TN Visa: Graphic Designer

Background of TN Visa Category

The TN visa occupational category for Graphic Designers was not listed in the initial version of the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1989 (the predecessor to NAFTA). See 54 Federal Register 12 (Jan. 3, 1989). The Graphic Designer occupation was later added to the FTA in 1991. 56 FR 480 (Jan. 7, 1991). It was then carried over and included in the NAFTA list of available occupations in 1994. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).

TN Visa Applicant Requirements

Initially, under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (the predecessor to NAFTA) it was proposed that an individual could qualify as a Graphic Designer based solely on possession of a bachelor’s degree. 55 FR 6694 (Feb. 26, 1990). In the final rule adding the occupation to the FTA, a post-secondary diploma with three years’ experience was included as an alternative to the bachelor’s degree requirement. 56 FR 480 (Jan. 7, 1991).

Except for the addition of a Licenciatura Degree, the credentials acceptable for eligibility under the Graphic Designer category remained unchanged following the implementation of NAFTA. To qualify for TN visa status under the occupational category for Graphic Designers, an individual must possess one of the following:
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Licenciatura Degree.
  • Post-Secondary Diploma and three years of experience.
  • Post Secondary Certificate and three years of experience.
The regulations governing TN visa status generally do not provide any guidance on the type of degrees or majors suitable for a particular TN occupational category. To determine the types of degrees suitable for Graphic Designers for purposes of a TN visa, we may refer to U.S. Department of Labor publications such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). See Royal Siam Corp. v. Chertoff, 484 F.3d 139, 145 (1st Cir. 2007).

Read more about the TN visa degree requirements.

TN Visa Job Duties Requirements

The TN visa regulations do not specifically define the types of Graphic Designer positions or job duties that are permissible under this TN category. Like the degree requirement, individuals should refer to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) for guidance on the generally accepted job duties for this occupation.

Read more about TN visa job duties.



Revised Oct. 3, 2013.