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Canadian Connection


A TN VISA is a professional classification that allows admission into the US for temporary employment under the Trade NAFTA Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Currently, the process to obtain a TN VISA is very streamlined for Canadian RNs who want to work in North Carolina. The TN VISA is currently valid for one year and can be renewed at the US border crossing an indefinite number of times.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing currently does not require Canadian RNs to write the NCLEX-RN. The North Carolina Board of Nursing currently endorses the Canadian Licensure process for Registered Nurses.

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) formally known as the INS grants TN VISAs at the US Border crossing. By July 26th, 2004 the BCIS will require a VISA Screen Certificate to be awarded to the Registered Nurse prior to entry into the US. Currently, the process in which to obtain a TN VISA is very streamlined!!! The following documentation is required at the US Border crossing in order to obtain a TN employment VISA:

  • Canadian Citizenship Passport
  • Provincial Registered Nurse License or North Carolina Registered Nurse license
  • Original Diploma or Degree for Nursing School
  • Letter of Employment for UNC Hospitals
  • Job description for future UNC Hospitals employment
  • Fee $56.00 US

A Canadian Registered Nurse can apply and purchase a TN VISA at any US Border Crossing either by airport or land. The phone number for the Pearson International Airport in Toronto is (905) 676-2563; Dorval Airport is (514) 631-2097; Vancouver Airport (604) 278-3360.

An American Social Security number can be obtained once the RN is in the United States.

The RN will need to show the original work VISA and letter of employment. The Social Security Administration office is located at 3308 Chapel Hill Blvd, Duke Forest Building, Durham NC, their office hours are between 08:30 am to 15:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To contact the Social Security Administration office dial (919) 541-5442 or

UNC Hospitals recommends that each Canadian RN verify necessary documentation with BCIS prior to entry into the US to ensure compliance with Department of Homeland Security. For the NAFTA Hotline and pet information
dial (204) 983-3500 or (612) 348-1638.

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