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Staff TN sponsorship process

As part of the staff visa sponsorship pilot program, ISO and UWHR will partner to provide support on TN status/visas for staff. TN status allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis in certain professional jobs under the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). The job must be a profession included on this list and the beneficiary must hold the related credential on the list. Employees may apply at the U.S. border (for Canadians) or at a U.S. consulate abroad (for Mexicans) to obtain TN status. Alternatively, International Scholars Operations (ISO) can file TN petitions for certain full-time, regular positions at the request of UW units.

During the pilot phase, TN processing for staff will occur as follows:

  • Hiring units will identify final candidates who require TN sponsorship, and reach out to UWHR.
  • UWHR will consult with hiring units on the appropriate TN occupation, and will draft a TN letter.
  • If the candidate will apply for a TN at a U.S. port of entry or consulate abroad, they should follow “Method 1” on our How to Sponsor page.
  • If the unit/candidate wishes to change status to (or extend an existing) TN inside the U.S., visa processing will proceed as described under “Method 2” on our How to Sponsor page. Hiring units should attach UWHR’s TN approval to the visa request where prompted.

Units should know:

  • UW will only sponsor full-time, regular UW-paid positions for TN status.
  • Processing times for TNs can vary widely from same-day (for “Method 1” applications at the US border) to weeks or months (for “Method 1” applications at a U.S. consulate abroad) to 7 months or longer (for “Method 2” petitions to USCIS without premium processing).
  • Costs for the different methods can also vary widely depending on the applicability of consular visa or USCIS processing fees.
  • TN sponsorship is position- and employer-specific. Any significant changes in title or job duties should be reported to ISO and may necessitate a new TN application or visa request.

If you are a UW unit interested in learning more about visa sponsorship for a staff position, please email for more information on staff visa eligibility.