Green Card Approval – TN Visa Worker Residing in Canada

The applicant in this case was a citizen of Canada who held TN visa status for a U.S. employer, but resided in Canada and traveled to the U.S. on a project basis. The applicant married a U.S. citizen who was a member of the U.S. Army who was deployed to Afghanistan shortly after the couple’s marriage.

One of the main challenges in this case was evidencing the bona fides of the couple’s marriage. All marriage-based immigration petitions require that the couple provide proof that they married for legitimate purposes and not solely for U.S. immigration purposes. As the U.S. citizen deployed shortly after the couple’s marriage, it was difficult to obtain such documentation given their recent marriage. Such evidence would include documentation showing joint ownership or property, or documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources. When such documentation is lacking, alternative evidence may include affidavits from third parties that have personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marriage. Our office assisted in the drafting of these affidavits for the couple. We also advised on the types of military-specific evidence that could help establish the bona fides of the marriage.

Another challenge in this case was ensuring that the applicant retained her TN visa status during the processing of the green card application. The TN visa classification has a temporary entry requirement, which can be difficult to meet when a TN visa worker has a pending green card application. As the applicant continued to maintain her residence in Canada, was entering the U.S. only to work on temporary projects, and did not plan to reside permanently in the U.S. until her husband returned, we believed that there was a legitimate basis for her continued entry to the U.S. under her TN visa status despite her pending green card application. Because the applicant did not reside in the U.S. at the time, and she would not do so until her husband returned from his deployment, we believed that her green card application should be filed through immigrant visa processing as opposed to adjustment of status.

After the filing of the I-130 immigrant petition for the U.S. citizen spouse, our office then completed an immigrant visa application for the TN visa worker. Following her interview at the U.S. consulate in Montreal, the TN visa worker was issued an immigrant visa, and then entered the U.S. under permanent resident status. The applicant’s green card arrived in the mail shortly after her entry to the U.S.