Attn: All Canadians who work in the US: TN Visas will no longer be available to IB Analysts - New Regulations

Jdoe88's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 189

This policy memorandum (PM) clarifies that for an applicant to qualify for TN status based on
work in the profession of economist, the applicant must engage in activities consistent with the
profession of economist. Activities that constitute a broad range of other professions related to
economics, such as activity performed by financial analysts, market research analysts, and
marketing specialists do not qualify for TN status.

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/La...

Comments (39)

Dec 20, 2017

What does this mean for those with SA jobs lined up in the US this summer and those looking to work there FT?

Dec 21, 2017

Edit: read things too fast.

    • 2
Dec 20, 2017

So is there a new category for this? I can't seem to find anything official online. I will be completing my MBA in the US soon and this could really hamper my plans for IB post-MBA...

Dec 20, 2017

There is no new category, for new category to be added, congress needs to amend NAFTA. USCIS only interprets the law.

Dec 21, 2017

This is not true, and others have said as much on your comment in the other thread.

Dec 20, 2017

Your firm has to sponosr you for h1b.

Dec 20, 2017

Just for full time positions right? And if that's the case does this mean firms are likely to hire less Canadians for FT?

Dec 20, 2017

Exactly. H1B is a lottery. Economist TN is (was) a sure thing...

Dec 20, 2017

Well, if you are qualified enough firms will happily sponsor you for h1b, OPT is 3 years, you have 3 chances to get H1b.

Dec 20, 2017

Has OPT changed? I am pretty sure it is only 12 months. It is 36 months for STEM programs, which an MBA is not.

Best Response
Dec 20, 2017

Look, I read through this carefully and talked to my lawyer today.

  1. If you are on TN Visa, you should be okay for now.
  2. If you need to get on a visa, you must state that your "PRIMARY" duty is as an economist, but you can state that "Secondary" duty may involve the duties of a financial analyst. Ie. make sure to talk your lawyer to ensure your letter states it 100%.
  3. I think people are overreacting to this news, the laws are the same, UCIS has had this policy for many years for computer programmers who work on TN Category "Computer System analyst". A computer system analyst's PRIMARY duty is to analyze systems, not program, even though they may still program as a secondary duty.

    Now, there are thousands of programmers who get visas as system analysts, even though all they do is program, and don't analyze systems at all, but smart lawyers can draft a letter that describes their duties as system analyst, and when CBP asks what their primary duty is they respond it is analyzing systems not programming.

TL:DR No laws have been changed, USCIS will be scrunitizing more, but the way around this issue is to have your lawyer draft a letter that emphasizes your primary duty is economist and secondary duty is financial analyst, and you will be okay.

    • 9
Nov 12, 2018

Bumping this thread to get updated info, given that it's been almost a year now.

Anyone dealt with the TN visa in the last year? Also, are Canadian MBA students in the US having trouble staying back after graduating? Would love to get insight from anyone who's had firsthand experience with this.

You need to understand that a good firm, a profitable firm, and an attractive stock investment can be 3 unrelated things. -Epicurean Dealmaker

Nov 12, 2018

Bump. Curious as well

Nov 12, 2018

My understanding is that many US banks have stopped interviewing Canadians period. Hopefully not true - this is based on recruitment at Ivey and my friend who worked at Jefferies (post-Ivey) and who has now come back - he wasn't kicked out, he just wanted to come back but he mentioned that Jefferies was just completely disregarding non-US applicants as it was too much of an unknown quantity atm.

Nov 13, 2018

Man that's pretty grim...

You need to understand that a good firm, a profitable firm, and an attractive stock investment can be 3 unrelated things. -Epicurean Dealmaker

Nov 20, 2018

Spoke with some Canadian MBA students in the US who plan to stay in the US after their MBA. The current situation is that buyside firms have stopped sponsoring altogether. However, larger institutions (banks, elite boutiques, major corporates) are willing to sponsor.

You need to understand that a good firm, a profitable firm, and an attractive stock investment can be 3 unrelated things. -Epicurean Dealmaker

    • 1
Jan 3, 2019

I've spoken with three lawyers at this point regarding this issue as I am looking to renew my economist TN visa later this year.

From what I have been told, obtaining an economist TN visa without the strict duties of either a macro or micro economics nature will be extremely difficult. Switching categories at renewal time may help, although it depends on one's undergrad major (except for the management consultant category). Either way, for Canadians changing categories at renewal time, I am told to expect a high level of scrutiny, especially if you are staying at the same firm. Main reason being is USCIS' inquiry into how the "new" role is different from the "old" role.

It is true that many buy-side firms have stopped looking at Canadians. I have gotten a call back from BBs; however, upon mentioning my status, there is always a grunt or sigh on their part, as they know it is an uphill battle at this point. Not to say the firm won't try if you are a viable candidate, but chances are low given the cumbersome process and especially low if you are not located in the US. I say the latter because at least one can network with smaller boutiques and sell themselves to convince the employer to give their onboarding a chance. I should note that with all screening calls, I always mention that I am willing to bear the legal costs associated with any TN petitions.

    • 2
Jan 3, 2019

Have you had any issues traveling in and out of the US?

Array

Jan 3, 2019

Not at all.

I have my Nexus / Global Entry though. Was asked what I do and I simply said I'm an economist.

Jan 3, 2019

this includes mega PE funds ?

Jan 3, 2019

I did have a first round with a big PE firm, but the screening call was through a head hunter. I had to explain to him what the process is. Sometimes they confuse TN with H1-B.

Jan 3, 2019

It makes sense how it would be hard to word your way around being hired for IB.

Jan 3, 2019

Would a CFA (or atleast being in the process of getting it) help in obtaining your visa?

Jan 3, 2019

Given that's its "financial analyst" charter, I am not sure if it helps, at least under the economist category.

Jan 3, 2019

Just about everyone I know has been able to get through. The only firm that has had issues is GS. Analysts at other firms have not had any issues at the border from what I have noticed. Perhaps this issue has been somewhat overblown. From my understanding, the firm that sponsors you has to say you're an economist in your employment letter and as long as you can answer questions at the border you should be fine.

    • 2
Jan 3, 2019

Having a finance, commerce, economics or math degree helps. For example, I have a friend who was under economist first but was able to leverage her math undergrad for her renewal. Also know someone who came under the accountant category with a BComm.

Apr 5, 2019
Comment