Today, I’ll be answering one of the most common questions we are asked from Canadians in the United States on the TN visa. Can I go directly from a TN visa to a green card?
The answer is yes, but with caution. Technically, anyone who meets the requirements may apply for a green card. However, the intent to stay can create problems for TN visa holders. This is because the TN visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means that a Canadian who enters the US on the TN visa must maintain the intent to depart the United States when their visa expires.
If the process is not handled correctly, there is a risk that immigration officials may flag the TN visa holder for having immigrant intent. As long as the original intent was to come and stay temporarily, that intent can change. If done properly, you can go from a TN visa to a green card.
In addition, sufficient time is needed for this process. It is our experience that the process typically takes anywhere from 12 to 24 months for a Canadian to go from a TN visa a green card.
Difficulties can come up when applying for a TN visa while a green card application is pending. Timing is very important in this process; but if handled properly, such issues can be avoided.
Obtaining permanent residency while in the United States on a TN visa requires careful planning and should be done only with a qualified and experienced US immigration lawyer who has experience specifically helping Canadians go from TN visas to green cards.
If you have any questions about the process of obtaining a green card while on a TN visa, give us a call.