Canadian professionals are admitted into the U.S. in TN-1 status. Mexican professionals are admitted into the U.S. in TN-2 status. Though the procedures are similar, the procedures for Mexican citizens are a bit more complex than for Canadians.

Documentation Required for Entry into the U.S. in TN Status

Be prepared to present the following to an immigration officer when entering or reentering the U.S. in TN status:

  • Valid passport
  • Diplomas, academic transcripts, and professional license (if required). Submit originals for verification purposes; they will be returned.
  • Letter from the U.S. employer (UW hiring department)
    • Addressed to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
    • Identifies the TN profession in which you will be working
    • Detailed summary of job responsibilities
    • Salary
    • Anticipated length of stay
    • Job’s minimum degree and experience requirements
    • Minimum requirements for the TN profession
    • Description of how you qualify to perform the job
  • Additional guidance for Mexican citizens:
    • Must apply for and obtain a U.S. TN-2 visa at a U.S. consulate (generally in Mexico) before they will be permitted to enter the U.S. in TN status.
    • Pay a nonimmigrant visa application fee when applying for the TN visa at the U.S. consulate.
  • Additional guidance for Canadian citizens:
    • Not required to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate.
    • Pay the TN application fee at the port of entry.
  • Some healthcare professionals will also need a Visa Screen.

What to Expect at the Port of Entry

  • Plan to enter the U.S. in TN status no more than 10 days prior to the employment start date indicated in the employer’s letter. You will not be admitted if you arrive earlier.
  • Always carry your documents and be prepared to present them to an immigration officer.
  • Clearly explain to the immigration officer that you are applying to enter the U.S. in TN status.
  • Be prepared to describe in detail the job offer, including a percentage breakdown of the job’s various tasks and to provide the address where you will live in the U.S.

The U.S. immigration officer will stamp your passport indicating your class of admission (TN) and duration of status. The officer will also issue a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. If you enter the U.S. at a border crossing, you will receive a paper I-94 card; otherwise you will receive only an entry stamp and will have to access your electronic I-94 card using the internet. Be sure that your I-94 record indicates “TN” status and reflects the validity dates requested in the employer’s letter (up to 3 years), the TN occupation, and the employer’s name. The I-94 is evidence of your eligibility to work in the U.S.

  • The officer will take your fingerprints and a photograph and ask about your reason for coming to the U.S.
  • If the officer cannot initially verify your information, you may be directed to an interview area called “secondary inspection.” We encourage patient cooperation with the immigration officer(s).