Client applied for a Computer Systems Analyst TN at the Calgary airport. His position involved the development, design, monitoring, and implementation of SCADA systems.
An individual can qualify for a Computer Systems Analyst TN in two ways: (1) possession of a bachelor’s degree; or (2) possession of a post-secondary diploma and three years experience. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.6. Here the client possessed a post-secondary diploma in Business Administration and over twenty years experience in the field. The major issue in this case was the client’s diploma, and whether the inspecting officer would consider it acceptable for the Computer Systems Analyst TN category. Many inspectors believe that an applicant must posses a specific degree in the field to qualify for a TN - especially for Computer Systems Analysts (many inspectors insist a degree in Computer Science is required).
This strict interpretation is contrary to U.S. immigration’s own policy and to U.S. Department of Labor standards. According to a legacy INS memo, only the Hotel Manager TN category requires a specific degree. Otherwise, a related degree or diploma may be acceptable. See Cronin Memo. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook unequivocally states that a specific degree in Computer Science is not required for a Computer Systems Analyst position. Individuals may qualify for a Computer Systems Analyst based on other degrees as well. For example, the OOH states that “[f]or jobs in a technical or scientific environment, employers often seek applicants who have at least a bachelor’s degree in a technical field, such as computer science, information science, applied mathematics, engineering, or the physical sciences.”
The OOH also states that individuals who have non-computer science degrees, but who have completed courses in computer science or related subjects, and have practical experience can qualify as a Computer Systems Analyst: “people who have degrees in other majors may find employment as systems analysts if they also have technical skills. Courses in computer science or related subjects combined with practical experience can qualify people for some jobs in the occupation.” The OOH also states that “graduates with non-computer-science degrees who have had courses in computer programming, systems analysis, and other information technology subjects” can qualify for a position as a Computer Systems Analyst.”
The client in this case had taken several computer related courses during his diploma program. Based on this coursework and his substantial industry experience, we believed the client could qualify for a TN as a Computer Systems Analyst based on the INS Memo and the OOH. We provided the client with an Attorney Cover Letter outlining this argument along with supporting documentation to present along with his TN application to the border official. After reviewing the client’s transcripts and confirming his computer related coursework, the officer issued the TN without complication.