that the alien has the proper license before the alien commences employment.”

Given the policy above, it is clear that possession of a U.S. license is not a consideration when evaluating eligibility for a TN visa. In other words, an individual may qualify for the TN visa for a licensed profession, such as a lawyer, without having the U.S. license for the state in which the applicant intends to work.

Please see the following related posts to find out more about the TN visa.

FREE TN Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free TN Visa Guide, sign up for our free TN Visa Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our TN Visa videos.

Download Our TN Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our TN Visa Webinar
Join Our TN Visa Facebook Group
Watch Our TN Visa Videos

Set up a TN Visa Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one TN Visa consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply