U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it is clarifying policy guidance (PDF, 71 KB) on the specific work activities its officers should consider when determining whether an individual qualifies for TN nonimmigrant status as an economist.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) TN nonimmigrant status allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily enter the U.S. to engage in specific professional activities, including the occupation of economist. The agreement, however, does not define the term economist, resulting in inconsistent decisions on whether certain analysts and financial professionals qualify for TN status as economists.
TN nonimmigrant status is intended to allow a limited number of professionals and specialists to work temporarily in certain specifically identified occupations in the United States. This updated guidance provides USCIS officers with a specific definition of one such category – economists – allowing them to adjudicate applications in a way that complies with the intent of the agreement.
This policy update clarifies that professional economists requesting TN status must engage primarily in activities consistent with the profession of an economist. Individuals who work primarily in other occupations related to the field of economics — such as financial analysts, marketing analysts, and market research analysts — are not eligible for classification as a TN economist.
Another legal setback for Trump.
The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled that Trump’s travel ban, the third he has proposed since becoming president, is illegal.
The third travel ban, issued in September, imposed “indefinite and significant restrictions and limitations on entry of nationals” from seven countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
President Donald Trump’s third iteration of the travel ban can go into effect while lower courts review its merits, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.
What’s in the ban?
On Sept. 24, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation that indefinitely blocks the travel of most citizens from Iran, Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members are also banned from entering the U.S. and visa holders who are Venezuelan nationals are to be subjected to additional screening.
What happens next?
The Supreme Court ruling does not keep the lower court challenges from going forward. According to SCOTUSBlog, oral arguments are scheduled in the Ninth Circuit in Seattle on Wednesday and in the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday.