Hi. I have been working in the US with a TN visa for the past five years, with plans on marrying a US citizen. We are planning on getting married in Canada and living in the US. I will continue to work at the same job that I have held since being here. I would like to apply for a green card after we get married, or do I need to start the application before? Can I remain in the US during the application process? If I can, do I need to change my TN status to something else? I would appreciate any help. Thank you
Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:14 am
You cannot start a marriage based petition before you get married.
How much time do you have on your current TN? You can apply to adjust status after you get married, but once you send in that petition, you may be denied a renewal on your next TN based on your immigrant intent.
Be careful how you do this cause you may not be able to enter the U.S. on your existing visa if you get married in Canada.
Plan well so that you are not stuck in Canada waiting for your visa while your spouse is in the U.S.
Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:32 am
So the best thing to do would be get married with my TN visa status and then once back in the US apply for a Green Card. Would that work?
Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:43 am
Why do you need to get married in Canada? Where exactly in Canada do you plan to marry? If Ontario is the plan, you may be waiting up to 6 months just for the marriage certificate, which means you wouldn't be able to send in your adjustment of status or I-130 petition until then, and then your TN will expire and yadda yadda yadda.(ontario is notoriously slow in getting paperwork together)
Once you're married to a US citizen and try to get back into the US, they may deny your entry because you will then have immigrant intent, and the TN visa is a non-immigrant visa.
Your best bet would be to marry in the US and file immediately for adjustment of status and EAD. Depending where you are in the US would depend on the processing times, but some areas are being processed in under a year. (applying for an immigrant visa through Montreal however would be at least a year, and your TN would expire in that time and you'd have to leave the US and wait out the rest of the process after your TN expires, renewal may not be granted if you have a marriage based I-130 in process). Do not leave the US once you have sent in the I-130 petition and application for adjustment of status, they may deny your entry when you try to come back, even with your TN visa.
Once your AOS is completed you could then have a wedding renewal of vows ceremony in Canada for your family there. Lots of couples do the double duty ceremonies. the legal one in the US to satisfy immigration laws, and the renewal of vows in their home country to satisfy family.
I urge you again to have a look at http://www.visajourney.com for information on marriage based immigration. There are several couples there who have been thru what you want to do, and will have insight to the process that is not available here at CanuckAbroad.
Joined: 2 Apr 2007
Location: San Diego, California
Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:55 pm
Reba is giving you a lot of sound advice. Once again - plan this carefully.
Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:33 pm
I would be getting married in Ontario and only doing that because I have no family here. Thank you for all of your advice. I have already been deported once becuase I didn't have a visa screen and I hope to never again. I really appreciate the links to the web sites. Thanks again