Canadians PR's traveling to the US


#1

Hello!

I understand whether or not it requires a visa to travel to the US depends on the passport one holds. However, from the perspective of being a Canadian PR, would it make a difference when applying for a visa to travel to the US? Say, this person used to be on an F1 and H1 while in the US but later became a Canadian PR.

Many thanks!


#2

Hi Fan,
What kind of US visa are you applying for? Your question is legitimate and I’m sure I would’ve had the same one in your position. Technically your Canadian PR status shouldn’t matter, while you are applying for a new one. If anything, it should be a strong indication and you don’t intend to live in the US for too long and would be useful if you are asked too many questions during your visa interview or at port of entry.
However , your status history within the USA can become a factor in your visa decision process. For e.g., if you had ever applied for a USA green card and later canceled that process and now you are applying for a Tourist or any other non-immigrant visa, the visa officer can reject your visa as you might have an immigrant intent . If you were just on a F1 or H1 visa and later migrated to Canada and now you are applying for a tourist visa etc, then it shouldn’t matter.


#3

Hello!

I really appreciating you sharing your insight. I never would’ve thought that having been involved but not completed a green card process could potentially affect the odds of later getting a US tourist visa even for someone who’s a Canadian PR!

May I ask if this is practically a fact or speculated from a few instances?

Thanks so much!


#4

Since you are applying for a tourist visa, it should not be that much of a problem.

It really is upto the visa officer; he/she may or may not take your canceled green card application into consideration. However, there’s nothing you can do about it now, just be ready to answer questions related to this if asked. I have indeed seen instances where students (my friends) were denied visas because some of their relatives were green card holders/citizens. And one of my friend’s lawyer told him not to travel between H1B lottery season and H1B status change season as it might impact his return. But those instances might be few and far apart, I don’t really have any statistics.

However, my immigration lawyer in the US certainly told me once, to not file my US green card application while I was on a student visa. A student visa is a “non-immigrant” visa and filing for a green card shows “immigrant intent”, and the CBP officer at port of entry or visa officer granting any other visa might take this into consideration and deny future visa.


#5

I would say applying for a US visa with a Canadian PR is the same as applying without one and the result would be similar to if you had applied without one.

Filing for a GC on a non-immigrant visa is a big red flag and is considered violation of your visa terms and therefore would affect future visa applications.


#6

but h1b is an exception. filing for a greencard on h1b is not a violation since it is dual intent visa.


#7

I would say applying for a US visa with a Canadian PR is the same as applying without one and the result would be similar to if you had applied without one.

Technically it shouldn’t make a difference. However, if you’ve already moved to Canada and they do ask you you about Canadian PR you cannot lie. If you’re a recent immigrant to a third country (Canada) some officer may consider you an immigration risk to the US (e.g. why are you applying for US visa - especially if a work visa - if you are a PR in Canada). Even though they are required to follow the guidelines they have discretionary powers - now more than ever - to reject your applicant for any reason, or no reason whatsoever. However this may be an exception rather than a norm. Lesson: Don’t brag about Canadian PR status in US interview unless they ask you (your passport probably has PR visa so they’ll know anyway).
On the other hand, another officer may consider you a low immigration risk to the US and approve your US visa since you now have ties to Canada and will return to maintain your PR.

Filing for a GC on a non-immigrant visa is a big red flag and is considered violation of your visa terms and therefore would affect future visa applications.

Technically, yes, however, you when you are getting the visa and entering US you shouldn’t have immgirant intent, but you can develop an immigrant intent later. Which is why lawyers are comfortable filing for EB-1/2/3 on, say, F-1 student visas. H-1 is a dual intent visa so that’s OK.
As a side note, technically, immigrant intent is only demonstrated after I-485 is submitted (change of status form). I-140 is not technically immigrant intent however officers can make a discretionary call and reject visas on this fact.

There are these small nuances about applying for US visas that make life tough for unsuspecting applicants.