Caveat Re. Extending TN Status through the Service Center.
Use Caution if Considering Departure while I-129 Petition for Extension of TN Status is Pending and I-94 Has Expired.
When extending status through the Vermont Service Center, it is important to note that the TN professional must be physically present in the United States at the time of the filing of the extension of stay.
While a TN Professional whose TN status has expired but who has filed a timely application for an extension of stay is authorized to continue employment with the same employer for a period not to exceed 240 days, the TN Professional must use caution when departing the U.S. while the petition for extension is pending.
While a departure in this situation will not be considered an abandonment of the extension petition, because TN status has expired the individual would not be able to re-enter the U.S. in TN status based on the expired I-94 card. The TN professional will have to gain admission into the U.S. by alternative means. Theoretically, a new TN application could be submitted. If admitted as a visitor, the individual would have to wait until the extension petition was approved to begin working again.
If a TN Professional must leave the United States for any reasons while the extension request is pending, the TN Professional may request the Service Center to cable notification of approval of the application to the port-of-entry where the Canadian TN beneficiary will apply for admission to the United States.