An applicant for TN status must be able to demonstrate to the interviewing officer that they meet all the requirements for the profession as listed under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). Each profession under NAFTA details the minimum level of education and experience required to work under the profession in TN status within the United States. Applicants for TN status under the NAFTA profession of Computer Systems Analyst are often confused about the minimum education and experience necessary to obtain approval to work in the United States.
There are two possible ways to qualify to work in the United States as a Computer Systems Analyst under the NAFTA:
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; OR
PostSecondary Diploma or PostSecondary Certificate , AND three years experience.
Option 1: The applicant must be able to provide evidence that they have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a field closely related to the profession of a Computer Systems Analyst. If the degree presented was earned outside of North American it must be accompanied by a foreign credentials evaluation performed by a recognized evaluation company. For the foreign degree to meet the requirements under NAFTA, it must be the equivalent of a United States 4 year degree. A combination of experience and education cannot be used in place of a degree for an application under NAFTA. If the applicant relies on a combination of experience and education, then the H1B visa may be the more appropriate visa option. Failure to provide proof acceptable education could result in a denial of the application.
Option 2: The applicant must be able to provide evidence that they have earned a Postsecondary Diploma, OR, a PostSecondarry Certificate, AND three of years experience. It is important to note that a “Postsecondary Diploma” must be issued after completion of two or more years of postsecondary education, by an accredited academic institution in Canada or the United States. A “PostSecondary Certificate” must be issued after completion of two or more years of postsecondary education at an academic institution, by the federal government of Mexico or a state government in Mexico, an academic institution recognized by the federal government or a state government, or an academic institution created by federal or state law. An acceptable Diploma MUST be from Canada or the United States and an acceptable Certificate MUST be from Mexico. A Diploma or Certificate earned outside of the United States, Canada, or Mexico, does NOT meet the requirements under NAFTA. TN applications accompanied by a Diploma or Certificate issued by a foreign Country that is accompanied by a foreign credentials evaluation is not a substitute. In addition to having the properly issued Diploma or Certificate, an applicant for TN status under option 2 must provide proof that they have at least three years of experience. The experience must be validated through letters from current or former employers as evidence of experience in the industry. Simply presenting a resume is not sufficient. Failure to provide a properly issued Diploma or Certificate, and proof of at least three years of experience could result in a denial of the application.
In a recent visit to the Buffalo/Fort Erie Peace Bridge we were able to directly address this exact issue with an experienced NAFTA officer and the on duty supervisor. They re-iterated what is stated under NAFTA. A four year degree can be from any country as long as it is accompanied by a foreign credentials evaluation, and a Diploma must be from the US or Canada, and a Certificate must be from Mexico. Before you apply for TN status as a Computer Systems Analyst, or under any NAFTA profession, it is important to review the education/experience requirements to make sure that you qualify. We are experienced with TN NAFTA applications submitted under all NAFTA professions and assist both employers and their potential employees to successfully complete the TN application process.