I am a US citizen, going to Canada soon to work for one year (as a postdoc). I applied online for a work permit some time ago, but I haven't heard anything yet, and given the current processing times of 3 months listed on the web site, I probably will not have it by the time I need to move.

I've heard that you can also apply for a work permit at the border (I intend to drive). Can you still do that if you've already submitted an on-line application?

(This question was previously asked at Travel SE, and this site was recommended instead.)

  • please don't post the question on both sites and instead ask the moderators to migrate it.
    – Dirty-flow
    May 27, 2015 at 6:25
  • Have you tried contacting the visa center?
    – Karlson
    May 29, 2015 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


I believe you may be talking about a TN visa, which allows a national of a NAFTA country to gain employment in another.

Quoting CIC on this:


While U.S. citizens seeking a work permit as a NAFTA professional, intra-company transferee or a trader/investor, are eligible to apply for a work permit at the border, they can obtain advance determination by applying to CIC. For business visitors, NEXUS represents a mechanism by which they can obtain advance adjudication.

As with any border admission, the decision lies with the agent. They most probably have access to CIC info in order to grant you TN status. According to CIC you are allowed to have multiple ongoing applications, and you can choose to withdraw one

Procedures for the processing of multiple general applications

There are times when clients decide to file a second application when they already have an active application for the same case type. [...] In general, the CPC-S accepts the second application and enters a bring forward (BF) date until the outcome of the first application is known. The second application will remain on hold pending the outcome of the first application. The CPC-S usually contacts the holder of the initial file to determine what action should be taken depending on the circumstances of the case.


If the client chooses to withdraw the first application, the CPC-S will send a withdrawal form to the client. Once the signed withdrawal form is received, the CPC-S will inform the local office. The local office will return the first file to the CPC-S who will close off the file and proceed with any refunds. The CPC-S will enter the second application into the system and send it to the local office for processing. If the client chooses to withdraw the second application, the CPC-S will send a withdrawal form to the client. The CPC-S will close off the file and proceed with any refunds once the signed withdrawal form is received. If the application is withdrawn before the “capture” stage is completed, the total fee is returned. If the application is closed off after the “capture” stage is completed, then only the Right of Citizenship fee is refunded.

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