Question: My company has already filed for my TN extension online and it is being processed at the California service center. Now I have to file the TD extension for my wife. Can I file the I-539 for her online or should I mail it to the California center? Since my application is not approved yet, can I just send the copy of the receipt for my case? The grace period for TN status is 240 days while application is in process, what is the grace period for TD status?
Answer: When an I-129 petition for extension of TN visa status is already pending, the I-539 application for extension of TD visa status should be filed with the same Service Center where the I-129 is pending. You should include a copy of your I-797 Receipt Notice indicating that the petition is pending at the California Service Center. Remember to submit a copy of your wife’s current I-94 or I-797 Approval Notice evidencing her unexpired TD status. Also include a copy of your marriage certificate as evidence of her eligibility for TD visa status. For more information, refer to the USCIS filing instructions for the I-539.
Just to clarify: The 240-day rule you refer to authorizes a non-immigrant worker, such as a TN visa professional, to continue working for up to 240 days after his or her I-94 expires, provided a timely petition for extension of status is submitted. This individual may continue to remain in the U.S. after the 240 days passes up until the petition for extension of status is approved. But after the 240 days pass, this individual may no longer continue working.
The 240 day rule applies only with respect to work authorization and offers no benefits to dependents not authorized to work. A dependent spouse or child, including an individual under TD visa status, is authorized to remain in the U.S. until a pending application for extension of status is approved (provided the application was filed before their I-94 expired).