On 20 November 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum which seeks to clarify policy guidance on the specific work activities its officers should consider when determining whether an individual qualifies for TN nonimmigrant status as an economist. The new memorandum indicates that the determination of whether a particular job is that of an economist will be based on the primary activity, not on the title of the offered position. Under the new policy, a person cannot be granted TN status as an Economist if their position will primarily include the activities of another occupation, such as financial analyst, market research analyst, or marketing specialist, for purposes of the TN classification.
Historically, if an applicant had a degree in economics, and their offered TN position required that they performed economic analysis and modeling or econometrics as a major responsibility of their position, they could be granted TN status. The new policy indicates that with respect to the occupation of financial analyst, USCIS recognizes that economists and financial analysts are related occupations and that there may occasionally be some overlap in the activities of these two occupational categories; however, USCIS indicated that financial analysts primarily conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions, and as such are differentiated from the economist TN classification.