TN to Green Card

Faraday Future jackbauer1
Jul 2 15 Comments

I'm about to accept an offer. I'm happy with all terms except that they have a policy that only those on dual-intent visas can apply for green cards and, because I would be on a TN, they won't allow it.

I have friends at other tech companies who have successfully gone from TN to a green card and my current company has been willing to begin the process as well. I hear there are some risks but it's definitely possible.

Wondering if anyone here has had this experience recently, going from a TN to green card, and can share.

Background: I'm Canadian and have been on a J1, L1-B and TN three times.

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TOP 15 Comments
  • Nutanix saySomethi
    they can not apply for a GC while on a TN. They first need to convert to H1. This is law, not company policy
    Jul 2 6
    • DigitalOcean / Eng howdoyouDO
      Second this. I was on a J visa which is single-intent, just like TN, and got my GC without going through H1.
      Jul 3
    • Bloomberg bsSlayer
      wow from J to GC is pretty rare. How long were you on J visa, was it an internship?
      Jul 3
    • DigitalOcean / Eng howdoyouDO
      3 years, visiting scholar. (Actually, my spouse was a visiting scholar, I was their J2 dependant, but it doesn't change the principle)
      Jul 3
    • Bloomberg bsSlayer
      did you guys do EB2 NIW? or EB1 outstanding researcher?
      Jul 3
    • DigitalOcean / Eng howdoyouDO
      Just a regular EB2 for me through my employer.
      Jul 4
  • Microsoft oMAG58
    Lol, both responses above are not entirely correct.. the law says you cannot enter on TN status with intention of staying. After you enter, you can change your mind. If you apply GC, you cannot leave and come back using your TN, that violates the Immigration Intent clause of the TN Visa.
    Jul 2 5
    • Microsoft oMAG58
      Btw I went from TN to GC. You need to have Advance Parole after filing for 485 in order to leave the country and return, but the rumor is that AP is not guaranteed so it's recommended to not even leave with AP.. not until you actually receive your GC. The risk is that if your GC gets denied for whatever reason, you will be out of status and need to leave immediately and you can likely never apply for another visa again. Not even sure if you can reliably enter US with B1 visa. I know Canadians are exempt from applying for B1 but I think they might just flag you for any future B1 visits because B1 is also non-immigration intent. It's also apparently safer to file i-140 separately from i-485 instead of concurrently because i-485 approval requires an approved i-140. If you file concurrently and your i-140 for whatever reason is not approved (maybe they don't believe you qualify for the EB category) then your 485 that you've already sent out would be in danger of getting denied. Supposedly your 485 would be tougher too because they need to determine if you really did enter on TN previously with no intention of immigration.
      Jul 2
    • Broadcom Ltd. / Eng
      headbanger

      Broadcom Ltd. Eng

      PRE
      Intel, Broadcom Ltd.
      headbangermore
      Just to add to this: you cannot file I-485 for 90 days after the last entry on a non-immigrant status like TN, B, F etc. They’ll automatically reject the 485 if you do apply within 90 days. This is the only risk involved. So it is best not to travel outside the US during this 90 days plus however long it takes to get the AP card.
      I myself did the TN2GC and traveled multiple times to Canada on EAD/AP combo card.
      Also make sure after you enter the first time on AP, you let your HR know that you’re no longer on TN and are working on EAD. And also make sure you apply in advance for EAD/AP extensions so there won’t be any gaps in your employment. You’ll be basically working on EAD and traveling on AP while 485 is pending.
      Jul 3
    • Microsoft oMAG58
      Nice, my EAD/AP was super late and I didn't get mine until a week before I interviewed so I never got to use my AP.

      Well actually, funny story, I came into this situation where I was admitted on TN when I tried to use my AP. So after I interviewed, it took another two weeks for my GC to get approved, but I needed to return to Canada on a wedding trip before I received the GC so I decided to use the AP while my GC was in the mail. But when I re-entered, I showed the CBP my combo card and later my passport, he completely ignored my card and kept asking about my TN. After I was admitted without secondary inspection I stopped somewhere to pull out my phone and check my i-94 and I was admitted as TN. I was somewhat freaking out. Normally if my 485 was not yet reviewed and approved, this TN admission would've caused the 485 a lot of trouble. Luckily I asked my attorneys and they said since my GC is already shipped out, this shouldn't matter anymore. So lesson is, always make sure you are admitted with the correct status.

      I knew someone from Canada with H1B status but the CBP kept admitting him as B1 visitor and he never checked his i-94. His employer eventually locked him out and stopped paying him until he got it resolved with CBP.
      Jul 3
    • Broadcom Ltd. / Eng
      headbanger

      Broadcom Ltd. Eng

      PRE
      Intel, Broadcom Ltd.
      headbangermore
      Wow! Was this at a land POE or at an airport? No way in hell do the CBP make this mistake at an airport pre-flight inspection! At the land POE they may do that just to get the traffic flowing. But like you said, one must insist on entering on the correct status.
      Jul 3
    • Microsoft oMAG58
      This was at land POE. I think CBP agents sitting in the booths have this habit of admitting you with last admission status.
      Jul 3
  • Expedia Lark71
    I had to convert from TN to H1B first because TN intent is not to stay here permanant.
    Jul 2 0
  • Homeaway XDAD
    People above are wrong. Though the TN visa is not dual intent you can apply it's just risky. Basically you won't be able to leave the country in the time that you are waiting for your green card. If the TN expires while you're waiting you'll get auto denied though. So there are definitely some risks. The "best way" is to go H1 first but it's getting harder to get that even.
    Jul 2 0