[Sidefx-houdini-list] Canadians working in the US (was: R&DOPENINGS AT LAIKA)

Ammon Riley ammon.riley at gmail.com
Fri May 18 03:04:02 EDT 2007

On 5/17/07, Darran Edmundson <darran at edmstudio.com> wrote:
> Ammon Riley wrote:
> > For a Canadian, this is what matters. The degree has to be in one
> > of the specialties listed by the US Government, but, since there
> > are dozens of specialties listed, it's not hard to shoehorn whatever
> > you do into one of them. The TN visa requirements have "or equivalent"
> > language in them, but it's a bit tougher -- last time I read the rules,
> > that meant 3 years of work experience per year of degree that, so if
> > you don't have that degree, you need twelve (or more) years of work
> > experience before you can get a TN visa.
> Looking at the Wikipedia entry for the TN visa
>      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TN_visa),
> a couple of things strike me.  First, you seemingly apply (and are
> adjudicated) at the border rather than at a local consulate.

Yup. It's pretty much a rubber stamp, as long as your papers are
in order, and, if something's missing, you just go home, get it,
and come back the next day.

> I imagine the hapless Canadian being summarily rejected at the
> airport after having settled all their affairs in the frozen north.

Don't wait to get the visa until you're trying to get on the plane.
Get your visa, and drive down to your nearest border crossing
a week in advance (I assume you're one of the 80% of the
population who lives within 100 miles of the border). You don't
have to stay in the US once you get the visa -- I drove over,
got my visa, turned around and came home. Total time spent
(aside from the driving) was about 40 minutes.

I did, however, nearly get rejected at the border when I was
moved down to LA afterwards. Apparantly, since the TN-1 is
a temporary visa, you're required by the (US government) to
maintain residence is Canada. They saw my moving truck, and
were like... "what's your permanent address in Canada?" To
which I said "I don't have one." And they replied that I wasn't
going to be allowed in, because they couldn't have me staying
after the visa expired. Fortunately, I managed to convince them
that I've never owned a house in Canada, so, as a renter, I've
never exactly had a "permanent" address, and that it didn't
make sense to pay rent on an empty apartment for a year,
in addition to the apartment I'd be renting in the US.

> Second, what if your degree isn't in the area of work?
> For example, mine is a PhD in computational physics, but
> I'd be applying to do effects work in a film studio.

Okay, now you're just pulling our leg, right? TD or "visual
effects" may not be on the list, but both physicist and
mathematician are. A degree in computational physics (PhD,
no less) is hand-in-glove with doing visual effects work at a
film studio -- you'd be so easy to write a TN-1 visa letter for,
it's not even funny. All you need is a fancy title... "Senior
Physicist," maybe... :)

If you're asking in the general sense, then that's where
the creativity of the person writing the visa letter come
in, but it's generally not a problem.


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