First Step to Green Card: U.S. Citizen Spouse Filing I-130 Petition.
A U.S. citizen may file an application for lawful permanent resident status (i.e. a “green card”) on behalf of a foreign citizen spouse, who is currently present in the U.S. under TN visa status.
Generally, the first step of this process involves the U.S. citizen filing a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the foreign citizen spouse for classification as an “immediate relative.”
Under the immediate relative classification, the petition is not subject to the annual numerical limitations applicable to the other family-based green card categories like the First through Fourth preference categories.
This means that the petition may move from the first step of the process (I-130) to the second step without interruption due to immigrant visa number backlogs.
More on Filing the I-130 Petition.