ATN visa is designed to allow certain professionals from Canada and Mexico – NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States.

This article will explain how Computer Systems Analysts from Canada and Mexico can apply for a TN nonimmigrant visa.

The complete list of NAFTA professions you can find here.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) created by the Department of Labors, computer systems analysts collect information, analyze the organization’s computer systems and procedures, and create an improved, efficient system solution that will replace the current one. Computer systems analysts are expected to be I.T. experts, capable of data analysis and utilization. They can monitor or mentor the work of computer programmers too.

What are the duties of the computer system analyst?

Generally accepted job duties are:

  1. Collect data and information from managers to build the most efficient system which will respond to the needs of the organization
  2. Research and implement innovative technologies
  3. Prepare financial analysis and budgeting
  4. Design new systems based on data analysis
  5. Improve the functionality of the computer system
  6. Perform testing of the new computer system before making it available for employer and users
  7. Create and share instruction manuals with users of the new system

What are the TN visa educational requirements?

The computer systems analyst has to obtain one of the following:

  1. Bachelors or Licenciatura degree.
    A bachelor’s degree is common in computer, information science, or other related fields.
  2. Post-Secondary Diploma and three years of related experience.
    Post-Secondary Diploma is a credential issued to a TN nonimmigrant who completed two or more years of post-secondary education by an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada or the US
  3. Post-Secondary Certificate and three years of related experience.
    Post-Secondary Certificate is a certificate issued to a TN nonimmigrant who completed two or more years of post-secondary education by an accredited post-secondary institution by the federal or state government in Mexico. The federal or state government can also recognize the academic institution, or their law can establish it.

Additional requirements for TN visa eligibility refer to:

  1. Proof of Mexican or Canadian citizenship;
  2. A proof of the job offer written as the employer’s letter of support, with all job details;
  3. A proof that a nonimmigrant does not have intentions to stay in the U.S. permanently.

Where to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants?

The application with all required documentation can be filed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the U.S. Port of Entry for the Canadian citizens since they are not required to obtain a visa first. It is also possible to apply at pre-flight clearance or an airport after arriving in the United States.

On the other hand, Mexican citizens should apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. After the TN visa is approved, they can seek admission at the U.S. Port of Entry.

Both Canadian and Mexican citizens can file the online I-129 petition with USCIS.

What are the possible issues?

It is a common mistake to confuse a computer analyst with a computer programmer or a programmer analyst. The possible complication arises from the fact that the U.S. Department of Labor states that programmer analyst job titles can be used for both of the previously mentioned jobs. Additionally, a part of the computer system analyst job can include some computer programming assignments. However, only the computer systems analyst is listed on the TN Visa Occupation List, so the consequences of the confusion can be a TN visa denial.

It is helpful to know that it is possible to reassess the job description and change the job title from a programmer analyst to a computer system analyst. The requirement that needs to be fulfilled is that the job descriptions are matching. Also, the employer can leave out the job title when he/she is filing the letter of support.

Special derivative visa status is granted for the spouse or the minor children, which allows them to follow the computer systems analyst. However, they will not be able to get employment in the United States during that period.

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