United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a policy memorandum stating that it will restrict TN applications in the profession of economist to a narrow range of economic analysis duties.

Key points:

  • The guidance, dated Nov. 20, states that TN status is not appropriate for economists working primarily as financial analysts, market research analysts or marketing specialists, even if the job title is for an economist.
  • The new policy reverses long-standing USCIS practice and may be part of the Trump administration’s efforts to apply more “rigorous enforcement” and restrictive interpretations to immigration provisions.

BAL Analysis: The new guidance may have a major impact on financial firms. It reverses the previous USCIS practice of approving TN status for Canadian and Mexican nationals with economic degrees to work as financial analysts, market research analysts, and marketing specialists. Because the profession of “financial analyst” is not on the list of NAFTA professions, a determination by USCIS that a position primarily involves financial analyst duties could now result in denial of the TN application.