Although the TN Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, a TN Visa holder is able to marry a US Citizen and obtain a green card through marriage while in the US on a TN Visa. However, there are timing and intent issues that need to be carefully considered before you file your case with USCIS.
About TN Visas and the “Intent to Depart”
Nonimmigrant visas are for individuals coming to the US 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 Visa status, a TN Visa holder must maintain their intent to depart the United States at the termination of their employment and should not have the intent to remain permanently in the United States.
When an individual TN Visa holder gets married to a US citizen, it can be seen as immigrant intent. While this can create a complication, it does not preclude a TN Visa holder from marrying. But there are many factors that must be considered in order to avoid potential implications of fraud.
TN Visa to Green Card through Marriage
Getting married to a US citizen also opens up the possibility of “adjustment of status” to a legal permanent resident of the United States. When done correctly, a TN visa holder is able to remain inside the United States and change from a TN Visa to a green card through marriage to a US citizen.
- A US Citizen is able to sponsor their spouse for a green card by filing Form I-130 petition for a foreign relative with USCIS.
- A foreign spouse currently inside the United States on a valid TN Visa can file Form I-485 for adjustment of status.
As the TN visa is considered a non-immigrant visa, this process must be done carefully to comply with all relevant immigration laws. Due to several underlying issues, it is best to consult with an experienced TN Visa to Green Card lawyer before proceeding with marriage to a US citizen while in TN Visa status.
Additional Outside Resources
- USDOS: Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers
- USDOS: US Visas
- USCBP: For International Visitors
- USCIS: I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- USCIS: I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
We Can Help!
Don’t know where to start? The TN Visa lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have hundreds of 5-star client reviews and more than 20 years of experience helping TN Visa applicants and holders, and we are able to advise both US citizens and foreign nationals about marriage while in TN Visa status. Contact us today for a free case assessment so that we can address your concerns and help you determine the best course of action.