TD Visa Extensions & Travel Authorization

Question: I am a Canadian Citizen and my wife is Russian. I have a TN and she has a TD visa. I would like to know if by applying for an extension through USCIS my wife would be able to get the new visa stamp (sticker) in her passport without leaving the US.

Reply: In this scenario, applying for an extension through USCIS only results in an extension of TD status and the issuance of an I-797 approval notice with a new I-94 record. For individuals who are not Canadian citizens, the approval of the extension request only provides the continued ability to reside in the U.S. under TD status for the duration of the I-94 approval period. The extension approval does not provide travel authorization. This generally can only be obtained by applying for a TD visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy / Consulate.

In limited situations, under the visa re-validation provisions, an individual may be able to travel to Canada or Mexico for periods of 30 days or less if they have a valid I-94 record and an expired visa stamp. However, not all U.S. border officers are aware of the visa re-validation provisions, and so travel under these provisions can be unpredictable.