How to Go From a TN Visa to a Green Card

Unlock insights on how to go from a TN visa to a Green Card, explore key considerations, and navigate the 90-day rule with ease.

Going to the USA with a TN visa marks a significant step towards international career growth. However, as ambitions evolve, so do the aspirations for a more permanent stay. In this blog, we'll unravel how to switch from a TN visa to a green card, delving into essential considerations.

Understanding the TN Visa

The TN visa, established under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), facilitates the entry of professionals from Canada and Mexico into the United States for specific job categories. Similar to other temporary employment visas like the H-1B and L1 visas, the TN visa differs in that it is not a "dual intent" visa. This means that when someone enters the U.S. on a TN visa, they commit to leaving before the visa expires and have no intention to immigrate permanently.

Can you go from a TN Visa to a Green Card?

Embarking on a journey in a foreign land with a TN visa marks a significant step towards international career growth. However, the pathways to go from a TN Visa to a Green Card are still yet to be explored. But what if a TN visa holder falls in love and marries a U.S. citizen or green card holder while working in the U.S.? The good news is they can typically switch visas to a green card, opening the door to permanent residency and a pathway to citizenship.

Considerations Before Applying for a Green Card

Before initiating the green card application process, there are crucial considerations to keep in mind:

  • The 90-day rule: Immigration officers use this rule to determine the honesty of a green card applicant about their original intentions when coming to the U.S. Applying within the first 90 days may raise concerns, while applying later could indicate a change in circumstances.
  • Pathway variations: For TN visa holders, the pathway to a green card depends on whether they are married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder. The adjustment of status process is common for those already in the U.S., while consular processing is an option for those concerned about triggering the 90-day rule.
  • Form I-130: Regardless of the pathway chosen, applicants need to fill out Form I-130 to kickstart the green card application process.
  • Traveling overseas after filing: Exercise caution when traveling after filing Form I-130, as your pending Green Card application may be interpreted as an intent to immigrate, potentially leading to refusal upon return.
  • TN Visa renewal challenges: Securing a TN Visa renewal can be challenging once an applicant applies for a green card, so careful planning is advisable.
  • Legal guidance: Seek advice from an immigration attorney to understand the nuances of your situation, especially if you find yourself out of status.

By presenting a clear pathway and addressing potential challenges, you can switch from a TN visa to a green card. Remember, with careful consideration and expert guidance, individuals can navigate this journey successfully, ensuring compliance with immigration regulations and optimizing their potential for a permanent stay in the United States.

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