Can a TN visa lead to a green card? Yes, but with caution. The TN visa under the USMCA (NAFTA) makes it easier for Canadian and Mexican citizens to legally work and live in the United States. The TN visa is a non-immigrant visa valid for up to three (3) years at a time and can be renewed indefinitely. The TN visa does not have a direct path to a green card such as an L1A visa has. However, a TN visa holder can transition to a green card through employment through the same process as an H1B visa holder, Permanent Labor Certification Process (PERM). As this process can be complex, it is best to consult with lawyer with experience handling TN visa to green card cases. Speak with a TN Visa Green Card Lawyer 1-866-697-1832
TN Visa to Green Card and Intent
Technically, anyone with a non-immigrant visa that meets the permanent residency requirements may apply for a green card. The intent to stay, though, can create problems for a TN visa holder. This is because the TN visa is “single intent,” which means that a TN visa holder who enters the US must declare that they intend to leave before the visa expires. Other persons who hold a “dual intent” visa (such as H-1B and L-1) are allowed to seek permanent residence even if this was not the intention they originally declared upon entry.
TN Visa to Green Card and Timing
If you are on a TN visa and plan on adjusting status to a green card, there are timing considerations that must be considered. If not done correctly an improperly handled green card application can raise immigrant intent issues that could prevent you from renewing or extending your TN visa. However, if timed properly you will be able to continue to work in the U.S. on a TN visa while your green card processes. In some cases this means choosing consular processing over adjustment of status with USCIS.
TN visa to Green Card Considerations
Difficulties may also arise when reapplying for a single-intent non-immigrant visa while a green card application is pending. Immigration officials may question the applicant’s plan to leave or stay in the US. The fact that there is an application for permanent U.S. residency (green card) may cause the denial of a TN visa extension or renewal. Moving to permanent residency (green card) in the U.S. while on a TN visa requires careful planning. Some decide to switch to H-1B or L-1 status first before pursuing a green card. For others, it’s all about timing – not too soon after entry that it may to arouse suspicion, but not too late that they may run out of time for green card processing. In any case, going from a TN visa to green card should only be done after obtaining proper legal advice.
TN Visa Green Card Lawyer
If you are a TN visa holder who has a permanent job offer with a U.S. employer, call us to speak with a qualified and experienced U.S. Immigration Lawyer.