I am no longer Curious!!! I am APPPPPRRRROOOOOVEEEDD!!!!!!!


Registered Users (C)
The Second Post Has TN to GC Step by Step Instructions

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't get a green card from a TN. I am living proof that you can! If you need more info on how to do it, read the second post below.

I had my interview yesterday at the Miami district office. Here are the details of what happened for anyone who is interested:

Arrived at the building on 79th Street 15 minutes before my interview. Walked past the long line of people waiting outside right up to the guard. The guard saw our interview appointments and let us go right in to take the elevator to the 8th floor. Met my lawyer there, and we put our appointment notices into a tray, and waited in a tiny waiting room for 50 minutes. Halfway through I just started praying that my case would not be held over because of a pending name check. I prayed that I got stamped today. We got called into the officer’s office. There were piles of cases stacked on his desk. Actually there were so many on his huge desk that there was no room for him to use the desk. He used a clip board on his lap to write on, and I laid my briefcase on the floor, and pulled things out from there when asked. The lawyer told us earlier that the first thing he would do is swear us in, and then ask for photo Ids. It didn't happen exactly this way. He swore us in, and then asked for the new employment letter. He carefully read the entire letter, and then asked to see the company financials. The lawyer handed him a yearly report that is published for anyone who wants it, since my company is a publicly traded company. He scanned the financial booklet, and then asked me how long I've worked at my company. He put the financials aside, and looked at my case file. He asked us when we had our last fingerprints, and we told him the exact date in November 2004, then he found it in the computer, and confirmed with us. He asked my date of birth, my mother’s name, my father’s name, and my current address. My address was my old address so he corrected it. He asked the exact same questions of my wife and corrected the address also in his computer. He also asked if we have ever been convicted of any crimes. He asked to see the copies of our tax returns. Now he said that he needs a passport, or a birth certificate. We gave him our passports, and that was sufficient. He entered something into the computer, probably the passport numbers. Then he asked for all our EADs. At this point, in my mind, I knew I was going to get approved today, since he can't take my EAD if he's not going to approve me today. Then he asked each of us individually to sign a paper on both sides, and he took each of us to put a fingerprint of our right index finger on to the same paper. He asked if there was anything else we brought for him to review, and my lawyer offered my last 3 pay stubs. He reviewed the copies quite quickly, and didn't ask for the originals. He took out a stamp and gently stamped the passports, and then wrote in the A# and the expiry date, which is next year, 2005. I noted the exact time that the stamp hit the page in my passport. It was like the birth of a newborn! He told us that the cards are coming very quickly these days, about 2 months, so we should get them in the mail very soon, but he still has to tell us that it could take up to 6 months. Until then we can use the stamp to travel, and when crossing the border, we would be taken to secondary inspection for the officers to verify the stamp is valid. The whole thing took about 10 minutes!

He never asked for my I-94.
He never asked for my pay stubs, until my lawyer offered it.
He never asked for my Advance Paroles, and I still have the old ones.
He never looked at our birth certificates, or our marriage certificates.

A bit of history on my case, if you're interested:

I arrived here in 1998 in TN status from Canada. The first TN application I made at the border was a nightmare. There were problems with my employment letter, and other issues, and I think the INS officer just had a bad day with his wife or something and decided to take it out on me. After briefly reviewing my letter, he told me I was denied at this time, and yelled in my face army-style 3 inches from my face all the reasons why I was not being admitted. He told me to take the first U-turn on the highway (I was at a land crossing in Champlain, NY on I-87) and if I passed that U-turn, I would be in violation of such and such law, and would be subject to a 10 year bar. The immigration officers would proceed to deport me from the country. Of course, I complied, and drove back to Canada with my pride crushed, and newly born fear of border guards. The lawyer fixed my letter, and I returned a week later, and was approved in 5 minutes. Ever since then I've been absolutely horrified of crossing the border.

The job turned out to not be what I wanted, and I was not happy at all. The employer promised to consider doing a green card, but later denied ever talking about this, and refused to even consider the possibility of starting the process. It was time to move on, but at the time I thought it would be difficult to change jobs, because many of the people I worked with were on H1B's from other countries and the steps required to change jobs seems daunting at the time. I was considering going back to Canada. I soon realized that it was very simple to change jobs while on a TN. All I needed was a new letter of employment from the new employer with some specific verbiage, and I could fly to the border, and get a new TN status and fly back and work the next day. Contrary to popular belief, TN is not a visa, it’s a status. And so I looked for a job that I would be happier doing.

Switched companies after about a year, again on another TN. It was a dot.com startup, and I could tell after about 3-4 months that things were not going to last here, so I started looking for a new job. I went from interview to interview asking the employers that seemed to like me, and the jobs that I would like, if they would process a green card for me. Most of them did not know what their involvement would be, so I walked them through it, and I'd say about 90% of employers at the time agreed to process it for me either from day one, or after a trial period of about 1-6 months. If you attempt this, make sure you know the steps involved for AOS, and specifically, what the employer needs to do for you, and the approximate timeframes. When explained clearly, most employers are willing to help you.

Started my current job in 2000, and they agreed during the interview to start a green card for me after about 3 months of working there. I was on my 3rd TN at this point. My first advertisement was in September 2000, and my labor certification was filed in December 2000. It got approved in June of 2001.

I got my 4th TN visa in June of 2001. (For all of you folks on an H1B, a TN is only good for 1 year)

Applied for my I-140 in July 2001 in EB category 3. There was no option to file my I-485 concurrently at the time. The lawyer asked if I wanted to do consular processing instead of adjustment of status, and he explained all the pros and cons. I wasn't worried about losing my job. I really wanted my wife to have permission to be able to work as soon as possible, and it seemed at the time that if we take the AOS route, then she would get an EAD sooner than she would get a green card if we took the consular route. Also I was a bit concerned about the dual intent thing since I was on a TN, and I wanted to have a lawyer that could defend that coherently if needed. He told me it almost never comes up, but if it does, he could help me. If I take the consular route, then it’s out of his hands, and I'd be on my own. Again, this all seemed very daunting at the time, so I wanted to have the lawyer's help if needed, so I took the safer, yet longer option. I didn't know it would be THIS long though.

My I-140 was transferred to the Nebraska service center in February 2002. I discovered this forum at that time, and saw that many TSC I-140 filers were being transferred to NSC to have their cases processed more quickly, and to reduce the backlog at TSC. It got approved at NSC in March 2002 without any RFE's.

My lawyer filed to renew my TN via mail, even though it would only expire in another 4 months. Not out of the ordinary, since it takes about 3 months to process a TN at NSC. This was my 5th and last TN renewal.

A few weeks later in April of 2002, he filed my I-485, EAD's and AP's for both my wife and I. I finally felt like things were moving along. Little did I know what lay ahead.

My first EAD's and AP's arrived in May 2002, and then my 5th TN renewal arrived in June 2002. At this point my TN status was useless, since I was in AOS-pending status, and I had my approved EAD's and Advance Paroles, should I ever need them. My wife's TD status was also replaced with the same, and now she could work for the first time in the United States. My lawyer warned me that if I traveled out of the US, not to enter the United States using my TN status, but to use the AOS-pending status, and show my Advance Parole. I never traveled during this time out of fear of getting rejected at the border, and due to the experience I described above in 1998.

The processing time went from 600 days to 720 days to 850 days to 999 days. I was getting more and more depressed each time, and regretted not having taken the consular route. But at least I had a job that I liked, and it seemed as if there were no layoffs in site. Also my wife was able to find work easily and that made her feel better about herself, so the stress was down in the home front.

We bought a house in November 2002, and I realized that if you don't have a green card you don't qualify for Homestead exemption in Florida. Homestead exemption essentially does 2 things. It lowers your taxable property value by $25,000. It also caps the increase to your taxable property assessment at 3% per year (this is called the "Save our Home Value" law). This is a great law for Florida, since many people own investment property, and Homestead is only applicable if the home is your primary residence. So the counties get more property tax from the investment properties this way. It’s a good law and it makes sense, except if you're in a status other then permanent resident, or US Citizen and you've owned your home for many years. So just because the AOS process takes so long, you get screwed. Property values can increase 8-15% a year depending on the area you are in. So I really wanted the green card so as to prevent my property taxes from sky rocketing. Every year that went by, I cursed the INS for not approving my case, and making me pay more in property taxes. I did not think this was fair. So although its a good law for investment properties and foreigners or out-of-state residents that own a second home in Florida, I feel there needs to be some kind of an exception or amendment for immigrants who are stuck in the AOS process for such a long time, who have been here so long that they could basically be considered "permanent". The passport stamp is not enough proof to file for this. I need to wait for the plastic card. I guess they feel it’s too easy to forge the stamp compared to the plastic card.

November 2002, I sent both AR-11 forms for my wife and me, called TSC to tell them I moved and change the address on all my pending cases. I even sent them a fax, just to be sure. My interview notice never made it to my current address regardless of all these efforts.

I called the TSC office directly about 3 times between Feb and April 2003 (back in the day before the stupid 1-800 number) and asked the Officers to issue a finger print notice. The first 3 times they said they cannot do anything. The third time, somebody actually had mercy on me and sent a request on my behalf. In June 2003 I received my notice and it was scheduled for August 2003 finger printing. My hopes were up, that maybe my case was nearing completion. Little did I know I would do my fingerprints a second time later next year.

February 2004, my lawyer moved to a new address, my USCIS mail continues to go to his old address ever since.

In May 2004, my case got transferred to the Miami local office. Many people with my receipt date were getting approvals on this forum, but my case got transferred. I got very depressed, and this of course brought my stress level up. Everyone on this forum was very helpful during that difficult time. My wife did not receive a transfer notice, and her online status remained the same. I visited the Miami office in June 2004, and we asked them to request her case from TSC. At first they refused, but with a little nagging, they finally agreed to send a fax, and gave us a copy of the fax that was sent. I personally sent a fax to TSC requesting my wife's case to be transferred, and then my old lawyer also sent a second fax.

May 28th 2004
My frustrations with the transfer: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=128272

Later my mother-in-law won the diversity visa lottery, and to guarantee that she would get a green card she either needed tons of money in the bank, or a job offer, or an affidavit of support from a USC, or a permanent resident. She didn't have the first 2 so I was going to sign the affidavit as soon as I got my green card. The stress level increased even more in fear of filing the application too late. Now I can do that for her. Hopefully visa numbers will not run out by the time she gets her consular interview.

September 2004, my company decided to change lawyers. I warned against it for my specific case because my old lawyer had already moved, and mail was already going to the wrong addresses, but they did not listen and switched lawyers anyways. Low and behold I was right. All further correspondences continued to go to my old address, and to my old lawyer’s old address, regardless of what my new lawyer did.

Returned to the Miami office in October 2004, and discovered that my case physically arrived in Miami in August 2004. My wife's case was still not there.

October 21st 2004
More info on my transfer: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=147780

Sent an email to the FBI in October 2004 to get a status on my name check. It has not arrived to this day. I expect it will arrive in a week or so, but at this point it’s only anecdotal since I'm already approved.

In late October 2004, my lawyer sent his AILA liason to talk to the Director of the Miami DO. The liason had other cases to discuss as well. The goal was to try to compel the director to expedite my case and schedule an interview, since it had already been pending for so long, and now my mother-in-law's arrival was at stake as well, since she would only be eligible to get a DV if she had someone with a GC that could spnsor her.
The Director made no promises, and in fact stated that my case may need to wait at least another 12-14 months before I get an interview notice.

November 2004, we got our second fingerprint notices from the Miami office, even though they were sent to all the wrong addresses. It took a month to get to me. There was no appointment time, it just said to go ASAP within the next 87 days. What I found encouraging was that both my wife and I got fingerprint notices, which led me to believe that Miami had both our cases ad this point.

November 5th 2004
Wrong Address on file in Miami Office: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=149785

Then we both finally got our interview notices, 2 weeks before the interview. Of course they went to the wrong addresses. The originals probably went to my old address, and they are forever lost. Was the interview notice triggered by the meeting with the Director? Nobody will ever know, and the Director will probably deny it until his death bed.

The same day after the interview we went to the Social Security office to get the INS restrictions removed. They could not locate our permanent resident file in the USCIS system, so they told us the new Social Security cards will arrive in about 8 weeks, after they get verification from USCIS of our permanent resident status.

We are expecting a baby in May, so having my wife's mother nearby will be loads of help. Hopefully the diversity visa gets approved at the consulate. I expect it to happen around April or so. We have no other family down here. The funny part is that the baby will have triple citizenship from its first day of life! US citizenship of course just because he/she is born here. Canadian citizenship because I am a Canadian, and the third comes from my wife's citizenship. Wow, 3 passports from day 1!

Next I need to get a new driver's license with a normal expiration. Currently we've had to renew every year. Finally it will be good for 5 years.

Thanks to everyone who supported me through these tough times. This is the best EB AOS forum that I have seen, and I've visited quite a few of them over the past 50 months. I wish everyone the bestest of luck, and you will all get approved in due time. Some may need to wait longer than others, but you will get approved, even if you're in TN status!

December 16th 2004
6 Welcome Letters: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=155434

December 17th 2004
Error on GC: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=155612

January 11th 2005
AP Approval after GC Approval: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=158516

January 28th 2005
Name Check Results after GC Approval: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=160653

February 2nd 2005
Got Corrected GC after I-90: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=161311

June 1st 2005
Mother-in-law has her DV interview, and gets the diversity visa the same day.

June 22nd 2005
Mother-in-law arrives in the US on her DV visa, only 3 months before the cutoff date for that year. Her green card arrives within a few weeks.

January 6th 2007
Strange letter from NSC requesting copies of my GC:
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Registered Users (C)
Here is a summary of everything you wanted to know about applying for AOS in EB category while on a TN:

Beware that this post is over 15 pages long (when printed), so hang in there, keep reading....But when you're done you should be a lot more informed about the process than you ever wanted to be.


I am not a lawyer, nor am I a self-proclaimed expert on every immigration issue, but rather this post is just a summary of the research that I have collected over the few years that it took for my case to be approved, and what I have documented here, I know to be true, not only from my personal experience but by the experiences shared by others as well. When I first started my case in 2000, there were very few sources that I could turn to in order to understand the process of filing AOS from TN status. Very few people thought it was possible, much less legal, and very few lawyers were aware of the pitfalls. The lawyers who knew the “tricks of the trade” charged an arm and a leg for their services. Many people on this forum were convinced that I was breaking the law, in some shape or form, and that my case would inevitably be denied. Having no support system, except my trusty lawyer, my stress level went up since I could not corroborate his statements anywhere in a coherent manner that was NOT written in legalese. At times it got me depressed and scared, that maybe the others were right and this also drove me to find out the truth. They were wrong, but by goal is not to claim revenge, but rather provide a place for people in a similar situation to turn for information, to educate those that blatantly and blindly claim one cannot apply for AOS from TN status, and at minimum, support those that are embarking on this journey to show them that this is in fact legal, and of course possible. I have collected supporting memos and quotes should the need arise to “convince” an uninformed lawyer or two as well. I offer you this free advice. Do with it as you will.

Many people, even many qualified lawyers are under the wrong impression that a person in TN status cannot file for Adjustment of Status, simply based on the fact that TN status does not allow for dual intent. (See Quote #5 in Appendix C below) All this really means is that once a person in TN status has shown clear immigrant intent, they are no longer eligible to obtain or renew their TN and TD status. Another misconception is that an I-140 shows clear immigrant intent. This has been confirmed to be untrue by both the former director of INS and the Nebraska Service Center, since an I-140 is filed by the COMPANY, and not the beneficiary. (See appendix C below for all relevant quotes, especially quote #1) Only a pending I-485 shows clear immigrant intent, therefore once you have filed an I-485, you are no longer eligible for TN status. To this point, many people ask what happens to their TN status once the I-485 is filed. The following pages explain this in greater detail, but as a summary, this is what you should know:

Once the I-485 is filed, you will remain in TN/TD status until one of the following happens:
a) Your TN expires. You and your family are all in AOS Pending status now. Use your EAD and AP accordingly.
b) Your spouse or children’s TD expires but your TN has not. They are now in AOS Pending status, depending on which one expired. They should use their EAD and AP accordingly.
c) You leave the US and reenter using your AP (NB: you cannot reenter using your TN). You and your family are all in AOS Pending status now. Use your EAD and AP accordingly.
d) Either your son/daughter or your wife leave the US and reenter using their AP, but you are not with them on the trip. They are now in AOS Pending status. They should use their EAD and AP accordingly. You are still in TN status.
e) You use your EAD to work at a different job, or at a secondary job. You and your family are all in AOS Pending status now. Use your EAD and AP accordingly.
f) Your spouse uses her EAD to work. She is in AOS Pending status now. (S)he should remember to use her AP instead of her TD when traveling. You are still on TN status.
g) You present your EAD to your current employer and file a new I-9. You and your family are all in AOS Pending status now.
h) You get laid off or quit without a new job lined up. You and your family are all in AOS Pending status now. Your family needs to use their EADs accordingly, and you all need to use an AP to travel instead of your TN/TD.
i) Your I-485 gets approved together with your family. You are now in permanent resident status. You and your family will use their Green Cards to travel.
j) Your I-485 gets denied. You and your family are out of status. Your TN is not valid. Your EAD is not valid. Your AP is not valid. Your lawyer should file a MTR ASAP, or if not then you should leave the US immediately.

Overview: TN -> PERM -> I-140 -> I-485+EAD+AP -> GC -> US Citizen

Stage 1: PERM

1) You need to file for PERM if you don't qualify for EB1 (i.e. Employment Based 1st Preference), most people don't qualify for EB1. If you feel you qualify for EB1 and you want to skip PERM, then get a lawyer's opinion, the process of proving that you qualify for EB1 is not always straightforward. After filing PERM keep renewing your TN as you normally would either via mail, or at the POE / PFI. You can continue to travel and work using your TN at this stage. You can guesstimate that it would take 12-18 months to get your PERM approved, plus the time it takes to put any required job postings prior to filing PERM (an additional 3-6 months). Under the new regulation, an approved Labor Certification will expire after 180 days if an I-140 is not filed to proceed with the case. Some folks feel they need to wait to file for the I-140 until the I-485 priority date is current. There is really no advantage to waiting. In fact I recommend filing the I-140 ASAP after your perm is approved, and I will mention this in more detail in the following steps.This guesstimated timeframe is very specific to the current load when you file your PERM, in addition to any specific issues that may arise with your case, so it is very subject to uncertainty.

Stage 2: PERM -> I-140

2) After the PERM gets approved, file your I-140. Do not file your I-485 concurrently. (Only avoid concurrent application if you are unsure of your I-140 getting approved easily, or are wary of the common risk of getting you I-140 delayed due to multiple RFE's.) (See below for my opinion on this point in Appendix A). Renew your TN via mail if necessary (not at the POE/PFI). The reason for this is that some less experienced officers at the POE/PFI may incorrectly deny you entry in TN status when you attempt to renew and they see that you have a pending I-140, so to avoid this error, renew by mail at this stage. NSC has clearly stated that this is acceptable. See the quote in appendix C below labeled "NSC Backs Off I-140/TN Policy Change" for more info. Although as of 2006, TN extensions filed by mail are sent to the Vermont Service Center, (instead of the Nebraska Service Center), I am of the opinion that VSC will adhere to NSC's policy, since this policy has been in place since the days of the now defunct INS in 1996, and later clarified by NSC itself in 2002, and therefore there is no apparent reason why VSC would not follow suit. When renewing your TN using form I-129, the question that says "Has an immigrant petition ever been filed for you?", you must answer "yes", since at this point, an I-140 has already been filed by your company with your name on it. The company has indeed filed an immigrant petition, but this is not considered immigrant intent, since YOU did not file a petition yet. You can continue to travel and work using your TN.

Although I mention that you could continue to travel using your TN, in practice, I would recommend against leaving the US until step 7. Try to plan to stay in the country until then. There have been some extremely rare examples where some people have had problems re-entering the US in TN status while their I-140 is approved/pending. This is usually due to the fact that the officer at the POE/PFI is not aware of the NSC policy, or simply does not want to abide by it, since NSC belongs to USCIS and (s)he does not work for NSC nor USCIS, but rather (s)he works for CBP. More importantly, do not apply for a TN with a new company once you've filed an I-140, this definitely sets off a flag at the POE.

3) After your I-140 is approved, verify that your priority date is current, and make sure that you have at least 6 months left on your TN, preferably 10 months. If so, proceed to step 4. If not, apply for a new TN now, and also apply for new a new TD for each of your dependants now. I recommend you use premium processing for your TN/TD so as to not hold up your I-485 application any further (i.e. step 4). Remember to answer "yes" to the immigrant petition question as mentioned above in step 2. If your priority date is not current, keep renewing your TN and your dependants’ TDs until your priority date becomes current. Once the PD is current, make sure you have 6 months left on your TN and proceed to step 4. You can guesstimate that it may take anywhere from 6-12 months to get your I-140 approved, depending on how many RFEs you get, and the current load that USCIS is dealing with at the time. Again, this guesstimated timeframe is very specific to the current load when you file your PERM, in addition to any specific issues that may arise with your case, so it is very subject to uncertainty.

Stage 3: PERM -> I-140 -> I-485+EAD+AP

4) Check the priority dates for your employment-based category on the Department of State Visa Bulletin website AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN FILE: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html The priority date (PD) for your I-485 is the filing date of your Labor Certification, and this will determine if you can file your I-485 today or not. The country of chargeability is determined by your birth country, regardless of any other citizenships you may have received via naturalization. Some countries grant you citizenship based on the fact that your parent(s) have citizenship of that country. For the purposes of determining your country of chargeability this citizenship is not relevant. The country of chargeability is based solely on your country of birth. Once your I-140 is approved, and your priority date is current, and you have a TN that is good for at least 6 to 10 months then and only then should you apply for your I-485. Apply for your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and your Advance Parole (AP) at the same time. Your TD dependants should also apply for their I-485, EAD and AP now, and you will need to file an Affidavit of Support for each of your dependants, all at the same time. For your EAD use form I-765, and AP use form I-131. For the Affidavit of Support use form I-134 instead of I-864 which is primarily used for family based cases. It may take anywhere from a few months to several years for your priority date to become current depending on your country of chargeability, and your EB category. This fluctuates as time goes on, almost as quickly as stock prices, so there is no solid way to even give a valid guesstimate here.

5) Do not leave the United States between step 4 and step 7. You can continue to work using your TN, but you cannot travel using your TN, nor can your TD dependants travel using their TD. Never apply for a new TN ever again. If you leave between steps 4 and 7, your I-485 will be considered abandoned, and you won't be eligible for a new TN. Basically if you leave at this point, you can't come back, unless you get some other kind of visa, (H1, L1, etc) and you'll have to re-file your I-485. Bad...bad...bad…

6) If your EAD does not arrive within 90 days after the receipt date (found on your EAD receipt notice), schedule an appointment at the district office using InfoPass and apply for an interim EAD. (this is why you needed to have at least 6 months left on your TN as mentioned in step 3.) I say 6 months, because the 90 days starts ticking after USCIS "receives" your EAD application. If you have ANY pending RFE’s , then this 90 day rule does not apply. If USPS/FedEx/UPS have delivery issues, then that would delay everything. If it takes USCIS a while to get the application into their system that may be a delay. It may take a few weeks for your InfoPass appointment, even after you schedule it, depending on availability, plus, once you go get the Interim EAD, you will not be issued it on the spot, as they will simply inform the service center that your EAD is pending more than 90 days. You will not get it at the local office. There may be an additional delay of a week or so before you actually get the EAD. So although you can tell the local office your EAD has been pending for 90 days, its better to leave a buffer of a few months on your TN in step 3. Otherwise if your TN expires, and you don’t have a valid EAD in your hand yet, then you must take an unpaid leave of absence from work and ensure that this leave is well documented.

i-EADs used to be issued at the local office, but as of Oct 1st, 2006 form I-688B, the Employment Authorization Card (a.k.a. i-EAD, or interim EAD), will no longer be issued at the local office, and only form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), will only be issued at the service center, but the 90 day rule still applies as mentioned. All EADs must be adjudicated within 70 days so that the applicant received the EAD within 90 days.

7) Once your Advance Parole is approved, you can travel abroad. If you travel using your Advance Parole, upon re-entry to the US, you will be in I-485 pending status, not in TN status. Should you need to travel, you'll need to show your Advance Parole document (not a photocopy) and your valid passport to the CBP officer upon reentry to the US. Remember, you are entering in “AOS pending” status, (also known as “I-485 pending” status). Do not say you are entering in “TN status”, or you will most likely be denied entry when they find that you have a pending I-485! In the rare case, they may want to see a copy of your I-485 receipt notice as well, so bring that with you just in case. You may have received 3 originals of your AP. The majority of the time the CBP officers will only ever look at and stamp one of the originals over and over again, regardless of how many trips you take, until it expires. However, there seem to be totally random variations to this scenario, such as the officer keeping one copy the first time you use your AP, or insisting on stamping all the originals you have with you. By the way, sometimes USCIS only sends 2 originals, so don't be concerned if you didn't get 3. The best thing to do is take all originals of the AP with you when you travel, but only offer one of the originals (the same one each time) to the officer until/unless he asks for more. The officer will most probably put a stamp in your passport that says "Paroled Until: mm/dd/yyyy". Ignore this date. It usually does not coincide with the date mentioned on your AP document, and quite frankly you're in status as long as your I-485 is pending anyways. I’m not really sure why they stamp that date, but it may have something to do with their procedures at the border (i.e., everyone must get a stamp, or something like that). If you need to travel, refer to the date on the AP, not the date on your passport to determine if your AP is still current. Upon using your AP, your TN status will be voided, and you'll have to provide your EAD card to your employer to update their I-9. If you are traveling with your dependants, they will also need an AP (as mentioned in step 4). As an important aside note, the law states that you must have a valid Advance Parole before departure from the United States, not upon re-entry into the United States, so don’t forget to allow time for approval before your trip, to ensure the AP is in your hand, otherwise your I-485 will be considered abandoned, and since you’ve shown immigrant intent by filing an I-485, you’re no longer eligible for another TN, so don’t allow this to happen. It could take between 2-6 months to get an approved AP, depending on the current processing dates.

8) Once your EAD is approved, you can find a second job if you so wish. In fact if your I-485 has been pending for more than 6 months, and you have an approved I-140, then you can invoke AC-21, and quit the job at your sponsoring company for a different job that matches the description in your PERM application. The same applies if you were to get terminated / laid off / or fired. Upon using your EAD, your TN is voided. All of your employers would need a new I-9 with your EAD on it, and you would be in I-485 pending status, not in TN status. If you voided your TN, you will need to use your Advance Parole when you travel for re-entering the US. On the same token your dependants can also use their own respective EAD to find jobs if your TN is voided. A privilege they were not entitled to under their TD status. If the IRS was only able to issue your dependants an ITIN number, then now they can get Social Security cards. Be cognizant that by voiding your TN status, you are also voiding your dependants’ TD status, so if they need to travel, they will need their own respective Advance Paroles at this point, as suggested in step 4.

9) If you don't travel in step 7, and you don't get a second job, or switch jobs in step 8, then you'll be in TN status until your TN expires at which point you'll be in “I-485 pending status”. You should notify your employer and file a new I-9 with your EAD information. In any case, once you are in I-485 pending status due to any of the steps outlined above, then your TD dependants are by default in I-485 pending status, and they would also need an AP for traveling at that point.

10) Keep renewing your EAD every year at least 4-6 months before it expires so that you can take advantage of step 6 if necessary. Make sure it doesn’t expire since although you'd still be in a legal status of “I-485 pending”, you would not be able to work until the new EAD arrives in the mail, and if you don’t possess a valid EAD, then you’ll need to take a leave of absence as mentioned in step 6. If your travel patterns are unpredictable, make sure that you keep renewing your AP at least 3-4 months before it expires as well. There is no such thing as an interim Advance Parole, so if you suddenly have to travel out of the United States and you don’t have a current Advance Parole, then you’ll have to delay your trip until you get your Advance Parole in your hand. Very few people have been able to get an emergency AP at the district office, but it is extremely difficult to get, since you would need to show that it is a matter of life and death (your impending death, or your dependants’ impending death, not someone else’s abroad) So, if you don’t fit this category, don’t plan on getting an emergency AP.

11) Sometime between steps 4 and 13, you will undoubtedly be instructed to go to the USCIS district office or an application support center (ASC) to get your fingerprints done. Fingerprints are only valid for 15 months, as the FBI needs to revalidate them to check if you’ve committed any crimes recently. (It’s not to check if your fingerprints changed.) If they “expire” before step 14, you’ll be instructed to go get your fingerprints done again. There is no way to systematically gauge how much longer you need to wait for your file to be adjudicated after you did your fingerprints, so don’t try to guess at this point. In addition, the USCIS will issue an FBI name check, without any involvement or knowledge of the event on your part, to be completed prior to your I-485 being adjudicated. In fact they can issue multiple name checks throughout the process. (I had 2 name checks done on my case) This is a separate process from the fingerprints, and can happen before or after you had your fingerprints done. Fingerprint results generally are available in a day or two, and you can check with the FBI to verify that they sent the response back to USCIS. A name check however can take a few months. Some unlucky individuals can get stuck in this process for a year or more. You can verify the status of your “name check” by emailing the FBI. If the FBI confirms that they have sent the results back to the USCIS, and your case has been pending for an inordinate amount of time, but when you asked the USCIS, the USCIS denies ever having received them, then you should contact a congressman, to help move this through the wonderfully bureaucratic system. This situation often happens to people from special registration countries, but can unfortunately affect others as well, since the communication channel between the FBI and the USCIS has not been ironed out since they all merged under Homeland Security.

12) As you are anxiously awaiting your case to get approved, you might be surprised to get a Request for Evidence (RFE) asking you to provide updated documentation or even possibly missing information that may or may not have been initially requested in the original application. An RFE is not necessarily a bad thing, if you know you have a legitimate case, and if you have the documentation to provide to satisfy the RFE. Make sure you send back your reply ASAP, since if the evidence is not received in a timely fashion, your case will get denied.

12a) Once your I-140 is approved, and your I-485 has been pending for more than 6 months, then you can take advantage of AC21 and switch jobs. You also qualify for AC21 if you get laid off or fired. The new job must match the job description used on your original PERM. No paper work needs to be filed at this time, but you should prepare your new company to give you a job offer letter with a job description matching the one on the PERM application, in case you get an RFE from USCIS asking for proof of employment. AC21 also protects you if the original company had revoked the I-140. This would cause an intent to deny the I-485, so you would need to send the new employment letter, along with a quote of the AC21 law.

12b) Some cases get lost, or misplaced. Its a actually a miracle that more case don't get lost, but if you have confirmed with the FBI that your name check is complete, and USCIS has confirmed that they have the response, and your priority date has been current for quite a while (more than a year) and the current I-485 processing date is way overdue, then you still have a few options, depending on how much money you want to invest. Start with a senator, or a congressman. They may be able to find out more about your case. Next you can file writ of mandamus, to force the USCIS to disclose information about your case. The theory behind filing a write of mandamus is that they would need to take your case out of storage, and then they would realize that its way overdue, and send it to the processing department, all this while they respond to the writ of mandamus. The last option is to sue USCIS. The case would never go to court, but the second they pull you case out of storage to prepare for the lawsuit, they would realize your case is overdue, and process it. The last option is the costliest since you would need a lawyer to actually file a lawsuit. Hopefully it doesn't come to this, but just some tips if you do fall into step 12b. Here is a good link that describes some steps you can take in detail: http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=214587

13) Step 13. Bad Luck. In the rare instance that your I-485 gets denied you would be out of status immediately, and so will your dependants. At this point your EAD and AP are also invalid, and you should stop working, and cancel any trips abroad. You would need to apply for a motion to reopen (MTR) as soon as possible. If you don’t send it in time, the whole case will be over with. Do not waste any time, and get a good immigration lawyer involved ASAP, at any expense. Once your MTR is accepted, you can work using your EAD again. (This situation is very very rare, so don’t worry about this one, and this is not at all unique to TN cases, since the same situation would happen if your H1b had expired after having applied for I-485, never to be extended afterwards, and your I-485 were to get denied).

Approval: PERM -> I-140 -> I-485+EAD+AP -> GC

14) Eventually your I-485 will get approved, either directly from the service center, or if you’re one of the rare few, you might get an interview like me at the district office. It might be a long wait, so be ready to be patient. If you had your biometrics (photo, digital signature and index finger print) taken at the same time that you had your fingerprints taken in step 11 then your card should arrive in the mail within a matter of weeks or months. If you didn’t get your biometrics done, then you would get a letter telling you to go to the district office and bring a passport photo to get your temporary I-551 stamp in you passport, at which time they would take your biometrics. If you got scheduled for an interview at the district office, and all goes well and you’ll get your approval right then and there. If you’re not approved on the spot then the officer probably wants to see some additional info (sort of like a verbal RFE) and you may need to return or fax it to the officer. Once approved, the adjudicating officer will order your card to be made for you at that time, as long as your priority date is current, and your name check is complete. Your status will change from I-485 pending to permanent resident status. You might get an I-181 Welcome Notice, welcoming you into the United States as a permanent resident. For some random reason not everyone gets the welcome letter, but its not required. Other people get multiple (I got 6) Welcome Notices. If you or your dependants have a social security card that says "VALID ONLY WITH WORK AUTHORIZATION" then you might want to consider getting an updated card, to reduce confusion from any future employers. If your card does not say this, then there is no need to update it. Either way, your SS number will remain the same.
Congrats! You've completed the process!

15) If your card shows up with errors, you’ll have to file an I-90 to correct it. It should be free of charge if your I-485 application has the correct information, and the error is by fault of USCIS.

16) If your card never shows up, and a year has elapsed since your I-485 was approved, then you’ll need to file a G-731 to find out what ever happened to the card. Also you should make an Infopass appointment and get another I-551 passport stamp in the interim.

17) Once you have a green card, or an I-551 passport stamp, do not leave the US for more than 12 months at a time without first getting a reentry permit by filing Form I-131, “Application for Travel Document” at least 30 days prior to your departure. This will allow you to be out of the US for up to 2 years without losing your green card. It cannot be extended beyond 2 years. If you think you may have to leave the United States before the reentry permit is received, you may have it sent to a U.S. Consulate or USCIS office overseas for pick up. There is a place on Form I-131 to furnish the information necessary to receive the reentry permit outside of the United States. However, even though you may receive the reentry permit overseas, the application must be submitted while you are still in the United States.
Form N-470 (Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes) must be filed with USCIS prior to departure from the United States. This form is for lawful permanent residents who must leave the United States for certain employment purposes and wish to preserve their immigrant status in order to pursue naturalization.
If you leave for more than a year without filing an I-131, or if you filed an I-131 and leave for more than 2 years then your only chance to get back is to apply for an SB-1 at the local US consulate at least 3 months in advance. If you need an SB-1 do not attempt to return to the US without one, as you will run into tons of trouble at the POE. An SB-1 may be a little tricky since you will need to prove that your extended leave was not intentional. To qualify for this status, you must show that: a)You were a lawful permanent resident when you departed the United States; b) When you departed, you intended to return to the United States and you have maintained this intent; c) You are returning from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay was protracted, that it was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible; and d)You are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects. If you need to file for SB-1 you should probably get a good lawyer to help you state your case to the US consulate abroad.
If the returning Resident (SB-1) visa is refused on the grounds that you have given up your residence in the United States, it may or may not be possible to obtain a nonimmigrant visa such as a B1/B2, or TN, depending on whether you have established a residence abroad to which you will return. If you cannot submit convincing evidence of compelling ties abroad, you may have to apply for green card all ovver again on the same basis by which you immigrated originally, if that is even possible.

Note that if you leave for more than 6 months, but less than 12, you don’t need a reentry permit, but this will disrupt your continuous stay requirement for the purposes of citizenship as mentioned in step 19 below. If you leave for less than 6 months, then you don't need to file anything special.

18) If you lose your card, you’ll need to file an I-90 to get a replacement. Beware that they are VERY expensive, unlike a driver’s license, so try not to lose it, and you can’t leave the US without one, unless you get another temporary I-551 stamp.

Total Guesstimated Timeframe:
Everyone wants to now how long all this takes. I'm not a genie, nor do I have a crystal ball. Plan on 3-6 years. That's a ballpark figure that is wide enough to cover 99% of cases. Personally it took me 50 months from the day I posted my first newspaper ad, until I had my green card in my hand. Some people on this forum have gotten it in half that time. A colleague of mine got his card 60 months after the first ad, while another colleague got his in 18 months. 4 years seems to be the average. It all depends on how lucky you are. Las Vegas should have a betting pool for this. :D

Citizenship:pERM -> I-140 -> I-485+EAD+AP -> GC -> US Citizen

19) Fifty-Seven months after your I-485 approval date, you can mail the application for US citizenship by filing an N-400 if you were present in the US for a total of 30 months within the last 5 years, without any trips abroad longer than 6 months. Remember to keep track of all your travel dates when you left and entered the US, and also all of your employment start and end dates. You’ll need this for the N-400. at the time of filing the N-400, you need to have lived at the same address for the last 3 months, so if you plan on moving, make sure to plan your move way before you apply for citizenship. I wouldn't recommend moving AFTER you file, since any correspondence may go to you old address, and may never get forwarded. Sometimes this is not an option, and you just need to take the chance that the mail will get to you. You can keep any other citizenship(s) when you get your US citizenship, if those countries allow you to have multiple citizenships. Canada for example allows you to have both, so you would be a dual citizen in this case.

Here is some great info concerning dual citizenship, specific to Canadians:
And here is a link for other nationalities:
Some changes to the Canadian Citizenship Act that are being discussed that you need to be aware of:

20) Depending on the district office where you're getting sworn in, immediately after the swearing in ceremony, you can immediately apply for a US passport on the spot. Just hand them your naturalization document, and they can take you picture there. Otherwise you can go to one of 7,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, the naturalization certificate you got at the swearing-in ceremony, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license. It will take about a month to get the US passport in the mail.

21) Since US Citizens don't need a visa to enter Canada, Canada does not care which passport you use to enter as long as you're just a visitor, and you'll be staying for less than 6 months. If you actually reside in Canada, you should be showing them your Canadian passport, otherwise if you show your US passport, the Canadian authorities will want to see proof that you are a landed immigrant. US immigration law is a bit stricter. As an American citizen, you MUST use your US passport to enter the US, or identify yourself as an American citizen at the POE/PFI. If you try to enter the US with a Canadian passport as a US citizen, they may give you some trouble if you claim you have dual citizenship.

Appendix A:
Notes on NOT filing concurrently in Step 2:

If your I-140 is clear cut and straight forward, then ignore the following. My I-140 was "on the edge", so the following advice is what I would recommend for anyone in my situation. This point is moot these days for many people these days with the retrogression of priority dates especially if you only qualify for EB3, but it’s still something to consider for people applying with a current priority date. If you qualify for EB2 or even better, EB1, then read my note below.

An I-140 is filed by your company, not YOU so simply filing an I-140 does not show clear immigrant intent, since it’s the company filing in your name. There was a USCIS memo that was issued that clarified that simply filing an I-140 does NOT show immigrant intent. The company "could" file it without your consent, so therefore it’s not your fault that "they" want you to immigrate..... eventually. It doesn’t necessarily mean you want to immigrate. By filing an I-485 you are clearly expressing YOUR choice to immigrate, not anyone else's, YOU are the one that consciously made the decision to immigrate by filing an I-485, and that is clear immigrant intent.

By filing an I-485, you show clear immigrant intent. For this reason, once you've applied for an I-485 you are no longer eligible for a new TN, since to qualify for a new TN, you cannot have dual intent. Dual intent is defined by having shown the intentions of wanting to switch to a permanent status (i.e. Green Card), while still in a temporary status (i.e. TN, H1b, L1, F1, B1, etc). Only H1, and L1 visas explicitly allow for dual intent, and so people can extend their H1 and L1 visas while their I-485 is pending. TN, F1, and B1 statuses do not afford you the right you to extend your status while your I-485 is pending. People in statuses other than H1 and L1 that have a pending I-485 must use an EAD to work once their status is expired, or gets voided by leaving the country, since statuses like TN do not allow you to renew once you’ve applied for an I-485.

If you file the I-485 and the I-140 concurrently, and the I-140 is DENIED for any reason, then once your TN has expired, you are out of status, and you are no longer eligible for a new TN because you've shown immigrant intent. You can call it game over, and pack up and go back to Canada. Although a good lawyer should help to ensure that an I-140 does not get denied, unforeseen issues such as lost mail, disorganized USCIS procedures and practices, and unskilled adjudication officers are just a few reasons that are out of your control as to why your I-140 may inadvertently get denied.

On the other hand, if all you filed is your I-140, and it gets denied, you can still apply for a new TN, and re-file the I-140. Life goes on, and you learn from the mistakes you made on the I-140, and you try again.
Also, if you filed concurrently and the I-140 gets an RFE (Request for Evidence), and then I-485 can be put on "hold". With the I-485 on hold, this may cause a delay in getting the EAD, and AP.. If the TN expires during this time, you would not be able to work, since you would not have an EAD yet. Examples of this are the ability to pay RFE's for smaller companies, or education issues for EB2 cases. These are common RFE’s that are predicable, yet unavoidable in some cases, even with a great lawyer. The delay due to this RFE on the other hand is unpredictable, and this is where the issues arise.

Next, you could get your not-yet-approved I-140 inadvertently transferred to a district office, because the service center wanted to give you an interview for your concurrently filed I-485, not realizing that the you have a pending I-140. Although a district office does have the capability to adjudicate an I-140, in general, they will claim it is the responsibility of the service center, and will not even touch the case. If you were on a TN in this scenario, you would be caught in the loop of trying to get your I-140 back to the service center, all the while your EAD may not get approved before your TN expires because nobody at USCIS wants to admit to having your file. Again, bad luck due to USCIS error, and it’s out of your control. The risk is too high to take the chance.

Note for EB2 and EB1 applicants with current priority dates:
Even if your priority date is current, then if the current processing times at your service center are more than 9 months to process an I-140, then you have no choice, you can't file concurrently when adjusting from a TN. (math: 9 months to process I-140 + 3 months to process EAD = 12 months which is the maximum time allowable on a single TN) In this scenario, your TN will expire before you get an EAD in your hand, since your EAD application would be put on hold until your I-140 is approved, and since you filed an I-485, you're not eligible for another TN. A person in H1b would not run into this problem.

The safe route in a TN scenario is NOT to file concurrently. I still highly recommend this to all TN holders reading this trying to adjust status (if your priority date is even current in the first place). Otherwise you may have to take a leave of absence for an unforeseeable amount of time, or the worst case is (as originally stated in less frequent cases these days) you might be out of status, without the option to renew your TN.

Appendix B:
AOS vs. CP
Many good lawyers will not touch a case where a person insists on filing an adjustment of status from TN status. These lawyers will typically insist on filing for an H1b prior to starting the process. Many experienced NAFTA lawyers may recommend that you consider consular processing rather than AOS. Still there are the rare few lawyers that will process an Adjustment of Status even if you insist that you do not want to file an H1b. Although many lawyers will simply say a TN does not allow for dual intent and insist you need an H1b, the lawyers who know that you can do TN to GC via AOS still won't tell you their real reasons. As for the lawyers that know it is doable, but still won’t do it, I believe that one of the reasons is that they make more money from you by filing an H1b. Not all lawyers are that hungry though. They also do not want to incur the increased risk of you letting your TN lapse and not having applied for an EAD or AP. The other risk is that after having filed for an I-485 you could inadvertently reapply for a TN, or simply attempt to re-enter in TN status at the POE/PFI, in effect, voiding your I-485. You might forget to use your AP upon reentry. Prior to having applied for an I-485, you may inadvertently mention that you have intentions to stay in the US permanently, which in effect, is clear immigrant intent. All this comes down to the fact that many lawyers do not have control over your actions, and you are the biggest unknown in this formula, not the law itself. If you don't know the laws, you could screw up the whole case, and low-and-behold, your lawyer will have to work extra hard to try to bail you out, if that is even an option. They don't want that risk, they don't want that extra work for no extra compensation, just because you didn't listen to their every word. So, they will avoid taking the case altogether. If you really feel you want to take this route, you will have to shop around for lawyers for a while. I will try to list the pros and cons of each option below. It’s up to you to decide. It’s up to the lawyer to decide if (s)he trusts you enough to help you take option 1. And if option 1 is still for you, be aware of the damn pitfalls!

Option 1: TN to GC via AOS:
1.1) By staying in TN status and avoiding H1b, you don't have to deal with any quota issues. Since TNs are always available, there is potentially less of a delay.
1.2) If you don't qualify for H1b then this is really the only way to go. I didn't qualify for H1b at the time my GC was getting processed, since I did not have a bachelors degree, nor did I have enough experience to make up for lack there of. TN was my only option.
1.3) By taking the AOS rout vs. the CP route, your spouse and children will get an EAD during the time that it takes to process the I-485. When you file CP your dependants will not have permission to work until they get their GC.
1.4) if your priority dates are current, you could take advantage of AC-21. CP does not qualify you for AC-21.
1.5) If your case is denied for any reason you could file an appeal or a motion to reopen.

1.5) You should avoid travel if at all possible after your I-140 is filed.
1.6) You cannot travel whatsoever after your I-485 is filed, and before your AP is in your hand.
1.7) You need to ensure you have sufficient time left on your TN prior to filing your I-485.
1.8) You will need to get an approved EAD prior to your TN expiring after you filed your I-485.
1.9) If your I-485 was to get denied, your EAD and AP would be void, and you would be out of status immediately.
1.10) You need to keep renewing your EAD and AP in a timely fashion to ensure you can continue to work and travel.

Option 2: TN to GC via CP:
2.1) CP is typically quicker than AOS, but with the retrogression of priority dates, this point is less and less of any sort of benefit.
2.2) You have little to worry about when using your TN to travel or work, since there is no issue of dual intent here, although there have been cases when people have had issues reentering in TN status with a pending/approved I-140.

2.3) You will need to travel to Canada to get your medical done prior to your interview. It may not be convenient for you to take a vacation.
2.4) Your dependants cannot file for an EAD, so they are stuck in TD status until they get a GC.
2.5) If for any reason you are denied at the interview, you cannot file a motion to reopen. Lawyers can do little to help you at this point.
2.6) You cannot benefit from AC21. If you lose your job at any point when waiting for your consular interview, you would have to start the entire process all over again, including PERM, I-140, and waiting for your name check and priority dates to come through.

Option 3: H1b to GC via AOS:
3.1) No concerns with crossing the border at any time during the process.
3.2) No need to file for EAD or AP, as long as you stay with the same company, you can keep extending your H1b.

3.3) You may need to wait for H1b's to be available.
3.4) If you switch companies (i.e. AC-21) or work for multiple companies when your I-485 has been filed then you would need to get an EAD and AP, in which case if your I-485 is denied for any reason your EAD and AP would be void, and you would be out of status immediately.
3.5) H1b's cost way more than TN's.

Appendix C:
Quotes relative to the issue of immigrant intent:

Quote #1 started the ball rolling:
"The fact that an alien is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition may not be, in and of itself, a reason to deny an application for admission, readmission, or extension of stay [under TN status] if the alien’s intent is to remain in the United States temporarily. Nevertheless, because the Service must evaluate each application on a case-by-case basis with regard to the alien’s intent, this factor may be taken into consideration along with other relevant factors every time that a TN nonimmigrant applies for admission, readmission or a new extension of stay. Therefore, while it is our opinion that a TN nonimmigrant may apply for readmission in the TN classification, if the inspecting officer determines that the individual has abandoned his or her temporary intent, that individual’s application for admission as a TN nonimmigrant may be refused."
Letter from Yvonne M. LaFleur, Chief, INS Business & Trade Services Branch
(posted on AILA InfoNet as “I-140 Filing Not Dispositive for TN” (June 18, 1996)).

Quote #2 reinforced the statement made in Quote #1, and now there was no doubt that a pending I-140 alone does not make one inelgible for TN status:
"After considerable discussion between the Nebraska Service Center and AILA's NSC Liaison Committee, the NSC now indicates that the filing of an immigrant petition is simply one factor to consider in the adjudication of a TN extension, and should not automatically result in a denial. The NSC, which has exclusive jurisdiction over TN applications made on Form I-129, had previously indicated that NSC adjudicators were being told to deny TN applications if an I-140 immigrant petition has been filed on the individual's behalf. The basis of the denial had been that the individual no longer has nonimmigrant intent."
AILA InfoNet, “NSC Backs Off I-140/TN Policy Change” (posted on AILA InfoNet at Doc. No. 02111431 (Nov. 14, 2002).

Quote #3 is a court's description of "immigrant intent".
“There is a great difference between wanting to stay and intending to stay and proof of a desire to stay is not proof of an intent to stay.”
Choy v. Barber, 279 F.2d 642, 645-46 (9th Cir. 1960)

Quote #4 is another court's description of "immigrant intent".
"A desire to immigrate to the United States, should opportunity arise, is not inconsistent with nonimmigrant intent."
Brownell v. Carija, 254 F.2d 78, 80 (D.C. Cir. 1957)

Quote #5 Shows that only H and L visa allow for dual intent, which incorrectly makes most people assume that a person in TN status cannot file an I-485, while it is the inverse that is true. A person in TN status can file an I-485, but once that I-485 is filed, they are no longer eligible to file for a TN. this of course is not a problem as long as the person files for an EAD and AP in a timely manner.
Under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, (Act), most nonimmigrants who apply for adjustment of status to that of permanent residents of the United States are presumed to be intending immigrants and, therefore, are no longer eligible to maintain nonimmigrant status. Section 214(h) of the Act, however, permits aliens described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) and (L) of the Act, i.e., temporary workers in specialty occupations, intracompany managerial or executive transferees, and their dependent spouses and children, to maintain their nonimmigrant status during the pendency of their applications for adjustment of status.

Quote #6 addresses the issue of a spouse of an I-140 beneficiary, wherby the SPOUSE is entering in TN status (but not the actual I-140 applicant).
CBP Letter Addresses Immigrant Intent for TN Applicant Married to I-140 Beneficiary (uploaded to AILA on 2/12/2009)
A 4/21/08 letter from Paul Morris, Executive Director, Admissibility and Passenger Programs, CBP, addresses immigrant intent for a TN applicant whose spouse is the beneficiary of an I-140 petition. Courtesy of Charles Herrington. AILA Doc. No. 09021280.

You can show these quotes to your lawyer, if (s)he still thinks you can't file a TN while an I-140 is pending, or if (s)he thinks you can't file an I-485 when you are in TN status.

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms:

AC-21: The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act
AD: Approval Date
AFOD: Assistant Field Office Director
AO: Adjudications Officer
AOS: Affidavit of Support (Department of State definition, AOS means Affidavit of Support )
AOS: Adjustment of Status
AP: Advance Parole
AR: Administrative Review
AR-11: Alien's Change of Address Form
ASC: Application Support Center
BC: Birth Certificate
BCIS: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
BIO: Biometrics (Digital photo, index finger FP and your digital signature. This is needed for the production of GC.
CBP: US Customs and Border Protection
CO: Consulate Officer
CP: Consular Processing
CPR: Conditional Permanent Resident
CSC: California Service Center
CWOP: Cancelled Without Prejudice.
DCF: Direct Consular filing
DFOD: Deputy Field Office Director
DHS: Department of Homeland Security
DL: Drivers License
DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles
DO: Deportation Officer
DO: District Office
DOJ: Department of Justice.
DORA: Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status
DOS: Department of State
DRO: Detention and Removal Operations
DV: Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)
EAC: Eastern Application Center
EAD: Employment Authorization Document
EB: Employment-Based Immigration Category
ER: Expedited Removal
EWI: Entered Without Inspection
FB: Family-Based Immigration Category
FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation
FedEx: Federal Express
FOD: Field Office Director
FP: Fingerprints
G-731: Inquiry About Status of I-551, Alien Registration Card
GC: Green Card
I-131: Application for Travel Document
I-134: Affidavit of Support
I-140: Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
I-181: Welcome Notice
I-485: Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
I-551: Green Card
I-765: Application for Employment Authorization
I-864: Affidavit of Support
I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification
I-90: Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card
IBIS: Inter agency Border Inspection System
ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
ID: Interview Date. The date your interview is actually scheduled for and not the date you got your interview notice in mail.
IEA: Immigration Enforcement Agent
i-EAD: Interim EAD
IJ: Immigration Judge
IMBRA: International Marriage Brokers Act
INA: Immigration and Nationality Act
InfoPass: USCIS appointment system
INS: Immigration and Naturalization Service
IO: Immigration officer
IRS: Internal Revenue Service
ITIN: Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
IV: Immigration Visa
IVACS: Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System
KCC: Kentucky Consular Center
LC: Labor Certification
LPR: Legal Permanent Resident
LUD: Latest (or) Last updated date
MSC: Missouri National Benefits Center
MTR: Motion to Reopen
N-400: Application for Naturalization
N-470: Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes
NBC: National Benefit Center
NCSC: National Customer Service Center
ND: Notice Date. The date USCIS entered your application in their system and generated a receipt number and/or A#.
NIV: non immigrant visa
NIW: National Interest Waiver
NOA: Notice of Action
NSC: Nebraska Service Center
NTA: Notice To Appear
NVC: National Visa Center
PCC: Police Clearance Certificate
PD: Priority Date
PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management
PFI: Pre-Flight Inspection
POE: Point or Port of Entry
PR: Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)
RD: Receipt Date. The date USCIS received your application. This is not the date your postal service delivered your package to USCIS.
RFE: Request for Evidence
RFI: Request for Initial Evidence
SB-1: Returning Resident Alien
SC: Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center)
SDDO: Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer
SS: Social Security
SSA: Social Security Administration
SSN: Social Security Number
TD: NAFTA Professional Dependent visa
TN: NAFTA Professional visa
TPS: Temporary Protected Status
TSC: Texas Service Center
UPS: United Parcel Service
US Visit: System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country.
USC: US Citizen
USCIS: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
USPS: United States Postal Service
VD: Voluntary Departure
VR: Voluntary Return
VSC: Vermont Service Center
VWP: Visa Waiver Program
WAC: Western Application Center
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Registered Users (C)
lemme be first one to say - congrats!!!

enjoy your much awaited freedom, GOD BLESS!!!


Registered Users (C)
Hi Curiousgeorge,

A well deserved approval . Congrats to u and family. Thanks for all the help you were offering to the forum members. I would request you to coninue helping the forum members to the extent possible. Congrats once again.




Registered Users (C)
Congratulations and thank you for all your contributions to this forum.

Dependent ND:12/30/2003
AD :?


Registered Users (C)
Curiosity is over!!!

Congratulations for your well deserved approval!

Please hang around this web portal to help others achieve the same goal as yours!


Registered Users (C)
WOW !! fantastic !!!!

Many many Congrats to your entire family on winning long battle
This is great day
POJ pl arrange for a very special and huge cake for our beloved friend GEORGE


Registered Users (C)
That is cool and good news man....Finally you achived your goal....

Congrats !!! and all the best for the future...



Registered Users (C)
Congrats. Now hopefully other old timer Ponnurangannar gets his approval too..
What a relief. Isn't ?.



Registered Users (C)

Hearty Congratulations to you. That was a well deserved approval. I hope we get ours soon. waiting for 952+ days for I-485 approval.


ND: 04/23/2002
1st FP: 04/20/2003
2nd FP: 08/06/2004

AD: still waiting...