On December 18, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released additional guidance on the Economist classification used in the TN classification.  The TN status is utilized by Canadian and Mexican nationals to enter the United States on a temporary basis in a number of position classifications defined by the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In the past, the Economist classification has been used for a variety of economic-related positions including financial analysts, market research analysts, and marketing specialists.  However, in the updated guidance, USCIS has indicated that activities related to those performed by financial analysts, market research analysts, and marketing specialists will no longer qualify for the TN Economist classification.  Under the new standards, USCIS will defer to the description promulgated by the Department of Labor to determine whether an individual qualifies as an Economist for TN purposes.  The new standards are currently binding on USCIS personnel, but have not yet been adopted by other immigration agencies including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of State which also adjudicate TN petitions.

For any questions related to a specific case and potential strategies and alternatives, please feel free to reach out to us.  We will continue to monitor and provide updates as additional information is available.

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