The North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in the early 1990s, had numerous implications for inter-country immigration between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. One of these implications was the creation of the TN status, which was meant to help individuals in certain professions more easily move and work between the United States and Canada. One of the covered professions under the TN status program is that of engineer. However, as different companies and jurisdictions may have differing requirements for working as an engineer, some confusion may arise surrounding obtaining this and other TN statuses. Here we will attempt to clarify the requirements.
Question: Is an engineering degree required to qualify for engineering TN status?
Answer: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ definition of an engineer, practically all engineering positions require an engineering degree, including entry level positions. However, occasionally those trained in the natural sciences, such as physics and chemistry, or those trained as mathematicians, may find employment as engineers.
Considering the above information, no specific degree is required in order to apply for TN status as an engineer. What is most important is that the degree be related to the field.
Question: Are there any TN categories which require a specific degree?
Answer: As a point of reference, the only TN occupation which requires a specific degree is the Hotel Manager category. Aside from this category TN guidelines indicate that the applicant’s degree should be either in the relevant field or in a related field. As such, those with physics degrees, for example, may qualify for any of a number of positions including computer science, mathematics, and even finance.
Question: How do I decide which TN status to apply under?
Answer: One good way to determine which TN status to apply under is to thoroughly research the job descriptions and educational and experience requirements in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Compare the information listed here to your own degree, work history, and qualifications when making a determination as to which TN status most closely fits to your situation.
Deciding which TN status to apply under is just one of the many considerations immigrants to the United States must take into account when preparing their paperwork. Because the process can be both confusing and demanding, it is always recommended that you consult a qualified legal professional when you are not 100% sure which path to take. We, at the Lyttle Law Firm, are here to help. Our Austin, Texas immigration attorney have the experience and commitment needed to help you best process your immigration paperwork. Call us now at 512-215-5225.