TN Visa Border Crossing Tips for Canadians

The reality is there are no “tricks” to obtaining TN status lawfully. Either you qualify for a TN profession listed on the professions list, or you do not. If you qualify, then a properly prepared and supported TN application will get you TN status. If you do not qualify, then you should never attempt to present a TN application at the port of entry. We offer the following guidance on presenting your TN application and crossing the border:

  1. Be Honest – Make sure that all the documents that you present tell the same story and that you are consistent in the story that you tell the inspecting officer. Any inconsistencies in the paperwork and your answers could result in a denial and possible negative immigration consequences. In the end, honesty is the best policy.
  2. Be Thorough – Thoroughly review the requirements for the TN category that you qualify for and be sure to assemble all necessary documents to support your application. A missing previous employer letter, a degree in a field other than what is required for the specific profession or duties not analogous to that of the TN profession you seek, can all lead to denials.
  3. Don’t Rush – Take your time to prepare the application properly. This means that you will need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to prepare, review and edit all the supporting documents. As stated earlier, missing documents or inconsistencies in documents can lead to a denial. The more time you have to prepare and review the better. If your application is not ready, wait until it is to apply.
  4. Only Apply if you Qualify – The only time that you should contemplate the TN application process is if you are certain that you qualify under a listed TN profession and you have an employer willing to sponsor you for TN status. If you do not qualify for TN status then look into alternative work authorization options such as: H1B or L1.
  5. Apply in Advance – Apply for your TN application well in advance of your start date in the United States. Although you are able to apply for a TN at any time, we suggest doing so before your actual start date. If for some reason you are turned away at the border, this will allow you time to edit your application to make it approvable. Applying in advance will also avoid any potential delays in the start of employment.
  6. Yes or No – When possible answer all questions with “Yes” or “No.” If the officer does not ask for specific details then do not provide them. When an officer is in need of specific information they will ask for it. A properly prepared TN application will contain all the necessary information to answer any question the officer might have.

Because of the proximity of the U.S. Canadian border to our office, we have extensive experience assisting Canadian citizens obtain work authorization, green cards and facilitate simple border crossing needs. If you will be processing for a visa at a port of entry or have faced border crossing issues in the past, we can help. We are available by telephone and e-mail to address your border crossing needs.

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