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On my latest trip to Vancouver, I decided to venture to walk through the process for applying for a TN visa at the Vancouver airport. I wanted to go through the same process my clients would go through when they are applying for a TN visa at all airports but more specifically the Vancouver airport.

TN visas can be applied for while in the United States by applying with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) or at a port of entry, which includes the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). If you apply at the airport, which is the preferred method, you need to submit all the required documents to the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer so that they can evaluate your paperwork and make a determination to admit you in TN status.

When you arrive at the Vancouver International Airport, the day of your flight, you need to check in with the airline you will be flying with and proceed through the security check point (make sure to leave plenty of time for this because the lines are extremely long and it took me about 2 hours to just get through security before I even reached the US Customs officers). Once you get through security, proceed to US Customs and Border Patrol. When you are called to the window to speak to the CBP officer let them know that you are applying for a TN visa. They will direct you to the office labeled “Secondary Inspection” which is right behind where the CBP officers sit. Once you enter the secondary inspection office follow the instructions for applying for a TN status. If granted TN status then proceed to your gate to board your flight to the US!

Tips to Remember:

  1. Allow for plenty of time. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time for this process because you cannot predict how long CBP will take to review your application, but also because the check in process and getting through security is taking sometimes up to 3 hours or more.
  2. Purchase round trip ticket. Be sure to purchase a round trip ticket that is not longer than the amount of time allowed for the TN and in line with the employment offer you are submitting with your application. Probably better to purchase a refundable ticket too just in case there is an issue with your application and you cannot leave to the US that same day.
  3. Be patient! This process takes time and the calmer you are, the more likely you will be able to handle any situations that arise and answer questions you are asked thoughtfully.
  4. This is temporary travel. Remember that you are not moving to the United States, but are solely coming the US to work temporarily within the parameters of your offer of employment and what the TN status allows.
  5. Be organized! Make sure that you have all items you need to apply for your TN organized and in order so that the CBP officer can see what they need to and hopefully quickly approve your application.

The TN visa is a great option for Canadians to come work temporarily in the United States. Lots of our clients have applied successfully for a TN and have gone through the process with ease and little stress. The key is to be prepared! If you need any assistance applying for a TN please do not hesitate to CONTACT OUR OFFICE today.

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