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TN Visa Law Blog

By Brian D. Zuccaro, Esq.

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Thursday
Apr242014

TN Visa → Green Card Based on Marriage to U.S. Citizen (~4 Month Process)

Green CardCase Info.
Case History / Issues:Applicant was a Canadian citizen, and held TN visa status. Applicant subsequently married a U.S. citizen.
Strategy:Reviewed case to ensure no preconceived intent issues, or potential employment gap or travel issues. Determined applicant was a good candidate for Adjustment of Status.
Filing Process:I-130 / I-485 application @ USCIS - Chicago Lockbox
Filed:Dec. 26, 2013
Biometrics Scheduled:Jan. 27, 2014
Employment Authorization / Travel Card Issued:March 5, 2014
Interview Date:On April 16, 2014 at USCIS' Boston, MA local office. Decision was not made during interview, but case status online showed the application was approved later that day.
Green Card Received:April 22, 2014
Processing Time:3 months, 21 days
Citizenship:Canada
TN Visa Category:Computer Systems Analyst
Friday
Apr042014

TN Visa Approval - Systems Analyst, Degree Geology/Chemistry

TN VisaCase Info.
Background:Citizen of Canada.
TN Category:Computer Systems Analyst
Job title / duties:Informatics Consultant. As the applicant's job title was not specifically Computer Systems Analyst, it was essential to include proof that the job duties were consistent with those of a Computer Systems Analyst.
Education:Bachelor’s degree in Geology & Chemistry. Submitted proof of related certifications and experience. Given the likely questioning of the relevancy of the applicant's degree, the inclusion of supporting materials establishing the applicant's qualifications for a Computer Systems Analyst position was critical for this case.
Filing Process:TN visa status application @ USCBP - Peace Bridge, POE
Processing time:Approved same day filed
Approval period:3 years
Monday
Feb102014

CBP Only Admitting Same-Sex Spouses under B-2 Status

According to a recent liaison meeting with its Buffalo, NY office, USCBP does not have a formal, national policy in place yet addressing the admission to the U.S. of same-sex spouses who are dependents of individuals holding temporary visa status. AILA/CBP Buffalo, AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14020748 (posted 2/7/14). CBP has stated that in the interim, it will admit same-sex spouses under B-2 status, but only for a 1-year period.  Id.

What are the implications of this lack of a formal policy for TN visa workers? Generally, TN visa workers can be admitted for up to a 3-year period. The spouse of a TN visa worker is entitled to be admitted for that same period. Under USCBP’s current position, a TN visa worker’s same-sex spouse would be admitted under B-2 status, and only for a 1-year period. The inconvenience of USCBP’s decision is that such individuals would then have to extend their B-2 status annually. This could be accomplished by either: (1) filing an I-539 application with USCIS to extend B-2 status; or (2) departing the U.S. and seeking from USCBP another 1-year B-2 period at the border.

It is not entirely clear from USCBP’s announcement on how citizens of Mexico will be treated. The U.S. Department of State has already indicated that it will issue TD visa stamps to the same-sex spouses of TN visa workers. Will USCBP admit these TD visa holders under TD status for the full 3-year period? Or will it instead try to admit these TD visa holders under B-2 status for a 1-year period. At this point, it is not clear how USCBP will handle this issue.