Electronic Device Searches During TN Visa Applications
Question: Can U.S. border officers search my cell phone or laptop when I apply for TN visa status at the border?
Reply: Generally, under an exception to the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches, USCBP border officers have broad authority to conduct "routine" searches at the border without a warrant.
The U.S. government asserts that under this exception it has the right to search without a warrant any individual at the border including those applying for TN visa status, or seeking re-entry under a valid TN. The goverment also claims that this includes searching an individual's cell phone or laptop. Refusing to submit to a search, or refusing to provide a password to unlock an electronic device, could result in a TN visa applicant or TN visa holder's denial of entry to the U.S.