Canadian/Mexican Attorneys May Practice before the USPTO

Generally, any foreign citizen who is an attorney lawfully residing in the U.S. may register as a patent attorney to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office provided that the registration is not inconsistent with the terms of the foreign citizen’s U.S. immigration status. See 37 C.F.R. § 11.6 (a).

Two nonimmigrant worker classifications that would permit practicing as an attorney before the USPTO are TN status under NAFTA (only available for Canadian and Mexican citizens) and H-1B visa status. Both of these categories permit foreign citizens to practice law in the U.S. A nonimmigrant is granted limited recognition to practice before the USPTO under 37 C.F.R. § 11.9 (b).