TN Professionals

Canadian and Mexican professionals (known as “treaty nationals,” or TN) are eligible for temporary employment in certain specific occupations in the US under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (formerly the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA). Please see this list for qualifying occupations. TN status is initially valid for up to three years and can be renewed indefinitely in one-year increments.

Canadian Citizens

No application at a US consulate and no physical visa stamp is required for Canadian nationals who will be employed in the US in TN status. Canadian professionals can apply for admission into the US to accept employment by presenting the following documents at a US port of entry (land crossing or airport): an offer letter from UAB, proof of qualifications (usually a copy of diploma(s)), and proof of Canadian citizenship. PLEASE NOTE: physicians with patient care/clinical responsibilities are not eligible for TN status. Only physicians whose primary effort will be devoted to teaching and/or research can enter in TN status.

Mexican Citizens

Mexican professionals must apply for a physical TN visa stamp at a US embassy or consulate before entering the US to work in TN status. UAB will file a petition for TN status with USCIS on your behalf and send you the hard copy, original USCIS approval notice (Form I-797) for presentation to the consular official during your visa interview.

O-1 Physicians and Researchers

The O-1 visa category is reserved for individuals who are at the top of their field as evidenced by nationally- and internationally-recognized awards, publications, participation on review boards, membership in organizations requiring significant achievement, and employment in essential capacities for prestigious institutions, among other things. O-1 status is initially valid for up to three years and can be renewed indefinitely in one-year increments. You must gather 4-5 objective recommendation letters from national and international experts who can attest to the originality, value, and impact of your achievements and research. Please read more about the evidentiary criteria for the O-1 here.

Please review the evidentiary criteria explanation sheet and send us all relevant documents in addition to this Beneficiary Information Sheet.

If you are a physician who has exhausted six years of H-1B status, or are awaiting a 212(e) waiver to change status from J-1, please note that we are happy to work with outside attorneys you may retain to help collect evidence and draft support letters to change status to O-1. However, no outside attorney can file O-1 petitions on behalf of UAB or HSF, and no outside attorney can enter a Form G-28 on behalf of UAB or HSF. All Form I-129s must be routed through ISSS for review and signature prior to filing. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions prior to engaging outside counsel.

E-3 Australian

The process for obtaining work authorization in the US as an Australian is practically identical to that for the H-1B process.