General Occupations

TN Visa: Forester


The TN visa occupational category for Foresters was first listed in the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1989. See 54 Federal Register 12 (Jan. 3, 1989). The predecessor to NAFTA, the FTA provided work authorization under TC visa status, which was only available to Canadian citizens. The occupational category for Forester was carried over and included in the NAFTA list of available occupations in 1994. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).


Under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA), the predecessor to NAFTA, only a Bachelor's degree was listed as an acceptable credential to qualify for visa status as a Forester. See 54 Federal Register 48575 (Nov. 24, 1989).

In 1991, the legacy INS added a state or provincial license as an alternative credential to the bachelor's degree requirement for a Forester. See 56 FR 480 (Jan. 7, 1991). With the addition of a Licenciatura degree, the credential requirements for Foresters listed in the FTA were carried over and included in the requirements for TN visa status for a Forester under NAFTA. See 58 FR 69205 (Dec. 30, 1993).

To qualify for TN visa status under the occupational category for Foresters, an individual must possess one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate) degree;
  • Licenciatura Degree; or
  • State or provincial license

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. The legacy INS' NAFTA Handbook does state that a "baccalaureate or Licenciatura degree in forestry or a related field or a state/provincial license is the minimum entry requirement" for this profession. To determine the types of related degrees suitable for Foresters 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.


The TN visa regulations do not specifically define the types of Forester 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.

The legacy INS' NAFTA Handbook does add that "foresters plan and supervise the growing, protection, and harvesting of trees."

Read more about TN visa job duties.