As part of the NAFTA agreement, the TN immigration status was created to allow citizens of Canada and Mexico to enter the US to engage in certain professional activities on a temporary basis. However, not all professional activities qualify one for TN status; Canadian and Mexican citizens are only eligible for TN status if they come to the US to engage in one of the professions specifically listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA treaty and if they meet the requirements for entry into the professional occupation, generally a Bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific field.
Like the TN-status, E-3 status is based on a free trade agreement and its use is restricted to citizens of certain countries. E-3 status permits Australian citizens to come to the United States to work in a “specialty occupation.” Whereas TN status is restricted to a list of professions, E-3 status is available for any “specialty occupation,” similar to H-1B status.
O-1 status may be an option for individuals (regardless of nationality) who have achieved and sustained national or international acclaim for extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics or aliens who have who have demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industries. O-1 status is used in limited circumstances at Virginia Tech – usually only in those cases where J, H, TN or E-3 status are not an option.