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TN Status for Canadian and Mexican Employees

The Office of Academic Personnel (OAP) and UW Human Resources (UWHR) are collaborating on a pilot program to extend H-1B and other visa sponsorship to staff positions. This program will start on July 1, 2023. For more information, click here.


The purpose of TN status is to allow 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), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2018. 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 academic personnel in full-time positions at the request of UW campus units.

Physicians with patient care responsibilities are ineligible for TN Status. (A visa screen is additionally required for certain healthcare professionals.)

Depending on the process chosen, units may have to pay filing fees of up to $2,960 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and processing can take up to 6 months or more, depending on various U.S. agency processing times.

TN status may be requested for up to 3 years at a time, and may be extended in 3-year increments. Although the regulations do not limit the number of years that the TN may be used, TN is a nonimmigrant status. The beneficiary must prove to USCIS that the employment opportunity is both temporary and short-term. TN status is generally incompatible with permanent residence (also known as a “green card”) sponsorship; if the job is an academic appointment eligible for UW-sponsored permanent residence, the H-1B is a more suitable alternative.

TN beneficiaries should review relevant content prior to starting in their position and can contact with any questions.

Contact for Questions

Units considering TN sponsorship for academic personnel can also contact ISO with any questions about TN sponsorship or other visa options.