A Lawyer For Permanent Residence Explains The TN Visa Pathway

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Converting from TN Visa status to permanent resident status in the United States is not as easy as it seems. Knowledge and guidance from a lawyer for permanent residence are required to ensure a smooth transition from nonimmigrant to immigrant Visa. With that in mind, why do people initially pursue a TN Visa?

One primary eligibility requirement for a TN Visa is citizenship. Through this provision, qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens can stay and work in the United States as temporary nonimmigrant workers. If you fall into this category, you can aspire to get a Green Card through various means.

Here, you’ll find the complete process of changing your Temporary Work Visa to a lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

Discover The TN Visa Pathway With A Lawyer For Permanent Residence


How Can A Lawyer For Permanent Residence Help You?

Getting a permanent residence lawyer offers many benefits for TN Visa holders wanting to transition to LPR. These lawyers are knowledgeable about the intricate immigration laws and regulations. From evaluating eligibility to preparing meticulous paperwork, they’re like a skilled navigator ensuring you stay on course.

Please note that only an immigration attorney can guide you through the complex journey to obtaining a Green Card. Think of them as trusted allies, always by your side, advocating for your best interests. They can negotiate with immigration authorities, handle legal intricacies, and provide invaluable support throughout the entire process.

What Is A TN Visa?

A TN Visa is a nonimmigrant Visa created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now identified as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work temporarily in the United States. However, they can only work in around 60 professions stated in NAFTA.

Engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers are among these employment lines. As the TN category is a Temporary Visa, it is only valid for up to three years but can be renewed indefinitely.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a TN Visa, the following requirements must be met:

  • You must be a citizen of Mexico or Canada.
  • Your profession is included in the NAFTA list.
  • You must already have a full-time or part-time job offer from a U.S. employer.
  • You must possess the qualifications to practice your profession.

Another important qualification for getting TN status is showing nonimmigrant intent, as it is only a Temporary Visa to work in the United States. Your citizenship will also determine the category you qualify for.

The TN Visa Application

It’s important to note that Canadian and Mexican citizens have different requirements to qualify for the status.

For Canadian Citizens 

Generally, they don’t need to apply for a Visa at a U.S. consulate to enter the country. You only need to provide the following to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to establish eligibility:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship.
  • Letter from your employer denoting the nature of your job, length of stay, and educational qualifications.

For Mexican Citizens 

If you are a Mexican citizen, you need to apply for a Visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in Mexico to enter the United States. You can apply for admission at a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry if approved.

Whether you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen, you have equal opportunities to obtain a Green Card. Effective methods exist to change your status and pursue the American dream.

How Does A Lawyer For Permanent Residence Guide You?

As a TN Visa holder, you typically enter the United States based on employment qualifications. Hence, transitioning to a Green Card through work-based categories aligns with your existing employment status and qualifications. This route is considered more straightforward and has a faster processing time.

You may pursue permanent residency in the United States through various employment-based immigrant Visa categories. Depending on your qualifications, job offer, and eligibility criteria, you may apply for immigrant Work Visas such as EB-2 and EB-3. 

EB-2 Visa Category

The EB-2 Visa classification is designated for individuals with advanced degrees or extraordinary abilities. TN Visa holders with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in their field may be eligible for this category.

Additionally, individuals with extraordinary ability may also seek a National Interest Waiver (NIW) under the EB-2 category, which waives the requirement of a job offer and labor certification if their work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States.

EB-3 Visa Category

The EB-3 Visa category caters to skilled workers, professionals, and laborers. TN Visa holders meeting the criteria of skilled workers, possessing at least two years of training or experience, may qualify. Likewise, professionals holding a bachelor’s degree (or its foreign equivalent) and workers engaged in unskilled labor with less than two years of training or experience may also be eligible.

Eligibility for these employment-based immigrant Visa categories may vary depending on individual qualifications, job offers, and other factors. Obtaining a Green Card through these avenues is a complex matter that must be navigated efficiently.

Filing An Employment-Based Green Card Petition

Achieving permanent residency via EB-2 and EB-3 offers TN Visa holders a streamlined avenue closely aligned with their employment status and qualifications. While individual circumstances may vary, the process generally involves these steps.

Step 1: Find A U.S. Employer

To transition from a nonimmigrant to an immigrant Visa, you need to find an employer who can sponsor your application. If you have been working in the United States on a TN Visa, you can ask your employer if they are amenable to sponsoring and filing your Green Card application. This route is faster than searching for another job requiring another Visa processing.

Step 2: Acquire PERM Labor Certification

EB-2 and EB-3 Visas require labor certification, which your employer must obtain from the DOL. They need to file ETA-9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, with the DOL.

This step starts the labor certification or PERM process. Your employer needs to prove that no U.S. workers are available, qualified, or willing to take the job posting. Depending on the situation, the PERM process can take about six months.

You can take advantage of the NIW (EB-2) or Schedule A Blanket Labor Certification (EB-3) if your type of profession is eligible.

Step 3: File Form I-140

If the DOL approves the labor certification, your employer can file for From I-140 or Immigration Petition for Alien Worker with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must include supporting documentation, such as proof of the job offer, qualifications, and your employer’s ability to pay the offered wage.

Step 4: Wait For Priority Date & Visa Availability

Upon approval of the immigrant petition, a priority date is established, determining the individual’s place in line for Visa availability. The priority date is crucial for tracking Visa availability and may vary depending on the demand for Visas in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories.

Step 5: Undergo Adjustment Of Status Or Consular Processing

Once a Visa becomes available, you may apply for lawful permanent resident status or a Green Card. If you’re already in the United States, you can apply for an adjustment of status. Otherwise, you need to go through consular processing. This step involves submitting additional forms and supporting documents and undergoing background checks.

Step 6: Wait For Approval

If the Green Card application is approved, you are granted lawful permanent resident status and allowed to live and work permanently in the United States. When your Green Card is finally processed, the validity of your TN Visa ends as you have successfully transitioned to a lawful permanent resident.

Although your employer typically files this intricate sponsorship process on your behalf, you both must work closely together and consult with an experienced immigration attorney. A Green Card lawyer reviewing your petition increases your chances of a successful application.

Why Partner With Lozano Law Firm

TN Visa Process Explained By Lawyer For Permanent Residence

Changing your status from a nonimmigrant TN Visa status to a Green Card holder involves tricky steps. Because of the complex nature of the process, you need a skilled business immigration lawyer to help you with your situation.

At Lozano Law Firm, our experienced lawyer for permanent residence will guide you through this transition. Applying for a Green Card while on your TN Visa is possible, however, you need the proper assistance in filing the necessary forms. This is where a knowledgeable Green Card lawyer can help temporary workers like you.

To avoid making mistakes and jeopardizing your TN Visa status, consult a permanent residence lawyer from Lozano Law Firm. We are here to assist you with your permanent residence application.


The TN Visa offers qualified Canadian and Mexican residents a temporary pass to work in the United States as nonimmigrants. However, this Visa status can be changed to a Green Card through employment-based immigration Visa categories such as EB-2 and EB-3.

Transitioning from a nonimmigrant to an immigrant status is risky due to their different natures. Only the capable and trustworthy hands of a lawyer for permanent residence can handle the overall process. To ensure higher chances of success, consult Lozano Law Firm to guide you through becoming a lawful permanent resident.

About Alfredo Lozano

alfredo lozano of lozano law firm inAlfredo Lozano is the founder and principal attorney at Lozano Law Firm, an immigration law firm serving the communities of San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Laredo and San Angelo in business and family-based immigration law. Mr. Lozano is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the San Antonio Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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