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Want to work in the U.S. through the Jay Treaty? Some say process is confusing, frustrating – CBC

Feb 08, 2024

Indigenous people born in Canada can live and work in the U.S., but not vice versa

While obtaining permanent residency in the United States through Jay Treaty rights sounds easy, the actual experience and amount of time it takes can vary.

The Jay Treaty was signed in 1794 between Great Britain and the United States. Under the treaty, “American Indians” who were born in Canada can freely enter the United States for travel, studies, employment, retirement and immigration.

But to prove eligibility under the treaty, the U.S. government requires a set of documents which some say are unclear, and some are even having trouble getting.

Documents that help prove eligibility under the Jay Treaty:

  • Blood quantum letter from one’s registered First Nation that shows you are at least 50 per cent “American Indian”
  • Long-form birth certificates for oneself and every parent generation tracing their ancestry
  • Status card
  • Letter of ancestry from Indigenous Services Canada

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