I've been looking for job openings and noticed that there's a lot of interesting entry level positions in the US. I'm willing to relocate on my own dime; and from what little I know about the immigration process a TN visa is a possibility and saves the employer the hassle of sponsorship.

Assuming that's true, how can I keep recruiters/HR people from tossing out my resume when they see that I'm from Canada? Should I put something like "willing to relocate at own expense" directly on the resume? Maybe mention it in the cover letter?

On the one hand, an entry level worker doesn't really stand out from anyone else; on the other hand, data engineers / cloud admins seem to be somewhat in demand.

  • The VISA process is a nightmare and take a lot of time. For a single entry position, as an employer, there is not a lot of value and a lot of risk to go trough this process. So your chance to get a job is slim. I know multiple persons succeed by saving some money, move first then find a job. Good luck!
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 18:36
  • 2
    Canadian here. Moved/worked in the US back in 06 and I can assure you the VISA requirements for TN is very simple. I never had a problem getting it. Good luck in finding a job here in the US. I left Canada and never regretted it. Although I miss the Health Care.
    – Isaiah3015
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


Problem is most likely more complicated than it appears.

I don't think you should necessarily put out that you will relocate on your own dime in the cover letter (who knows, perhaps they will pay in part at least) but you should address that you want to move to X location for [reasons] and that the Y company is one you desire to be apart of for [reasons]. It needs to come across that you have invested energy and realize where this company is located and are mentally prepared to move.

Another thought is when a company hires an entry/junior position, they are really making an investment for the long term, hoping to shape, mold and vet a worker at a paygrade that isn't as risky. With you are doing a long distance relocation, you'd be coming into an area that you have zero ties to, which to the person looking at your resume, means your sense of loyalty to the area is diminished. This of course is subjective, but from my experience I would tend to hesitate on long distance hires for roles at the entry level. So it is important that you really practice your spiel on why TN, why you want to move, why the area is amazing, the company is superb, etc.

In the end, for your situation you will really need to sell yourself in the interviews and adjust the cover letter to describe why X location and Y company is the place you want to be, so you can get that initial call to give said spiel.

  • Thanks for your reply, I will keep these things in mind. On the other hand, I hear that recruiters/HR often ignore the cover letter, but I suppose it's the only chance I've got. Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 15:43
  • With a recruiter, yeah that's your only shot until they give you a call. You will have to take the extra steps to customize your Cover letter and Resume, make sure you're emphasising whatever skills the job description has if you have them.
    – JoeCo
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 16:27

You cannot get a job in the US or most other countries, for that matter, without a legal, valid work permit. Your desire to relocate is neither here nor there. Some companies make exceptions for exceptionally talented individuals, on a case by case basis.

Your best bet is to get hired by an international company with a Canada office, then ask for a transfer.

  • 1
    My cousin was able to work in California for over a year with a TN visa as a Management Consultant, which has no educational requirement. I don't know if that automatically confers a work permit but if he can do it, so can I. Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 18:00

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