ATN visa is designed to allow certain professionals from Canada and Mexico – NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States.

This article will explain how Economists from Canada and Mexico can apply for TN nonimmigrant visa.

The complete list of NAFTA professions you can find here.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens can temporarily stay and engage professionally in various jobs in the United States. The economist is one of the available occupations listed in the NAFTA list since 1994.

There are no special TN Visa regulations about Economist occupations so that the guidance can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) created by the Department of Labors. According to the OOH, economists work on collecting and analyzing data. They also follow and analyze trends and solve economic problems related to resources, goods, and services.

What are the Duties of Economists?

General duties that are in the OOH:

  1. Address economic problems
  2. Research and gather data
  3. Analyze that data by using different techniques
  4. Share research results within reports and various types of graphics
  5. Explain and predict market trends
  6. Advisory work
  7. Design solutions for economic issues
  8. Prepare academic and media articles

What are the TN visa educational requirements?

The computer systems analyst has to obtain one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate) degree or Licenciatura Degree.

Additional requirements for TN visa eligibility refer to:

  1. Proof of Mexican or Canadian citizenship;
  2. A proof of the job offer written as the employers` letter of support, with all job details;
  3. A proof that a nonimmigrant does not have intentions to stay in the U.S. permanently.

How to Seek Admission as a TN Nonimmigrant?

The application with all required documentation can be filed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the U.S. Port of Entry for the Canadian citizens since they are not required to obtain a visa first. It is also possible to apply at pre-flight clearance or an airport after arriving in the United States.

On the other hand, Mexican citizens should apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. After the TN visa is approved, they can seek admission at the U.S. Port of Entry.

Both Canadian and Mexican citizens can file an online I-129 petition with USCIS.

What are the possible issues?

Term economist is excluded from NAFTA, which can cause complications and inconsistency in the decision-making process of defining if some occupations fall under the economists TN status.

It used to be common to obtain TN status as economists based solely on the financial analyst role, which usually focuses on investment programs. Although it may seem similar, it is essential to mention that financial analysts, marketing analysts, and marketing specialists are not included under the economist category. This restriction was stated in the USCIS policy memorandum in 2017.

However, USCIS states in the memorandum that economists operate in two main areas:

  1. Microeconomics – analyzing “the behavior of individuals and firms to understand the relationships between supply and demand.”
  2. Macroeconomics – analyzing “aggregated indicators to determine how different sectors of the economy relate to each other”

This categorization opens a possibility for some financial analysts to qualify as an economist under NAFTA, as long as they run activities consistent with the economist profession. Job duties that they have to perform are related to researching, gathering, analyzing economic and statistical data, and reporting and designing solutions for financial issues.

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