Home » US Immigration - Visas » I-94 Extension at Laredo, TX – US Mexico Border[2021] – 2 Experiences

I-94 Extension at Laredo, TX – US Mexico Border[2021] – 2 Experiences

As many of you know, you get shorter duration of I-94, if your passport is expiring before the petition expiration. To extend I-94, you have 5 options.  One of them that works most of the times is crossing US border. One of our readers ( anonymous for privacy) went to Laredo, TX to extend their I-94. Also, another user Pavan went to Lardo in 2021. The users were kind enough to take time to share their experience with our readers. Thanks to the user for taking time to write it up for community benefit.


I-94 Extension Experience at Laredo, TX

Experience 1 – November 2020

Background : My I-94 was expiring in January 2021 and my Kid’s i-94 too was expiring in August 2021, both because of my passport expiry. My H1B visa is valid till October 2021.

Options Considered for my I-94 Extension

  • Applying for an H1B extension  : Since I had more than 12 months of Petition and VISA validity left, and a renewed passport in my hand, I thought that extending might be risky, also there wasn’t enough time for the paperwork to be done.
  • Exiting and re-entering the United States : Flying out to India/Mexico was too risky with COVID-19.
  • Contacting CBP Deferred inspection sites : I decided to contact the deferred inspection site at DFW (Dallas). They gave an outright reply saying that I-94 cannot be updated since it is not a correction. They will only correct any errors in I-94 and passport renewal is not an error. I got the same reply on phone and email. After reading through multiple experiences over the internet, I decided to give a try going to the CBP office at any land border.

After evaluating all the options, I decided to go US Mexico border. Since I live near Dallas, Laredo was closest. Brownsville was also an option as well.

Plan to go to Laredo, TX for I-94 Extension

I finally decided to go to Laredo since there were multiple positive outcomes, but as a back-up I also had Brownsville in my mind. I decided to go on a weekend, so that if it doesn’t go as planned on Saturday, I can try my luck again the same day or on Sunday at Brownsville (which was around 3hrs drive from Laredo). So, I booked a room in Laredo for overnight stay. An important thing to note is to always have a backup 🙂

Pre-pay the I-94 Extension fee online  : Pay the $6 for each person online and make sure to carry the print-out of the receipt 

Drive to Laredo, TX for I-94 extension

I travelled with family as my kid too had to get the I-94 done. We started in the morning at around 7 AM. It took around 7.5 hours drive for us in the car from Dallas area. I took enough breaks so that I am not stressed out. (It might be 6 hours without that many breaks). 

Step by Step Process to Extend I-94 at Laredo, TX Border

Below are the steps I followed, similar to other folks who went to Laredo. 

Step 1 : Checking at CBP Office regarding I-94 Extension

I parked my car at Valero station (paid $5) and went to the CBP office. Here is the Address : 619 Farragut Street, Laredo, TX

There is a small board which says “Permits”, which is the entrance path. The officers near the gate asked me what the purpose was. Once I explained that it was for I-94 extension, they told me to go to Bridge 1. I tried to ask again, their answer was the same, they said ‘all’ I-94 cases do the same.

Step 2 : Parking Car to get to US Mexico Border near Bridge 1

To get to Bridge 1, the easy landmark is the Mall. The mall is about 0.8 Miles from CBP office. As I had my kid, it was not an option for us to walk.  We used the Mall parking to park the car and get to Bridge 1.  Below is the address for Mall parking.

Address -1600 Water St, Laredo, TX 78040

Make sure to drive very carefully as many streets are one-way and one of the main one  leads to Mexico, so be careful. Below is how it looks on Google Maps for your reference.

Directions for Bridge 1 from CBP Office for I-94 Extension Google Maps
Directions for Bridge 1 from CBP Office for I-94 Extension Google Maps

Step 3 : Finding the Bridge 1 or Pedestrian Bridge

After parking, getting to the bridge was a bit confusing, but was able to figure out and all staff were helpful.  The bridge to cross to Mexico side on foot is called by different names as below.

  • Pedestrian Bridge
  • Bridge 1
  • Gateway to the Americas International Bridge

You can ask for these and anyone can help you get there. As soon as the staff saw us lost, they gave us the direction to bridge and how to come back (cut across).

The reason for confusion is, there is also one more bridge that is only for cars towards Mexico. Bridge 1 is only for Pedestrians and cars from Mexico

Carry Cash :  Make sure to carry some cash as the turnstiles need a $1 coin, there is a change counter nearby which you can use to get the same.

Step 4 : Entering Bridge to Mexico side, turning back

  Technically, we do not need to actually reach the Mexican side, we just cross-over to US side from the mid-way mark. There is a small gate through which we can cross the bridge and come back to the US side. There was nothing done on the Mexico Side like checking passport or stamp, we turned back at mid-way mark.

Long Lines at Bridge for entry to US : The line at bridge to come back to US side was huge – at least more than 150 people. But the officers told us to skip the line and go straight to the counter (the first one just outside the building) I am not sure what that is, maybe SENTRI. not sure though.

This was a surprise as we were thinking that it would take at least 2 hours in the line. (maybe because of kid they allowed us to skip.

Step 5 : Process by CBP Officer  to Extend I-94

  • After the first check, the officer escorted us to inside the building and asked us to wait at a counter.
  • The officer at counter checked passports, then asked about address, job, location , etc. and why I need to extend. I answered all as per my documents.
  • He again checked something with his colleagues and then took photos and biometric. Then there was an issue with printer. We had to wait another 30 mins.
  • Again took biometric and we’re finally done. They stamped the i-94 on our passports and also gave the paper I-94. All were really polite and helpful.

I-94 Extension Experience at Laredo – Two Days Process

Experience shared by Pavan. Thanks to him !

Background info : I went to Laredo to extend my i94 based on renewed passport Jan 11th, 2020. My experience went little different, so thought of sharing it with you all. The entire procedure is same as the one mentioned in the forums and this article expereicne 1 above .

Crossing Border – I-94 Not upated, No Paper I-94 Given

I went to the permit office near Valero gas station(which is on the US side, handles entry for vehicles) and explained my case. They insisted me to cross the pedestrian bridge and return half way to get it updated. After the entry, the permit officer at the port of entry didn’t seems to be handled a H1B case before. he talked to a couple of other officers and asked a lot of questions to me before approving it. He didn’t give any paper i94. Instead, he stamped on my passport with updated entry date (till visa/petition expiry) and said it will be updated in the system automatically.

I have been checking the I-94 page for next couple of hours but it didn’t update. Luckily, I booked the hotel in Laredo for over night stay.

Second Day – Correction Issue of Paper I-94, Dates Updated

I thought to myself, if the entry is not updated even by the next morning. So, I thought of checking about it in the permit office near Valero gas station before I leave the City. The officers at the permit office listened to me patiently and said a paper i94 is something they generally give and the officer who handled my entry yesterday didn’t do it properly. They corrected the mistake and provided a paper i94. The i-94 page updated immediately with the latest details(may take some time for few).

Tips from my experience : Always have some buffer time to handle these scenarios. Also, some of the officers may not know the exact process/rules related to our visa scenario. One officer in the port of entry said to me that the i94 on petition is good enough to stay and don’t need to get it updated after passport expiry. So, follow your instinct or what Attorney says.

You may also read below I-94 Extension experiences at other locations :

   

Other Articles

35 Comments

  1. To fight #COVID19 spread and protect our citizens, the U.S. is continuing restrictions on non-essential travel at land borders through June 21, while allowing essential trade & travel. We’re working closely with Canada & Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve.

    Do we have to wait until its open ? Did someone recently got updated their I 94 ?

    Reply
  2. Hi All,

    I am planning to visit Laredo Texas to have my I94 extended next weekened. I had received my new passport and would want to renew my I94 based on my stamped visa.
    Did anyone go to Laredo recently and got their i 94 – Kindly help me here.

    Reply
  3. Hello Everyone,

    I have my passport renewed recently. But, currently my I94 has expired (on Jan 2021). Though I have valid petition and stamped visa until Jan 2022.

    I am planning to go to Laredo for I94 extension. Can anyone please share or suggest their experience with expired I94?

    Thanks,
    Khan

    Reply
  4. I have I797 valid until 12/2022. My wife H4 visa is valid until 09/2021 and visa is stamped until 09/2021. Can we go to Mexico border CBP to get her I94 extended until 12/2022 based on my approved I797 so we can apply H4 EAD bypassing H4? Anyone has this experience getting I94 extended without approved H4?

    Reply
    • Hi, I have a similar situation. Is there a possibility can we discuss. could you reach. six five seven two four six five five three one is me. can you call me.

      Reply
    • Hi PS. I have a similar situation. Is there a possibility can we pls discuss. could you pls reach me. six five seven two four six five five three one is me. can you please call me or share your email/contact. Thanks for sharing valuable information.

      Reply
    • Hi

      I have similar situation .Have you followed the same process and what is the result

      Please reply

      Thanks
      Prasanna

      Reply
  5. Hello All – I write this Post to share my Latest trip and Outcome for my CBP Experience in Laredo, TX.

    I recently entered the US on Jan 30 on my current H1 B since I got new one approved when I was in india and hence I 797 B was issued. Officer told me as soon as I get new H1 I have to make an exit and entry back while my stamping was active until 02/15/2021. My 1 94 issued was until 02/25/21.

    I received H1B from my employer original and I129 petition documents copy. Called CBP offices and ensured I need new i94 arrival since one issued until 02/25/21 will expire fast.

    I booked my trip to Laredo 02/06. Travelled by car and rested well at Laquinta (Exit 2 very important). Dressed up professionally and walked to bridge 1 and turned around with officers help and to i94 queue for arrival record. They verified all the documents and new i94 for my new H1 was provided. They reduced it by 1 month until 01/14/24 since USCIS system accepts only 3 years for the record of i94 based on the category H1B. Travelled back safely home and the i94 history and status reflected instantly in 2 mins after officers gave me record for my reference. They also stamp on the passport and gave a paper i94 – since the transit was via land. (Bridge to americas)

    Quick tips for anyone in this situation – First of all the place, the people and the CBP officers in Laredo TX were super super nice. The last mile is a downtown so recommend anyone going there for passport, i94 or visa extension corrections to always consider local taxi – its less then $10 per ride and the locals know the place and navigate safely. Week days or week ends – Always try to be in Queue before 8 AM CT – This will ensure you will finish processing and exit quickly (Less than 1 hour)

    There is a CBP check point when you renter into TX from Laredo 25 miles from Laredo, TX. Here always show your passport and i94 stamp and they are very nice (Pass point check). I was originally worried for I797B , COVID times and if I need travel bac n forth and all – so always ensure to speak to friends , read forums (yes fellow people whom shared their stories here) gave me the confidence and hope.

    If you are travelling remember to always carry your folder as if you enter any US PoE and remain ready to extend all necessary documents for the officers. While they are nice they reserve right to question and the more the documents the better for one’s own sake. Remain happy to share copies to officers if they need to retain for their administrative purposes. Overall Long 8 hours drive to and fro given the drivers are very poor in the route especially Waco till Austin. Drive safely. Stay positive, remain confident and all help from angels will arrive to you.

    I write this in note of thanks dedicating to the useful info shared by people here. My friends whom advised me carefully and prayed for me for the trip and if this information can help any human whom happens to go through similar situation.

    My travel date happened 02/05/21 and with the latest arrival and approval I returned safely back for my current i94 corrected for validity for my new H1 B until 01/14/24 – return date of my trip 02/06/21 back to Dallas. Thank you friends and all to allow me share here.

    Reply
    • Hello Lakshmi Narauanan,
      Thanks for detailed explanation.
      I have I797 valid until 12/2022. My wife H4 visa is valid until 09/2021 and visa is stamped until 09/2021. Can we go to Mexico border CBP to get her I94 extended until 12/2022 based on my approved I797 so we can apply H4 EAD bypassing H4? Anyone has this experience getting I94 extended without approved H4?

      Reply
    • Hello Lakshninarayanan,
      Thanks for the detailed post.
      I have I797 valid until 12/2022. My wife H4 visa is valid until 09/2021 and visa is stamped until 09/2021. Can we go to Mexico border CBP to get her I94 extended until 12/2022 based on my approved I797 so we can apply H4 EAD bypassing H4? Do you have any experience or came across such scenario ?

      Reply
    • Thanks Lakshmi for sharing your experience. i am planning to travel from memphis tennessee to laredo Texas for my I 94 extension next week. I am taking a rental car and travelling to laredo. Could you please suggest what all I need to do and prepare my self before my car.

      Reply
      • Hi Athman,
        I am from Memphis – Tennessee and planning to visit Laredo – Texas this coming weekend for my i94 extension, based on my husband’s i797 extension. Would you mind sharing your experience.

        Reply
  6. Pay the $6 for each person online. – It asks for the passport number . Which passport should I mention? The old passport with Valid US visa stamp or the new passport ?

    Reply
  7. I don’t have valid Visa but with valid I797A, can I cross the bridge to get I94 updated ? Anyone with expired visa and valid I797A tried crossing the bridge for I94 update ?

    Reply
    • MadhuVS,
      You need valid US visa to re-enter US. If not, it can be difficult. There may be an option to use Automatic visa revalidation, but not clear. Check with attorney and plan for it.

      Reply
  8. Thanks Pavan for sharing the latest details from Jan 2021. Quick question. Did you get I94 updated during a weekday or weekend and how much was the wait time ?

    Reply
  9. Hi all,

    I have my SON passport renewed last week. His I94 is about to expire.
    My son did not have his own valid petition, he got stamped based on my petition.
    He has stamping till March 2022.

    I am planning to go this weekend to Laredo for I94 extnesion. Is it sufficient to go for I94 extention with just Passport stamp?

    Thanks,
    Senthil

    Reply
  10. Hi All,

    I have my passport renewed last week. But, currently my I94 has expired (on Jan 5th, same day as last passport expiry). Have valid petition till May 2022.

    I am planning to go this weekend to Laredo for I94 extnesion. Do you think having I94 already expired will be an issue ?

    Thanks,
    Akshay

    Reply
    • Hi Pavan,

      I have my passport renewed last week. But, currently my I94 has expired (on Jan 5th, same day as last passport expiry). Have valid petition till May 2022.

      I am planning to go this weekend to Laredo for I94 extnesion. Do you think having I94 already expired will be an issue ?

      Thanks,
      Akshay

      Reply
      • Hi Akshay,

        I am in same scenario as you. Did you get your I94 extended from Laredo after its expired? Please share your experience.

        Thanks,
        Khan

        Reply
        • Hi,
          I’ve extended my expired I-94 (2 months expired) 2 weeks ago (March, 2021). Thank you guys so much for all details.
          I arrived Laredo at midnight of Sunday. Just our family at that time so no line. It took us more than 30 minutes because of some problem with my daughter i-94. She has the full expiration till 2023, same as her visa, and no need to extend. We don’t know why it was problem but they didn’t explain so we just waited. Finally, they fixed it and we all had our new i-94 issued.

          Reply

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