TN Visa to Green Card

I have a TN Visa. Can I apply for a U.S. permanent resident Green Card?

The TN visa holder may have some new options to consider in regards to becoming a permanent U.S. resident. This article will discuss the permanent resident green card options available to TN visa holders from Canada or Mexico. Our Los Angeles immigration and visa lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice and discuss your immigration and visa needs. Contact our immigration office now and talk to one of our experienced immigration and visa lawyers today!

Is the TN visa a dual intent visa?

The TN visa is a special non-immigrant category reserved for Canadian and Mexican citizens who are offered qualifying positions as defined under NAFTA. The INA states that the TN class of visa is to be treated as a regular admission class. Therefore, it is subject to the INA presumption of immigrant intent and dual intent is not recognized for TN workers. United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires that applicants in the TN category show non-immigrant intent when requesting entry to the U.S. or renewal of TN status.

However, new immigration law reforms have stated that “an intent to immigrate in the future which is in no way connected to the proposed immediate trip need not in itself result in a finding that the immediate trip is not temporary. An extended stay, even in terms of years, may be temporary, as long as there is no immediate intent to immigrate.”

Read more about the NAFTA TN visa status for Canadian and Mexican professionals.

Can I apply for a United States Green Card while I am on a TN visa?

Thanks to immigration law reform and new USCIS policy guidelines have recently expanded the opportunities for TN visa holders to obtain a green card. TN status holders can apply for employment-based immigrant benefits through EB-2 or EB-3. These can be either PERM or EB-2 NIW. It is important to note that this is an immigration option even if visa numbers are not currently available. When a PERM labor certification or immigrant petition is filed with USCIS, a priority date is established for the applicant. This is a significant benefit because it means that the applicant can establish an earlier priority date and shorten the lengthy wait time for an available visa number. TN visa holders also do not need to change to H-1B status. Valid TN status continues until TN visa holders file for an adjustment of status or consular processing. This submission is made whenever visa numbers become available.

JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office is dedicated to immigration law. Our focus allows us to stay current with the complex and ever changing immigration laws. Our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys are ready to help you meet all of your immigration and visa needs.

What else do I need to consider as a TN visa holder?

It is important to reiterate that CBP’s revised guidelines still have not turned the TN visa or TN status into a dual intent visa or status. TN visa holders still need to maintain their foreign residency and declare that they are not intending to immigrate on the immediate visit to the U.S. Only a future option to immigrate and applications in anticipation of such are allowed.

Other benefits for TN visa holders to consider:

  • they can extend TN status in the U.S. with USCIS

  • they can be admitted into U.S. with their valid TNs after travel overseas, and apply for new TN status

  • filing PERM or an immigration petition will not automatically jeopardize their reentry or valid TN status.

  • Once they have filed an immigration petition application, they can get advance parole documents to allow them to travel.