TN Visa to Green Card Approval in 83 Days

The applicant in this case, a citizen of Canada, had been working in the U.S. under TN visa status as a Graphic Designer for several years. The applicant married a U.S. citizen in September 2011. Her TN visa status was set to expire in December 2011.

The applicant contacted our office to assist with the filing of a green card application based on her marriage to a U.S. citizen. Following our review of her case, we believed the applicant was eligible to pursue her green card by filing an adjustment of status (AOS) application. Two of the issues our office was concerned about were (1) documenting the bona fides of the couple’s marriage since they had recently married; and (2) ensuring that the applicant received her Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before her TN visa status expired.[i]

To further document the bona fides of the couple’s marriage, our office assisted in preparing affidavits from family and friends attesting to the legitimacy of the couple’s relationship and marriage. Following completion of the paperwork, our office filed the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status and other forms in November 2011. To avoid abandonment of her AOS application, we advised the applicant to not depart the U.S. at this time.

Normally, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole cards are issued within 30-60 days of filing the AOS application. As the applicant could afford time off from her employment, the receipt of her Employment Authorization Document after her TN status expiration did not pose a problem. We, therefore, did not seek to request expedited processing of her EAD.

The applicant’s biometrics appointment was scheduled for December 2011. Her Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole card were received in January 2012. These documents allowed the applicant to lawfully resume working with her prior employer or engage in “open market” employment, and also to travel outside the U.S. without abandoning her adjustment of status application.

The applicant’s interview was scheduled for February 2012. The adjudicating officer approved her application the same day of her interview. The officer provided the applicant with an approval notice that her green card would be mailed to her within 90 days. The officer also collected the applicant’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole card.

If she needed to travel prior to the receipt of her green card, the applicant would have to schedule an InfoPass appointment at the local USCIS office to receive temporary evidence of her permanent residence status. Documentation justifying the need for her to travel would have to be presented at this appointment.

The applicant’s adjustment of status application, like all of these types of cases, was initially processed by the National Benefits Center, and then completed at the applicant’s local USCIS office in Los Angeles, California.

[i] Once the AOS application was filed, the applicant would not be able to renew her TN visa status due to immigrant intent. She, therefore, would need to rely on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) received as an ancillary benefit to an AOS application in order to lawfully continue working with her employer.