Buying a House while on TN Status - Any issues with the future renewals

#1
Hi All - Not sure, if someone went through this. I am on TN status since 2015 and my status got renewed by USCIS in 2018 (company filed I-129) and it will be up for renewal in Feb 2021.

We are planning to buy a house in the US, just want to know if this will have any impact on the future TN renewals, either at the Border or through USCIS (within the US by filing I-129). I read in some of the forums that it may be one of the factors to determine "immigrant intent" but may not be the single factor to determine it.

Just want to run through this forum and see if anyone have any experience of going through this situation.

Appreciate if anyone can share their thoughts or experience

Thanks
 

Amberleaf

Active Member
#2
The general feeling on this forum is only filing I-485 AOS is showing immigration intent and must be timed correctly, so one stays inside the US on valid TN status until GC approval.
The filing of I-140 does not show immigration intent. (lots of posts on this topic on this forum). Although a few lawyers do feel this "may" show immigration intent. (incorrectly).
The buying of a home in the US does not show immigration intent. You are not required to have a residence in Canada when you are on TN status (unlike tourist B1/B2 status). The purpose of TN is to live in the US in a temporary basis (up to 3 years for each TN).
Many retired Canadians do own a second home in the US sunbelt areas (Florida, Arizona, etc) and visit the US on tourist B2 visa for up to six months, but they must maintain a primary residence in Canada to be admitted as a tourist.

From an immigration point of view, no issues with TN renewal or new TN when owning a home in the US.

I doubt you will obtain a response from someone who owned a home on TN status. We have many readers on this forum, but only a few posters.

This topic was discussed before, search the TN forum to find the responses. It is really a personal decision.

Personally, I was on TN for 2.5 years (2015 to 2018), on H1b for 1 year (2018-2019) and obtained GC in 2019. My spouse and I did not feel comfortable buying a home until we obtained our GC.
My spouse and I owned a "starter home" in Canada for several years, upgraded to a larger home for several more years, so we definitely understand the benefits of owning vs renting. We rented for four years when we moved here in 2015 and it was tough to see all that rental money go to our landlords mortgage rather than our own mortgage. But, due to the high cost of housing in Southern California and the uncertainty of the US immigration system, we waited. (side note, my H1b was initially denied due to frivolous reasons, but ultimately approved).
A general rule of thumb is you should live in your home for at least five years for it to be cost effective compared to renting. But lots of factors at play.
We bought our home in late 2019, before the pandemic hit. In hindsight, it would have been better to rent for one year 2015/2016 then buy in 2017. We would have been better off. But we only know that now with the benefit of hindsight.

It is a personal decision and you won't really know if it was a good decision until the year 2025!
 
Last edited:

nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#3
I owned a home on TN, three weeks after moving to US. You can own a home in any status. It means nothing for immigration.
 

Amberleaf

Active Member
#4
I stand corrected, we do have a response from someone who owned a home on TN. :)

The other factor to consider is obtaining a mortgage while on TN status. It will not be easy. But there are lenders out there who will provide a mortgage to TN and H1b holders, putting >20% down will help. I looked into it a few years ago and it our credit score was not that high due to us not having lived in the US very long. You have to establish a credit history as soon as you move to US.
You will likely pay a slightly higher interest rate than a green card holder. Something to consdier.

CDN9 let us know how it goes if you do decide to buy a home on TN.
 
#5
Thanks Amberleaf for sharing your thoughts on this! Very helpful!


The general feeling on this forum is only filing I-485 AOS is showing immigration intent and must be timed correctly, so one stays inside the US on valid TN status until GC approval.
The filing of I-140 does not show immigration intent. (lots of posts on this topic on this forum). Although a few lawyers do feel this "may" show immigration intent. (incorrectly).
The buying of a home in the US does not show immigration intent. You are not required to have a residence in Canada when you are on TN status (unlike tourist B1/B2 status). The purpose of TN is to live in the US in a temporary basis (up to 3 years for each TN).
Many retired Canadians do own a second home in the US sunbelt areas (Florida, Arizona, etc) and visit the US on tourist B2 visa for up to six months, but they must maintain a primary residence in Canada to be admitted as a tourist.

From an immigration point of view, no issues with TN renewal or new TN when owning a home in the US.

I doubt you will obtain a response from someone who owned a home on TN status. We have many readers on this forum, but only a few posters.

This topic was discussed before, search the TN forum to find the responses. It is really a personal decision.

Personally, I was on TN for 2.5 years (2015 to 2018), on H1b for 1 year (2018-2019) and obtained GC in 2019. My spouse and I did not feel comfortable buying a home until we obtained our GC.
My spouse and I owned a "starter home" in Canada for several years, upgraded to a larger home for several more years, so we definitely understand the benefits of owning vs renting. We rented for four years when we moved here in 2015 and it was tough to see all that rental money go to our landlords mortgage rather than our own mortgage. But, due to the high cost of housing in Southern California and the uncertainty of the US immigration system, we waited. (side note, my H1b was initially denied due to frivolous reasons, but ultimately approved).
A general rule of thumb is you should live in your home for at least five years for it to be cost effective compared to renting. But lots of factors at play.
We bought our home in late 2019, before the pandemic hit. In hindsight, it would have been better to rent for one year 2015/2016 then buy in 2017. We would have been better off. But we only know that now with the benefit of hindsight.

It is a personal decision and you won't really know if it was a good decision until the year 2025!
 
#7
Sure Amberleaf, I just started the process, will keep this forum updated

Thanks once again for your detailed response

I stand corrected, we do have a response from someone who owned a home on TN. :)

The other factor to consider is obtaining a mortgage while on TN status. It will not be easy. But there are lenders out there who will provide a mortgage to TN and H1b holders, putting >20% down will help. I looked into it a few years ago and it our credit score was not that high due to us not having lived in the US very long. You have to establish a credit history as soon as you move to US.
You will likely pay a slightly higher interest rate than a green card holder. Something to consdier.

CDN9 let us know how it goes if you do decide to buy a home on TN.
 

Amberleaf

Active Member
#9
Mortgage rates depend on perceived risk, lower risk, lower rates. Mortgage lenders determine your risk based on many factors, how long employed with current employer, position, salary, non-retirement savings, FICO or credit score, credit card debt (if any), other loans (car or student loans), debt to income ratio, etc.

It is most lenders perceive GC holders to be lower risk than non-immigrants on a temporary status (TN or H1B or L2 or O1 or ...)
If you have lived in US for less than two years, your FICO score will be lower due to lack of credit history in US.

It is important as soon as your arrive in US on any status, apply for a Credit card with your SSN, to start developing credit history with the major credit agencies, (Equifax, Trans Union, etc). Pay your balance in full every time.

Any Home Buying 101 website will explain. Definitely shop around and talk to different lenders to try and get the best rate. (easier said than done, as they want a lot of information about you, and run a credit check, before they will give you a rate)
 

nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#10
When being hired as a professional, it is customary for the new firm to provide relocation services. For foreign hires, this should include mortgage and credit services, on top of the usual perks with relocation ( temp housing, moving expenses, a local realtor, home-buying incentive, etc). Don't underestimate your worth. We didn't all come to US to pick strawberries,
 
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