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tylerbutel

Travel Options while on TN and doing AOS

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Current situation:

  • On TN status which is valid until Aug 2017.
  • Wedding is on June 4th, 2016.
  • Plan to do AOS for Green Card at some point

I've done a lot of reading on this forum and know that while on TN, after AOS has been submitted, and while waiting for the AP to be approved, I should not travel outside the country.

However, I'd like to travel outside the US for both our honeymoon immediately after the wedding, and my brothers wedding in Canada on July 31st, 2017, and would like to know what my options are to actually do that, if any. Are either of the following safe options?

  1. Get legally married at the court house as soon as possible, merge bank accounts, submit the AOS, and cross my fingers that the AP arrives before our wedding ceremony and honeymoon trip.
  2. Have the wedding ceremony while on the TN, go on the honeymoon, re-enter the country still on the TN and get legally married (marriage certificate) upon return, then file for AOS. Still have the issue about traveling to Canada in July.
  3. Any other ideas????

Thanks for insight.

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Sorry, a little confused. You're getting married in 2016, your brother in 2017, you should have your green card by then, at the very least you'll have your AP in hand long ago. To answer everything else, no, you can't leave the country until you have your AP card in hand, no exceptions. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if border control thinks you're already married I'm pretty sure they can refuse you entry. I also think if you're married already that would void the visa you're trying to enter on.

My advice;

Get married, file for AOS, go on your honeymoon a few months later when AP is in hand.

Edited by B-2-Z

Met 2008. Moved in together 2010. Married 2015. Baby Z joined us 2017 . :wub:

AOS Timeline 350 days

 

May 31/15 - Sent AOS/EAD/AP to USCIS

June 4/15 - Email and text notifications they were recieved

June 10/15 - NOA1 for AOS/EAD/AP Dated June 1

June 17/15- Change of address confirmation

June 22/15- Biometrics appointment received

July 1/15- Biometrics appointment done(5 minute appointment, 8 hour round trip drive <_< )

August 5/15 - Change of address submitted for new location

August 8/15 - Mobile/E-mail notifications for approved EAD/AP :)

August 17/15 - Change of address confirmation after calling in

August 17/15 - EAD/AP Combo card mailed out(To the wrong address, and then lost by USPS)

September 3/15 - Contacted USCIS and was told to re-apply with a new application and fees?! Put in a service request online for lost card, and a complaint

September 8/15 - USPS found & returned card to USCIS

September 15/15 - Ombudsman contacted USCIS

September 17/15 - Card mailed back out

September 19/15 - EAD/AP Combo card finally in hand

September 22/15 - NPIW letter received, dated September 9/2015 estimated 6 month wait

October 13-21/15 - Traveled using AP to visit parents & ship the rest of our belongings out west

November 27-30/15 - Traveled using AP

December 28/15- RFE hard copy, waiting on documents from Canada

January 31-February 7/16 - Traveled using AP

February 10/16 - Sent in RFE, delivered Feb 16

April 16/16 - Service request filed, RFE was never updated online

May 12 - Approved email and status update dated May 10. Service request never was assigned or solved, though.

May 14 - Greencard in hand!

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Good catch B-2-Z. Sorry about that.

My brother is getting married July 31st, 2016. Not 2017. So if I file for AOS after our ceremony on June 4th, 2016, I won't be able to travel.

What are your thoughts on Option 1? Any risks doing that? I'm already in the US and don't foresee a need to travel outside until the wedding.

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Okay I thought so, just wanted to make sure lol. I would think your only 2 options would be;

#1 to get married ASAP, file for AOS, which you should get your AP in 2-4 months depending on the case load, which makes it legal to travel after you have it in hand. Mine was a weird situation since it got lost, but I still got it pretty quickly. I don't know about risks, maybe someone else can answer that for you.

#2 wait until after your brothers wedding, and then you'd still have to wait for AP to travel to your honeymoon.

Just remember your "wedding" is the actual signing of the documents, the rest is a celebration or reception.


Met 2008. Moved in together 2010. Married 2015. Baby Z joined us 2017 . :wub:

AOS Timeline 350 days

 

May 31/15 - Sent AOS/EAD/AP to USCIS

June 4/15 - Email and text notifications they were recieved

June 10/15 - NOA1 for AOS/EAD/AP Dated June 1

June 17/15- Change of address confirmation

June 22/15- Biometrics appointment received

July 1/15- Biometrics appointment done(5 minute appointment, 8 hour round trip drive <_< )

August 5/15 - Change of address submitted for new location

August 8/15 - Mobile/E-mail notifications for approved EAD/AP :)

August 17/15 - Change of address confirmation after calling in

August 17/15 - EAD/AP Combo card mailed out(To the wrong address, and then lost by USPS)

September 3/15 - Contacted USCIS and was told to re-apply with a new application and fees?! Put in a service request online for lost card, and a complaint

September 8/15 - USPS found & returned card to USCIS

September 15/15 - Ombudsman contacted USCIS

September 17/15 - Card mailed back out

September 19/15 - EAD/AP Combo card finally in hand

September 22/15 - NPIW letter received, dated September 9/2015 estimated 6 month wait

October 13-21/15 - Traveled using AP to visit parents & ship the rest of our belongings out west

November 27-30/15 - Traveled using AP

December 28/15- RFE hard copy, waiting on documents from Canada

January 31-February 7/16 - Traveled using AP

February 10/16 - Sent in RFE, delivered Feb 16

April 16/16 - Service request filed, RFE was never updated online

May 12 - Approved email and status update dated May 10. Service request never was assigned or solved, though.

May 14 - Greencard in hand!

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Are you in a rush to do the AOS? If not, then your best option may be to file AOS 6 months prior to the TN visa expiration date. This way you will definitely get your AP/EAD before the TN expires to prevent a lapse in work.

The TN is still valid after you get married, it's only if you file AOS that you can't leave the country. I started my TN visa in April 2001 (back when it was only renewable for a maximum of 1 year periods), got married in July 2002, and filed for AOS in September 2014. Being married to a US citizen and renewing my TN visa was never an issue for me, maybe I was just lucky. My last renewal was in July 2012 for 3 years. I'm not sure if they have gotten more strict lately. The GC interviewer removed the TN visa from my passport.

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Manzan76, you've gotten down to the heart of my question. I was under the assumption that once I get married (legally with certificate) I won't be able to re-enter the US with TN status. Therefore, I thought I needed to do AOS and transition to green card as soon as possible. But, if I can travel freely back and forth outside of the US while being married and still on the TN, I am in no rush to start the AOS process.

Does anyone else have the same experience as Manzan76?

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Manzan76, you've gotten down to the heart of my question. I was under the assumption that once I get married (legally with certificate) I won't be able to re-enter the US with TN status. Therefore, I thought I needed to do AOS and transition to green card as soon as possible. But, if I can travel freely back and forth outside of the US while being married and still on the TN, I am in no rush to start the AOS process.

Does anyone else have the same experience as Manzan76?

Not someone in the same boat so take my advice with a big grain of salt, but in a nutshell, it probably isn't recommended to try traveling on your TN once in AOS without AP (see reasoning below). The absolute safest thing to do would be to submit the AOS after all of your international travel commitments are over (as you never know, your interview may be scheduled whilst you're abroad), but I also can sympathize about not wanting to put your life on hold for bureaucratic red tape.

If you try getting everything done ASAP, be prepared to be flexible - you may need to put through expedite requests, interview re-scheduling requests, having someone setup to check your mail on your behalf whilst you're out, etc. If you and your significant other are fairly stress-free, organized people and can do this whilst planning for a wedding and honeymoon at the same time, I say why not.

The CBP website below clearly states the only exceptions to traveling/re-entering the US without holding AP whilst in the midst of AOS are those with:

  1. H1B Status and their dependents
  2. L Status and their dependents
  3. K3/K4 Status and their dependents

(https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/991/~/when-is-advance-parole-required-for-travel)

The following website describes your situation best I believe:

"TN/TD status is a non-immigrant status that requires that each beneficiary establish non-immigrant intent (a residence abroad they do not intend to abandon) each time they request admission or re-admission in TN/TD status. While filing an I-140 or I-130 requesting Permanent Residency does NOT impact a beneficiary's current TN/TD status, filing of this kind of petition can impact a TN/TD beneficiary's ability to travel and re-enter the U.S. in TN/TD status due to the intent required for TN/TD status. For this reason persons who are currently in TN/TD status are advised NOT to travel internationally once a petition requesting permanent residency has been filed."

http://www.lsuhsc.edu/administration/academic/ois/travel_while_pr_pending.aspx

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Thanks theoleg. Great descriptions and great links.

It appears we have thoroughly established that I should NOT travel and try to re-enter the US while on the TN once the AOS has been submitted and I'm waiting for the AP.

But, the question still remains...

Can I travel and re-enter the US on my TN visa AFTER I'm legally married to a US citizen and have NOT submitted the AOS yet (like Manzan76)? Is there greater risk of being denied re-entry on my TN now that I'm married (and have NOT submitted AOS)?

Really appreciate all the help everyone.

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Thanks theoleg. Great descriptions and great links.

It appears we have thoroughly established that I should NOT travel and try to re-enter the US while on the TN once the AOS has been submitted and I'm waiting for the AP.

But, the question still remains...

Can I travel and re-enter the US on my TN visa AFTER I'm legally married to a US citizen and have NOT submitted the AOS yet (like Manzan76)? Is there greater risk of being denied re-entry on my TN now that I'm married (and have NOT submitted AOS)?

Really appreciate all the help everyone.

My apologies - I hadn't actually properly read your question.

Again, huge grain of salt since I wasn't in the exact same situation, but I can't imagine why you wouldn't be able to do so. Just because you are married to your USC wife, there is absolutely no obligation or requirement that says you MUST submit an AOS. If you have no intent of living in the US at the time you enter, I can't see any reason why they would deny you entrance just because you are on a TN visa, the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA), or any other type of non AOS visa.

I married my USC wife and traveled back and forth from the US multiple times on both the VWP (ESTA) and an L-1 Visa - we only applied for AOS a few years after.

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