TN Visa vs Green Card conflict?
December 8, 2005 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Will applying for a new TN Visa (I-94) cause any problems with if currently filing for a green card?

A good friend is Canadian and is currently petitioning for a green card because he recently married an American woman. He is currently on a TN visa (I-94) that expires at the end of the month. He needs a work permit until his green card is approved. Will applying for a new TN will cause any problems with the other petition?
posted by neilkod to Law & Government (4 answers total)
I have no information about how a TN affects green card processing, but he can file an I-765 for an Employment Authorization Document while his I-485 Adjustment of Status is pending. It's just about automatic, but time to get it depends strongly on your local office's policies; he might be able to get it immediately as a walk-in. It's renewable if the I-485 takes more than a year to process; they often do.

He should also be careful to get an Advance Parole document before leaving the US, just to be safe.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:30 AM on December 8, 2005

As ROU mentioned, the normal route is to apply for the EAD (to allow you to work anywhere) and Advance Parole (to allow you to leave and re-enter the country) after submitting the application for Adjustment of Status.

There may also be an issue with dual-intent if you apply for another TN; I think one of the requirements when you apply for the TN visa is that you agree you won't seek permanent residency, and having a green card application in the pipe kind of negates that.

You should consult an attorney who focuses on immigration matters.
posted by reverendX at 11:57 AM on December 8, 2005

I was told that you cannot apply for a green card while on TN Status because of the lack dual-intent (as reverendX mention), that being said, I've seen a few Immigration Lawyers on the web that offer information on getting green cards while on a TN visa. The catch is you have to pay them. I would guess that means that there's a way to do it, but it might not be as straight-forward as one would hope. I've never looked into it more than that.

Full disclosure: I'm currently in the US on a TN visa, and would love to get a green card too.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:21 PM on December 8, 2005

I was told that you cannot apply for a green card while on TN Status

ISTR from successful reports on that that doesn't apply to AOS through marriage to a US citizen. You might end up losing your TN status when you file AOS, I guess, but you can replace it with an even better EAD which will let you take any old job you want to.

Rather than spend a lot of money on a lawyer, I would:

(1) Not leave the US under any circumstances whatsoever until I had advance parole. If your buddy leaves the US, for any reason at all and for no matter how short a period, he runs the risk of being denied entry back into the US because by leaving, he has abandoned his AOS petition, and by being married to a US citizen and having filed for AOS he has demonstrated immigrant intent.
(2) Post the situation to, which is full of people who have been there, done that, and got the green card.
(3) Look into filing for an EAD if he hasn't, and check out whether he can get one at my local BCIS office on the walk-in days.
(4) Never ever ever again leave anything to do with BCIS/ICE until he has to get it done this month. Always assume it will take three to six months to get anything, so apply for stuff six months out. There's some chance that your friend will have to just be unemployed for a while or work informally.

If he decides to get a lawyer, he should be very extremely 1000% certain that he is hiring an immigration lawyer and not a general purpose lawyer. Even then, a lot of what immigration lawyers do is figure out which forms you should fill in, collect the relevant information from you, and present filled-in forms for a signature. If your buddy is a person with normal college-graduate levels of intelligence and attention to detail, there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to get everything done himself (unless he has a criminal conviction or something).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:41 PM on December 8, 2005

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