TN Visa Approval for Software Engineer with Degree in Math

TN VisaCase Info.
Background:The applicant, a citizen of Canada, was offered a position as a Software Engineer. We reviewed the position offered and the applicant’s credentials. Based on its job duties, we believed the position could be classified under the Engineer TN category. Although he did not possess a degree in Software Engineering, we believed the applicant could qualify based on his Math degree. This was the individual’s first TN visa application.
TN Category:Engineer
Job title / duties:The duties of this Software Engineer position involved the design, development, and support of software that would operate the petitioner’s unique printing machines.

With Software Engineer TN applications, it was important to establish that the applicant was not primarily engaged in “low-level” coding/programming duties. USCBP believes that a position involving a majority of coding/programming tasks is not a professional-level Software Engineer role, and would not qualify for TN visa status.

Education:The applicant possessed a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and had taken some computer science courses during his degree program. He had over 25 years of experience, and also was awarded several patents.

Establishing that the applicant qualified for the TN based on his credentials was the critical component of this case. While the TN regulations do not state what type of Bachelor’s degree may qualify for a Software Engineer TN some U.S. immigration officers have held that only a degree in Software Engineering could qualify for this TN category. I believe these decisions have been based on an incorrect interpretation of legacy U.S. immigration memos

In order to address this issue should it arise, in addition to the applicant’s transcripts and patents showing his prior computer training and skills, I included in the application (i) materials showing that a degree in the TN category is not required; (ii) the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which listed a degree in Math as an appropriate credential; (iii) U.S. immigration decisions approving applications for Software Engineer positions for individuals with degrees outside of the field including in Math; and (iv) other industry research showing a degree in Math was suitable for the position.
Filing Process:TN visa status application @ USCBP - Buffalo, NY POE
Processing time:Approved same day filed
Approval period:3 years