If the Canadian citizen is already in the United States in lawful status, such as F-1 status, TN status, H-1B status, E-2 status, O-1 status, or L-1 status, they may apply to adjust their status through USCIS. Adjustment of status is the process of “adjusting” from a non-immigrant status to permanent residency.
Adjustment of status through marriage
When adjusting status through marriage, the U.S. citizen spouse files a petition to sponsor the foreign spouse, and the foreign spouse files an application for adjustment of status. Usually, both spouses will be required to attend an in-person interview at a local USCIS field office to prove that the marriage is bona fide and legitimate.
If the Canadian citizen is in the United States as a B-2 visitor, it is possible to adjust their status through marriage. However, there is an issue of preconceived intent. In other words, there cannot be any intention to apply for a green card at the time a Canadian citizen is entering the U.S. as a visitor. If USCIS finds that there was an intent to immigrate at the time of entry, the green card application may be denied.
Adjustment of status through employment
Canadians can also adjust their status in the U.S. if they are being sponsored for a green card under the EB-2 or EB-3 categories. After the employer’s petition is approved, the employee will need to do two things: 1) make sure that they continue to maintain lawful non-immigrant status; and 2) check to see if their Priority Date is current on the Visa Bulletin.