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TN Case Study: Scientific Technician (Histology Technician/Histotechnologist)

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Aug 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

A scientific technician works in support of engineering professionals. It is listed as a qualifying profession in Chapter 16 Appendix 2 of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and at 8 C.F.R. § 214.6(c).  

As defined in the USMCA and at 8 C.F.R. § 214.6(c), a person qualifies as a scientific technician/technologist where they “[p]ossess[]…(a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research.” 

Histologist is not one of the named professions in Chapter 16 Appendix 2 of the USMCA and 8 C.F.R. §214.6(c). Does that mean a Histology Technician/Histotechnologist cannot qualify for TN status as a Scientific Technician? 


Encyclopedia Britannica defines histology as a branch of biology concerned with the composition and structure of plant and animal tissues in relation to their specialized functions. Histology, BRITANNICA, (last visited July 24, 2023). Biologist is one of the professions listed in Chapter 16 Appendix 2 of the USMCA and 8 C.F.R. §214.6(c); qualifications as a Biologist include a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree. The Occupational Outlook Handbook defines Histotechnologists as those who perform tests on human tissue to identify diseases.

To qualify as a Scientific Technician/Technologist, then, the applicant must show that they will be working in direct support of a Biologist, must possess theoretical knowledge of the biology discipline and must solve practical problems in that discipline to qualify under USMCA.  As the definition of Histotechnologist cited above indicates, the principles applied would be in the discipline of testing human tissue.  While no degree is necessary to be classified as a Scientific Technician/Technologist, an understanding of the principles must be demonstrated by previous education or experience.  No degree or education is necessary if the applicant can show the abilities through experience.

If you have received a job offer as a Histology Technician/Histotechnologist, it is possible that you can qualify for TN status as a Scientific Technician. You would need to show that the supervisor you report to qualifies as a Biologist and that you have a theoretical knowledge of the field and can solve practical problems in the field. 


Contact the Law Offices of James D. Eiss to schedule a consultation about your TN options.   

About the Author

Emilie (Ronald) Gough

Emilie E. Ronald is an Associate Attorney. She first joined the Law Offices of James D. Eiss in 2018 as a Law Clerk during her second year of law school. She was admitted as an attorney in the state of New York in January 2020. Emilie primarily focuses on TNs, L-1s, E-1s, E-2s, O-1s, and R-1s. Sh...


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