TN Denied - USCIS I-129 Approved


Hope everyone is surviving the coronavirus! I wanted to get some advice on my visa situation:

I'm a Canadian citizen who works in the US (New York City). I started work in March 2019 on a TN visa that was approved in Calgary. It was approved for 2 years. I came back to Canada in mid-September to visit family. When I was heading back, my TN visa was rejected at the border, citing a mismatch between my job title and the NAFTA designation (which is weird because the job title does not need to exactly match the NAFTA designation title, it is the responsibilities that matter). This caught me by surprise, even though CBP always has the option to reject an application and has been cracking down on TNs since 2016.

The company's lawyers suggested that I re-apply at a different port-of-entry (Montreal) with the same TN application, but that was denied as well, citing the same issue. Subsequently, we tried applying on a J-1 student intern visa, which was actually approved by the State Department. However, at the border, the CBP officer thought that I was trying to "game" the system by switching visa types, and asked me to go directly though USCIS.

Fast forward 3 months - I received notice that my I-129 was approved (after receiving and responding to an RFE). Once I receive the paperwork from USCIS, I will be crossing the border once again and applying for TN visa status.

My question is as follows: given that I have 3 rejections by CBP (1 initial TN withdrawal, 1 TN denial in Montreal and 1 J-1 denial), what kind of questions should I expect?

Thank you in advance :)
Expect questions on your job description, tasks, and make sure it meets the requirements of the TN role. Including job title.

You were successfully issued TN status in March 2019, so that CBP officer felt you met the requirements.
All you attempts will be documented in their system. Be honest and open.
Let us know how it goes.
Thanks, @Amberleaf - good to know!

In my I-129 application, my internal designation was listed as "Analyst", whereas the TN category I applied for was "Economist". I know there has been a significant amount of scrutiny regarding financial analyst vs. economist, but in my case, USCIS acknowledged that "Analyst" was merely my internal designation (it denotes my level of seniority) but all of my responsibilities are aligned with that of NAFTA's Economist designation (which is why it was approved). From my understanding, it is the job responsibilities, not the title, which need to correspond to the TN position.

Will this discrepancy bring additional scrutiny at the border, and if so, how can I best prepare myself to address the issue? Will they ask to speak with my supervisors?

In any case, I'll be sure to let you guys know what happens when I cross!