I-129 Extension without relevant degree

Hi all,

I came down under the TN Engineering category without having a relevant degree, but more than adequate prerequisite experience. I ran into some issues at the border the first time but I was admitted afterwards by a different border guard on a different day. I may have simply lucked out.

My TN is coming up to its expiry and I want to extend it via I-129. Does anyone know if not having a relevant degree is an automatic rejection using this route? Am I better off rolling the dice with a border guard again?


Registered Users (C)
For engineering TN, experience is completely irrelevant and is NOT a prerequisite as you claim, so I would not expect a USCIS agent, sitting quietly at a desk to mistakenly grant you a TN like the second border guard did.
You would be rolling the dice, and be prepared for denial of entry at the border. So a timely filed I-129, filed just before expiry, might buy you a few more weeks in US, but your US career is about to end.
To obtain TN status for an occupation that requires a bachelor's degree, you must actually have a bachelor's degree. You cannot substitute 3 years of experience for 1 year of education. See https://bdzlaw.com/nafta-tn-blog/2008/3/25/degree-equivalency-not-permitted-for-tn-visa.html

It is sometimes possible to get a TN approval with USCIS when your degree is not directly related to your occupation. You must have some acceptable Bachelor's degree and you must establish that you are a "member of the profession". Work experience can be used as evidence toward this latter requirement. See http://www.usvisahelp.com/newswire/?action=viewArticle&articleId=20

I have a degree in the natural sciences and I was able to get USCIS to approve me as an Engineer (a software engineer, specifically). That was a few years ago; the rules have not changed but the guy in charge of USCIS has, so it may be more difficult now. I would suggest consulting with a lawyer who is an expert in TN cases.