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TN Spotlight: Scientific Technician/Technologist

The TN category permits citizens of Canada and Mexico to enter the U.S. to provide prearranged professional services to a U.S. entity. Under the regulations, there are 63 professional occupations under which an individual may qualify. One such occupation is a Scientific Technician/Technologist. 

How to Qualify for TN Status as a Scientific Technician/Technologist

To qualify for TN status as a Scientific Technician/Technologist, an individual must:

  1. Possess theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics;
  2. Have the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research; and
  3. Be seeking temporary entry for work in direct support of professionals in agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics. The work of the Scientific Technician/Technologist must be inter-related with that of the supervising professional. 

A bachelor’s degree is not required to qualify for TN status as a Scientific Technician/Technologist. 

Typical Scientific Technician/Technologist Job Duties

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are many different types of Scientific Technicians/Technologists, including but not limited to Agricultural and Food Science Technicians, Biological Technicians, Environmental Science Technicians, Chemical Technicians, and Engineering Technicians. Typical job duties include:

  • Evaluating plans and specifications;
  • Maintaining project records;
  • Setting up, testing, operating, and modifying equipment;
  • Reviewing instructions, blueprints, and technical documents for projects;
  • Comparing test results with design specifications and with test objectives and making recommendations for changes in products or in test methods; and
  • Estimating labor costs and equipment life.

Please note that the nature of the job duties will vary based on the type of work being performed. A Mechanical Engineering Technician will have vastly different job duties compared to a Biological Technician. 

Application Process

For citizens of Canada, applicants can submit a TN petition to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at any land port of entry or airport preclearance location throughout Canada. A decision will be made on the spot, and, if approved, the applicant may begin working in the U.S. the same day.

For citizens of Mexico, applicants need to schedule and attend an in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico. Upon approval, the applicant will be issued a TN visa inside his or her passport, which can then be used to gain entry to the U.S. in TN status. 

Additional Resources

Berardi Immigration Law regularly helps individuals obtain TN status and provides an individualized approach for each client. If you study or work as a Scientific Technician/Technologist and want to expand your career to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!