If you’re a Canadian or Mexican professional seeking to work in the United States temporarily under NAFTA, you’ll likely be applying for a TN visa. As a TN visa holder, choosing the right port of entry can be critical to setting yourself up for success. With several entry points available, it’s essential to choose the best one for your specific needs.
- The airport or border crossing you select to enter the United States under a TN visa is an essential decision.
- The most popular port of entry choices for TN visa holders are land borders and remote airports.
- Your decision will depend on several factors, including personal preference, travel plans, and your employer’s location.
- With a bit of research and careful planning, you can choose the best port of entry that meets your needs.
Land Borders: Pros and Cons
Many TN visa holders choose to enter the United States through a land border. The most popular border crossings for TN visa holders are:
- Peace Bridge at Buffalo, NY
- Lewiston Bridge at Niagara Falls, NY
- Detroit/Windsor Tunnel in Detroit, MI
- Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, MI
- Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, MI
- Alexandria Bay in Alexandria Bay, NY
- Land border entries typically have shorter wait times compared to busy airports.
- You can drive to the border, which can be more convenient and cost-effective than flying.
- For those who already live near a border, it’s the most accessible point of entry.
- If you’re driving, you’ll be limited to one of a few entry points, which may not be close to your final destination.
- You may be subject to additional searches and screenings, which can cause delays or complications.
Remote Airports: Pros and Cons
Another popular option for TN visa holders is to enter through a remote airport. These include places like:
- Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Portland, ME
- Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) in Buffalo, NY
- Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) in Syracuse, NY
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND) in Indianapolis, IN
- Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Hartford, CT
- Remote airports are typically less crowded than major international airports, making the entry process smoother and faster.
- They often have lower airfares than larger airports.
- Remote airports might not be as conveniently located or might not have direct flights to your final destination.
Major Airports: Pros and Cons
While less popular than land borders or remote airports, major airports are still a viable option for TN visa holders. Some of the most common choices include:
- O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, IL
- JFK International Airport in New York, NY
- LAX in Los Angeles, CA
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, CA
- Major airports often have more flight options, which can be beneficial if you’re traveling a long distance.
- Large airports have more resources available, and staff is often well-versed in processing TN visas.
- Major airports tend to be busier than remote airports, leading to longer wait times.
- Parking fees and other associated costs can be higher than remote airports.
Choosing the Best Port of Entry for Your Needs
When deciding which port of entry is best, consider the following factors:
- Where is your employer located? If you’re traveling on business, it may be ideal to fly directly into their nearest airport.
- What is your final destination in the U.S.? Make sure the port of entry you select is convenient.
- Do you prefer land or air travel? Personal preference also comes into play here.
Choosing the best port of entry for your TN visa may seem challenging, but with the right research and planning, you can make a well-informed decision. Take into account your employer’s location, your final destination, and your travel preferences, and then choose the option that best meets your needs.
What is a TN visa?
A TN visa is a non-immigrant visa category that permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the United States temporarily.
How long can I stay in the United States on a TN visa?
TN visa holders can remain in the United States for up to three years. However, TN visas are meant to be temporary, and intending to stay permanently in the U.S. is frowned upon.
Can I change employers while on a TN visa?
Yes, TN visa holders can change employers while in the U.S. However, you’ll need to make an application for a new TN visa to reflect the change.