Under U.S. Immigration Law there are two different visa types: immigrant and nonimmigrant. There is a clear distinction between these two visa types. An immigrant visa allows the recipient to travel to the United States and apply for admission as a legal permanent resident (LPR). Nonimmigrant visas are for individuals coming to the U.S. temporarily with the intent to return to their home country. A TN visa is classified as a nonimmigrant visa. This means that in order to maintain valid TN status, a TN holder must maintain their intent to depart the United States at the termination of their employment.
It is common for a foreign national within the United States on a nonimmigrant visa to encounter, court, and develop a romantic relationship with a U.S. citizen. Oftentimes the relationship already existed prior to the foreign national’s entry into the United States and progresses from a casual to a serious relationship. Because of the difficulty of long distance relationships, couples that find themselves in this situation look for a permanent solution to keep them together after marriage.
A complication of the TN visa is that when an individual in TN status gets married to a U.S. citizen, it can be seen as immigrant intent. This does not preclude a TN visa holder from marrying while in TN status, but there are many factors that must be considered in order to avoid potential implications of fraud. Getting married to a U.S. citizen also opens up the possibility of adjustment of status to a legal permanent resident of the United States. Due to several underlying issues it is best to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before proceeding with marriage to a U.S. citizen while in TN status. We are able to advise both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals about marriage while in TN status. Contact us today so that we can address your concerns and help you determine the best course of action.