TN Renewal or Marriage?

#1
Hi, I'm a Canadian under TN status, having been in the US since 2015 (first as a student, then under OPT for a year). My TN runs out January 1st 2021. I've been with my girlfriend since 2013 and would like to stay here in the US with her. I'm asking for advice on how I should proceed.
She would marry me to help me get a GC, but her taxes filed for 2019 were below the poverty line/cutoff. She should be above the cutoff for next year. I have about 30K in stocks. We also have some friends that might be willing to sign as a sponsor for me but I'm a bit unclear as to how much is involved with that and what exactly I'd be asking of them.
I'm unclear on the timeline of how to proceed. Should I just try to renew my TN status and figure out the marriage process later? If so, when should I try to renew my TN? I was thinking of trying to do it by mail so that I wouldn't risk getting stuck in Canada if there's an issue, but after reading about the termination of USCIS workers and potential added delays, I'm wondering if it would be better just to do it at the border. If it gets rejected, can I then enter as a visitor for a few months to look for other work etc.? I'm unclear on how that works and how much time I would have as a visitor.
Thanks, any advice would be much appreciated.
 
#2
First, I am hoping you are planning to get married to each other because you truly love each other and plan to spend the rest of your lives together.
"She would marry me to help me get a GC" sounds like something else.

Second, as you have been under OPT, then TN for about 5 years, you already know the US immigration system is complex and you must pay attention to the fine details. One mistake can be costly. (denied entry, abandoned AOS, rejected petition, etc)

Take your time, and do your own research. The CuriousGeorge post here explains the fine details of TN to GC, including examples of marriage based petitions.
https://forums.immigration.com/threads/curiousgeorge-tn-gc-link.339271/

Marriage based guides can be found here. https://www.visajourney.com/guides/

Applying for a new TN (or renewal) at a POE is always the fastest, cheapest, easiest way. (just don't mention the US girlfriend)
If you currently hold a TN, applying for a new TN for the same role, same company should be easy. No reason to be denied.

(I just read some of your previous posts from 2017/18, looks like you had some issues, including TN denial, maybe DIY it not for you, maybe you want to consult with an attorney)
 
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nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#3
To be more blunt, if you marry before getting your TN it is quite possible that you would not get a new/renewed TN after that, so you need to renew TN first, before taking any steps towards marriage-based GC.

And, since you have been in US for quite a few years, it is even LESS likely that you would be granted visitor status if any TN attempt failed, for whatever reason, since you have no ties outside US, which is a prerequisite for getting visitor status (but not required for TN).
 
#4
Ok thanks. So given that, would it be less risky to attempt the TN renewal by mail? That way I'd still be in the US if it was rejected and could look for another job etc. Am I expected to leave the US as soon as my TN runs out or is there a grace period? I'm also not sure what the situation is like right now entering Canada, if I might run into difficulties at the border. What would you do in my situation?
 

nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#5
You can renew by mail now. You can't renew at POE until nearer your expiration date. So you may wish to send in I129 now, and be done with it. There is no value in letting your TN expire, There is no grace period if your TN expires.
 
#6
Is there any time limit within which TN can be renewed at the POE. Example, if TN is going to expire on Dec 31, 2020 - can we go to border with the letter around Dec 1st to get it extended (we will loose 30 days of existing TN), however, will that work? Or we need to go a week or two before expiry (like Dec 20th or end of Dec) ?
 
#8
There's quite a few posts on this query and my understanding is this:

If you go to POE, it is not a renewal. You will be applying for a new TN. I wouldn't go the border outside of the 2 weeks as they may not issue a new TN based on excessive time left on existing TN especially if it is the same employer.

You could renew online using I-129 and apply for TN extension. This is employer based petition and saves you having to do a border trip close to Christmas.
 

nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#9
2-4 weeks is a good rule of thumb in normal circumstances. You could always call the specific POE and aks, but be aware that the answer you get on the phone is not binding on them. They could deny you on bases of being "too early" as they wish.
 
#11
Thx for the help guys. I'm not sure if I should start a new thread, but now I'm working with my boss on the I-129 for renewal and we were not sure what the start date for me should be. Since my current TN expires January 1st 2021, can I put january 2nd 2021 as my start date?
Also, do we need to include recent pay stubs? The possible issue is that my hours are currently reduced to about 20h/week due to the pandemic, but eventually I will go back to full time and that's what is currently on the I-129.
 

nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#12
You simply choose EXTENSION as the renewal option. They will add three years to your expiry date. I don't think you need paystubs, since your employer is filing the I-129, they assume he is employing you.
 
#13
Thx for the help guys. I'm not sure if I should start a new thread, but now I'm working with my boss on the I-129 for renewal and we were not sure what the start date for me should be. Since my current TN expires January 1st 2021, can I put january 2nd 2021 as my start date?
Also, do we need to include recent pay stubs? The possible issue is that my hours are currently reduced to about 20h/week due to the pandemic, but eventually I will go back to full time and that's what is currently on the I-129.
For my first TN extension, our company filed I-129. They put the start date the day after my previous TN expiry

My first TN dates: Jan 30th 2015 - Jan 29th 2018 - So, they kept Jan 30th 2018 as the start date and Jan 29th 2021 as end date. On the approval notices, the same dates they have given, so as nelsona said, they just added 3 years to the expiry date.

Our company, very process driven, had asked for many documents, like all the educational credentials, pay stubs for the last 3 years etc., As nelsona said, Pay stubs makes no sense, as employer is filing I-129 and it is always assumed that you are working for them.

They mailed the package to USICS Vermont office on 30th October 2017, on 15th November 2017 ,we got receipt, On Dec 2nd 2017, we got approval notices.

The process was smooth, but, our HR had asked for tonnes of documents, which might be a case for H1B extension, but, for TN, it should be straight forward. Not sure, if this is the case for many companies or its just ours

That is the reason, for my next renewal (Jan 2021), I have asked them to issue a support letter, I can go to border and get it done myself.
 
#14
This has been very helpful. I'm going through a checklist from a "TN visa kit" and there are a couple items on there that I wonder if I need to bother with:
Do I need a job offer letter even though I'm renewing? (I was never given an official offer letter). If I need my boss to produce one, would that need to be back-dated for the initial hire or reflect the renewal period? Also, do I need to include my resume? Here's what I have in my packet, perhaps someone can tell me if I'm missing anything.
1. I-129/ I-129FTA supplement filled out by company
2. TN Visa letter
3. Check for $460 to DHS (paid by the company)
4. Photocopy of passport including TN stamp
5. Printout of most recent I-94
6. Photocopies of my degrees
7. Letter of recommendation from previous employer

thanks!
 
#15
This has been very helpful. I'm going through a checklist from a "TN visa kit" and there are a couple items on there that I wonder if I need to bother with:
Do I need a job offer letter even though I'm renewing? (I was never given an official offer letter). If I need my boss to produce one, would that need to be back-dated for the initial hire or reflect the renewal period? Also, do I need to include my resume? Here's what I have in my packet, perhaps someone can tell me if I'm missing anything.
1. I-129/ I-129FTA supplement filled out by company
2. TN Visa letter
3. Check for $460 to DHS (paid by the company)
4. Photocopy of passport including TN stamp
5. Printout of most recent I-94
6. Photocopies of my degrees
7. Letter of recommendation from previous employer

thanks!
Our Company has asked for a copy of the initial Offer Letter that was given to me at the time of joining the company in 2014 - I have provided that

I-129, FTA supplement all filled by HR and they sent it for our signatures
Same with my wife's and kid's TD forms, they filled in and sent in for our signatures
TN Support Letter, they sent me a draft for review, it was fine, so, I told them to go ahead with it
All the checks, HR took care
Photocopies of Passport, recent I-94s I have provided
All the educational qualifications including degree evaluations from UoFt, I have provided
All previous Experience Letters
One additional thing our HR did is, though there is evaluation from UoFt, still they did evaluation of my bachelors degree from Morning Side Evaluations and attached the report with the application
All the Pay stubs for the last 3 years, I have provided

Too much of documentation, I am not sure, if this much is required for filing a TN extension through USICS. As I said again, not sure, you need to provide all these, as it depends on company's HR.
 

nelsona

Registered Users (C)
#16
If you are getting a TN with your eduction alone, there absolutely no need for experience letters. Only those using 2-year diplomas plus 3 yrs experience need this.
 
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