One of the many TN professions listed under The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the profession of Engineer. Applying for a TN as an Engineer can be a complicated process as the specialties encompassed under the TN profession of Engineer have significantly expanded since NAFTA went into force on January 1, 1994. Due to the rapid advancement of technology and related professions, the engineering profession has seen an expansion in engineering specialties well beyond the traditional engineering professions that were contemplated when NAFTA went into force. Unfortunately, NAFTA has not been revised since it went into force in 1994 and it does not specifically designate which engineering professions are approvable for TN status to work in the United States. NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.1 Professions List Recent guidance given for the NAFTA profession of engineer does however expand the profession to encompass current engineering professions, such as “software engineer.” On July 24, 2000 Michael D. Cronin, Acting Executive Associate Commissioner, Office of Programs for U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services stated the following:
Appendix 1603.D.1 to a Annex 1603 of the NAFTA includes the occupation of “Engineer” within the list of professional level occupations. The minimum requirement for entry as a NAFTA engineer is a baccalaureate of licentiatura degree or a stat/provincial license. There is no further delineation of the types of specialty engineering degrees (e.g., civil, mechanical, electrical, etc.) that qualify for TN classification. Since the appendix doesn’t specify certain specialties, the three NAFTA partners interpret this to mean that all engineering specialties are included. Accordingly, an individual engaged in business activities as a “software engineer” at a professional level that requires a baccalaureate of licentiatura degree or a stat/provincial license may qualify under the profession of “engineer” under the NAFTA. The question is whether the individual possesses the requisite engineering degree or state/provincial license. Cronin Software Engineer Memo
Since “all engineering specialties” can be considered covered under NAFTA, the burden falls upon the petitioner/applicant to show that the position is in fact an engineering profession and that the minimum requirements as listed under NAFTA for the profession of engineer are met. Although clear and concise guidance has been given on what professions qualify for TN status, there is still much confusion about who can obtain TN status as an engineer. Not all officers readily recognize new engineering related professions and refuse entry to many qualified TN applicants because they do not work in a “traditional” engineering field. We have extensive experience preparing successful TN support letters and TN applications for engineering professionals in all engineering specialties. It is best to seek the advice of an experienced U.S. Immigration Attorney before pursuing any type of immigration benefit in the United States.
Below is what can be considered a more current list of TN Engineer professions:
TN AC Engineer , TN Aeronautic Engineering , TN Air Conditioning Engineer, TN Air Quality Monitoring Technician, TN Aircraft Engineer, TN Architectural Engineer, TN Automation Engineer, TN Bio-Engineers, TN Bio-Engineer, TN Biological Engineer, TN Biomedical Engineer, TN Building Automation Engineer, TN Building Engineer, TN Chief Operating Engineer, TN Civil Engineer, TN Communications Engineer, TN Computer Engineers, TN Computer Hardware Engineer, TN Computer Systems Engineer, TN Design Engineer, TN Drafting Engineer, TN Electrical Engineer, TN Electricity Engineer, TN Electromechanical Engineer, TN Environmental Control Engineer, TN Environmental Engineer, TN Flight Engineer, TN HVAC Control Systems Engineer, TN HVAC Design Engineer, TN HVAC Engineer, TN Industrial Engineers, TN Information Systems Engineer, TN Instrumentation Engineer, TN Java Engineer, TN Lab Quality Assurance Engineer, TN Lead Construction Engineer, TN Lighting Engineer, TN Marine Engineer, TN Mechanical Device Engineer, TN Mechanical Engineer, TN Medical Engineer, TN Microelectronics Engineer, TN Mining Engineer, TN Networking Engineering, TN Nuclear Engineer, TN Operations Engineer, TN PC Engineer, TN Petroleum Engineer, TN Process Safety Engineer, TN Project Control Engineer, TN QA Engineers, TN Quality Control Engineer, TN Quality Engineer, TN Refrigeration Engineers, TN Renewable Energy Engineer, TN Biomedical Engineer, TN Residential Heating Engineer, TN Robotics Engineer, TN Satellite Engineer, TN Software Engineers, TN Software Quality Assurance Engineer, TN Stationary Engineer, TN Structural Engineer, TN Survey Engineer, TN Surveying Engineer, TN System Engineer, TN Systems Software Engineer, TN Telecom Engineer, TN Telecommunications Engineer, TN Telephone Engineer, TN Thermodynamics Engineer, TN Turbine Cooling Engineer, TN Watercraft Engineer, and TN Wireless Telecommunication Engineer.