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TN Visa: The Importance of Job Duty Descriptions

A TN nonimmigrant must be either a Canadian or Mexican citizen and be qualified to work in an occupation listed on the NAFTA treaty. There are over 60 NAFTA-approved professions, each with required documentation and qualifications. In applying for TN status, a foreign national must submit enough documentation for the Customs and Border Protection agent to understand the job offered and that the job is a profession designated under the NAFTA treaty. If the job duties do not fit the criteria for the TN category being sought, the application is subject to scrutiny and possible denial by CBP.

We just recently prepared two TN petitions for individuals working as computer systems analysts. Both worked primarily with a parent company in Canada and wished to transfer to a U.S. affiliate office. Their role is to work with a client, provide computer systems analysis, and systems integration and support services. They analyze the needs of the client, design solutions, and solve technical and performance issues. In drafting these cases it was important to make sure their job duties did not require them to perform any extensive programming, as this is not allowed under the computer systems analyst category. If CBP believed their job duties would entail such work, the petitions may have been denied. The application packet was carefully drafted, however, and both individuals were approved for a three-year period.