More CBP Offices Confirm Job Duties Govern TN Visa Classification, but Some Still Rely on Job Title Alone

Another CBP Field Office has confirmed that the job duties of a position, and not just the job title, determine whether a position falls within a TN visa occupational category. In a recent AILA liaison meeting, the Chicago CBP Field Office confirmed that Sales Engineer and Engineering Manager positions could qualify for TN visa status under the Engineer category if the job duties “prominently” require the application of engineering principles. AILA Chicago/CBP Liaison Meeting, AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13021301 (Posted 2/13/2013).

The Chicago CBP office’s opinion on this subject is in-line with CBP’s National Office, of which I wrote about earlier. However, individuals should be aware that despite the growing recognition by CBP that job duties govern the classification of occupations for purposes of TN visa status, and irrespective of the concurrence by the agency’s National Office, there are still CBP offices that take a literal approach to this issue.

As written earlier, the San Diego CBP Field Office has stated that “the profession, or job title, of the applicant that is stated on the employment letter must be one of the professions listed in Appendix 1603.D.1, regardless of the duties described in the employer’s statement.” AILA San Diego/CBP Liaison Meeting, AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12112142 (Posted 11/21/12). According to the San Diego CBP office, positions with job titles of Sales Engineer or Engineering Manager would not qualify for TN visa status even though the position requires the application of engineering principles. Id.