Home » US Immigration - Visas » I-94 Extension – Travel to Mexico City, Cancun during COVID – Experiences

I-94 Extension – Travel to Mexico City, Cancun during COVID – Experiences

If you enter US on a visa and go through US Port of entry procedures, you will be issued a stamp by CBP officer on your passport and also get I-94 either electronic or physical card. If your passport is expiring sooner than your visa stamp or approval notice, then you will get shorter I-94 duration than the visa or petition expiration date. In such cases, you need to extend I-94 before it expires within US. But, at times, mistakes happen and you may not extend it on time and sometimes with extreme situations like COVID-19, you cannot get it extended. In such cases, flying out of US is the only option.

We have three experiences, one going to Mexico City and two to Cancun. Both of the readers took time to write it for community benefit. Thanks a lot to Rahul S, Anu and Nagasai who has taken time to capture their experience. We really appreciate them taking time to write up for community benefit. You can share any of your experience by emailing us at redbus2us(at)gmail.com

Experience 1 – Going to Mexico City

My wife recently flew into Mexico to get her i-94 updated. That was our only option at the time, and I would like to share our experience with the community.

Background, Reason for I-94 Extension

I am on L1 visa and got it stamped roughly around three years back from Vancouver, with the L1 petition expiry date (PED) of 06/15/2020. The same PED applies to my wife and kids’ L2 as well. While entering into the US last year from Canada, all our i-94 were stamped valid till 06/15, but my wife’s I-94 was stamped only till March based on her passport expiration date. We were able to get the passport renewed on time and got her new passport in February. I always knew that we had to update the passport number on the i-94, but somehow, I missed her i-94 expiration date.

How we missed the I-94 extension on time

Two main reasons contributed to that  1) Prior to her last visit when we entered the US, her i-94 had the expiration date of 06/15, so that played somewhere back on my mind, and 2) Our lawyer were in process of filing H1 change of status petition in February, so I thought it might all be filed on time and we might not need to update i-94 separately.  The change of status paperwork took time and by the time we were ready to file the paperwork around the end of March, we realized that her i-94 had already expired. Now she was out of status

In the hindsight, the best way for us would have been going to Niagra falls (we live in Ohio), cross the border, and come back. She had a valid Canadian visa till her old passport expiration date. It would have been a quick weekend trip.  

Experience at CBP after I-94 Expiration – Lucky not to be deported

Our lawyer, first suggested us to go to the closest CBP deferred site and request for i-94 update. She went to the CBP deferred site and explained the situation to the CBP officer. CBP officer stated that she is out of status and could be deported right away. The officer made few calls and after talking to his superiors, gave her the link to i-539. He asked her to talk to the lawyer, and file of i539 as soon as possible. I think she was lucky to be not deported and that could have been because of COVID circumstances.

Next, we got to understand that the Miami CBP is good at handling such requests, so we emailed Miami CBP, and explained our situation. We tried to explain that due to COVID, we could not travel and requested them to consider our case. Here is the email we sent to Miami:

Email Sent to CBP Miami Office for I-94 Extension

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wanted to request your assistance to update my I-94 information. My most recent I-94 record number is xxxx. I currently have an L2 visa that is effective through 06/13/2020.  

While preparing for my non-immigration extension paperwork, I realized that my latest I-94 was valid only till xx/xx/xx, based on my old passport expiration date. I renewed my passport, but I was unable to apply timely for I-94 change due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. I was also under the impression that my I-94 validity is till June 2020 as was in my all past I-94s. 

I request you to please consider my case as a one-time exception and update my I-94 with my new passport number. I have attached a copy of my new passport, valid L2 visa, the latest I-94, and one of the old I-94 with validity till June 2020. Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information.

I would be profoundly grateful for your help.

Thank you

After two weeks of wait, we received the following response back from Miami CBP:

CBP Miami Office Response to Extend I-94

We are in receipt of your email regarding your I-94 information; however, we are unable to assist you with your request because you arrived at the US in a Port that is out of our jurisdiction.  As per Memorandum dated 04/13/2015 Number MFO-15-001. Thank you for contacting Miami CBP Admissions Program.

Final options given by CBP Office to Extend I-94

So, we tried to call CBP at our port of entry, and they suggested that the only two options are: file for an extension through i-539, or to leave the country and come back.

Issues with Filing I-539 – Processing Delays, Potential for bar to enter US

We discussed this with our lawyers at length, and they suggested that they can file i-539, but adjudication can take time, as there was no premium processing at that time. Also, they mentioned that if a person is out of status for more than 6 months, then USCIS bars the person for three years. For us that meant, if we don’t receive the decision on i-539 by September, she need to leave the country and stay outside the country till adjudication. And that would have been a huge disruption.

Our best option was to leave the country and come back.

We were in April and COVID continued to raise concerns. Canada and Mexico borders were closed for non-emergency travel. India also stopped all international flights. We decided to wait and watch. Around mid-May, we reassessed the situation. Canada/Mexico border crossing was impossible as she now does not have valid Canada visa, and driving to Mexico from Ohio would have been challenging. The only option available was to fly into Mexico.

Situation with Mexico with COVID – Travel planning

I did some research on how things were progressing in Mexico. I found that Mexico declared phase 3 COVID alert that means no non-essential travel/business was allowed. I called Mexico International Airport but was not able to get reasonable answers. They directed us to check with the airlines. The airlines confirmed that they were operating in/out of Mexico but were unable to give any information on procedures/precautions at Mexico airport or anything regarding Mexico immigration due to COVID. 

Flight, Hotel Booking for Mexico Travel

I called the hotel (Courtyard) at the Airport, and they informed us that people are still flying in and staying with them. So, we decided to take our chances.

I looked up for flights to Mexico and as there were no direct flights from Columbus, I had to book one that was connecting through Atlanta. We ideally would have loved to return the same day, but no options were working out for us due to connections. I booked directly with American Airlines. All flights were fully refundable (due to COVID), so that gave us some confidence if in case we had to cancel last minute due to any new discovery. 

I then moved on to book the hotel. I was looking for some hotel at the airport itself so Courtyard and Hilton were only two options. I tried booking Courtyard online, but the hotel was not coming up at the Marriot website. I called the Courtyard and got to know that as a response to COVID, the government has restricted all travel portals to book online. They told us that it can be booked over phone, and helped us with the booking.

Flight Experience to Mexico – COVID-19

On the day of travel, my wife took all the precautions like masks, gloves, etc. and made the travel. Flights were surprisingly full, that could be because of memorial day weekend. She told that people were sitting next to each other and there was no physical distancing maintained on the flights. Flights were mostly on time. 

Mexico Immigration at Mexico City Airport

When she reached Mexico immigration, she handed her the passport, along with hotel and return tickets. The officer asked her the reason for her visit and she told the correct reason i.e. renewal of i-94. Officer again asked if it is for business, she still said the same thing i-94 renewal. The officer just put the reason as business and allowed her.

Going to Hotel at the Mexico City airport: 

The hotel is actually connected to the airport and was only 5-10 minutes walk away from the security check. The entire food court was open and decently crowded. At the hotel, check-in was smooth. The hotel restaurant/cafe was open only for takeout. [Tip] Carry your own food as much as possible to limit unnecessary exposure. 

The next day she took her scheduled flight back to Atlanta.

Documents Checklist for I-94 Extension

She carried the following documents per advice from our lawyers:

  • Original Marriage Certificate
  • Old Passport
  • New Passport
  • Copy of my US visa
  • Copy of my US approved petition (i-129s)
  • Copy of my few last payslips

At the US Immigration in Atlanta – Port of Entry Process

Officer asked her for the reason of her trip and she told the renewal of i-94. The officer suggested that this could have been done easily at a deferred site based on the visa extension. She told the officer that she contacted multiple CBP offices and this was the best way suggested. Officer said that he could see my extension in the system (surprising to us as it is not yet filed) and told her that it should be okay, but need to look into some more details. The officer kept her documents and gave her a token. She was directed to pass the hallway and give her token to another officer. She did the same and then was asked to accompany the officer to the CBP office at the airport. 

The officer in the CBP office looked up some more details, gave her the i-94 for 10 additional days (i.e. till 06/25 instead of 06/15), and mentioned that once the lawyer files for visa extension, the i-94 can be updated by going to the deferred site if needed.

Post that it was a relatively easy flight home.

Post Travel to Mexico – Self Quarantine

We were very concerned about traveling during COVID time, and it can get really weird. For the safety of our kids (9 and 4 years old), my wife followed self-quarantine for at least 7 days. Now it is two weeks, and all is good.

Few tips for traveling during COVID:

  • Face mask is absolutely necessary. This is the order of preference – N95, surgical masks (we used this), cloth masks (last resort)
  • Wash hands often. Obvious.
  • Wear hand gloves if possible 
  • Avoid removing your mask (for eating/drinking) on the airplane
  • Carry your own food
  • Call your hotel ahead of your travel and ask for tips/directions
  • Try at least a week’s self-quarantine 
  • Language could be a challenge if leaving the airport, traveling to the city center, etc. 
  • Try to control the urge of venturing out. 

Overall, it is a stressful travel with uncertainty related to immigration/i-94, risk of COVID, language challenges, etc. So, it is good to stick to the plan, be early to the airport, avoid unnecessary adventure, and drink a lot of water. Oh, that reminds me of the last tip, carry your own water bottle.

Experience 2 – I94 Extension Experience (Mexico – Cancun)

  • Visa :- If you have a valid H1B visa you don’t need visitors visa for Mexico
  • Date of Travel :- 12th November 2020
  • Airport Experience :- Mask was compulsory, other than that everything was usual, No social distancing at security or at the gates while boarding
  • Flight Experience to Cancun :- Flights were surprisingly full, No seat gap. Many were flying here for vacation.

Cancun Immigration

  1. You need to fill self declaration form before they let you to immigration. You should have the QR code once you submit the declaration form. No PCR tests are required.
  2. You also need to fill the Mexico Immigration Form (FMM) which was given by the flight attendants.
  3. Mexico Immigration officer did not ask anything except for days of stay in my case it was same day return. Mexico Immigration officer than tore the bottom part of the FMM form with a stamp on it and gave me back with my passport.
  4. Note: The bottom part of FMM form is the exit visa that you need to hand over to airlines while boarding when exiting Mexico. Do not lose it or you will be asked to go to immigration office, refill the form and pay 30$ fine

US Port of Entry

  • Officer :- Reason for travel?
  • Me :- I94 is about to expire, had to exit and re-enter to renew
  • Officer :- This could have been done at deferred site
  • Me :- I called them and they said they would only do corrections. For renewal I should exit and re-enter. Therefore I planned this travel
  • Officer :- Got it, same employer right? Do you have any letters from them?
  • Me :- Yes, showed him the letters
  • Then I was asked to lower down my mask for picture, post which he returned the passports along with custom form stamped which I then gave it to security while exiting. Checked my I94 online immediately after security and it was updated with renewed passport details (AVR) until my visa validity.

Tips For I-94 Extension

  1. Book direct flights at least while coming back to US or else the immigration will be on the first port of entry and you would have no time for connecting flight, secondly it is a risk if anything goes sideways. In my case, it wasn’t a direct flight but my connecting flight luckily got delayed and I was able to board.
  2. If you planning a day trip, book a round trip where you leave at night and return back in the morning this way you will be able to exit and enter on different dates. It does not make a difference but I felt it convenient with enough time and relaxed plus you don’t need hotel stay and it is quicker.
  3. Wear Mask, sanitize (you are allowed to carry hand sanitizers (100ml), maintain social distancing – the airports are full with no social distancing if you start hurrying up. Relax – no one would take your seat if you board last or un-board last to make it to immigration, there are plenty of immigration counters and it would take relatively same time. Although the flights are safe and getting vacuumed / sanitized / air filtered but don’t let you mask down
  4. Restaurants at airport are serving, don’t carry food – try travelling lite but do carry water bottle.
  5. Avoid public toilets and please quarantine once you are back, it is must- you are exposed to a lot.

Relax and it is just the same process while you came in to the country except you wearing mask. Good Luck !!!!

Experience 3 – I94 Extension Experience (Mexico – Cancun)

  • Date of Travel :- 17 December 2020

I live in Des Moines, IA. I thought of crossing Laredo(TX) border. I planned to fly Austin or San Antonio and take rental car and cross the border but after checking tickets to Cancun from MSP(Minneapolis), I felt its cheaper instead of going to TX border as I’m not near to border. I also looked at Cancun and Minnesota state COVID restrictions. For Cancun no need of negative test report or quarantine . I found same thing with Minnesota state( no need of covid test)

So I booked flights last week Thursday . Then I took employer letter, vendor letter , client timesheets( client letter will take 1-2 weeks) and verified other docs like old passport, new passport, I797 on Friday.

I drove to Minneapolis on Saturday morning and parked car near airport and took early morning flight from Minneapolis to Cancun. I booked Fairfield Marriott(Near to Airport) as they are providing free airport shuttle and free breakfast.

I did checkout hotel on Sunday and went to airport. They are doing 2 thermal screening checks at airport entrance and before security checks. I took afternoon flight and came to Minneapolis on evening.

Here are the questions

  • Where are you staying?
  • How long have been working in US?
  • What are you working on?
  • Show me your I797 or LCA?

It was quick and drove back to Des Moines and reached by 9:30 PM.

Experience 4 – I94 Extension Experience Same Day (Mexico – Cancun)

Date of Travel : Sep-18-2021

I went to Cancun Mexico on Sept. 18 2021 and returned on Sept. 18 2021 for I-94 extension.

When I reached Cancun immigration, gave both my old and new passport. He asked what is the purpose of visit. I said to renew my I-94, then he asked are you on US Citizen or on Green Card. I mentioned I am on HIB visa. Showed him my visa stamp on my old passport. Then he asked how long are you going to stay here? I mentioned same-day travel and showed him my return boarding pass. His system was crashing so he asked me to wait and talked to his colleague to assist me. Finally he stamped on my new passport and gave me the bottom half of FMM form(Forma Migratoria Múltiple para Extranjeros) . This FMM form is very important for return travel.

As soon as my immigration was done I headed out of the airport took a left turn and re-entered into departures, Since my layover was 3 hours. During boarding my flight they ask for my negative covid test taken within 3 days. Also, the person at the counter asked to fill the self-declaration form for Covid at the counter gave all forms with FMM form (Have taken pictures of all forms if anyone needs to refer) and took the flight back to Chicago.

At Chicago airport, Gave both passport old and new to the immigration officer. He went through my both passports and I mentioned I am on H1B visa. He did’nt asked anything and put stamp on my new passport and I verified with him till when my I-94 is valid and he showed me on stamp that he has approved till my H1B expiration.


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  1. Hi All,

    My daughter(minor) i-94 is updated till end of Jan 2022 during my entry in Aug-2021 (it supposed to be Aug. 2023 as per her visa but shortened due to passport expiry date, and we did not noticed her passport expiry date while we starting from India).

    1-Is it safe to travel Mexico and come back?
    2. As her i-94 is due in January, is it too early to travel in this Month? is there a chance that they deny to update the i-94 due to this reason?

    Please advise me the best way to update her i-94, i stay in NJ.

    Thank you All.

  2. This is my latest experience.

    I went to Cancun Mexico on May 1 2021 and returned on May 2 2021 for I 94 extension.

    When I reached Cancun immigration, the officer asked do you have visa? I said no, then she asked are you on US Citizen or on Green Card. I told HI visa. She pointed at the visa page, is this the visa you are on? I said yes. Then she asked how long are you going to stay here? I replied till tomorrow. And she gave the bottom half of FMM form and I was let into Mexico.

    When returning, I had to arrive 3 hours before departure. At the check in counter, they asked for a negative covid test taken with in 3 days. Luckily I had it. Also, person at the counter asked to fill the self declartion form for Covid at the US website (they have a scan code at the register for the link) which I did. Got the boarding pass and took the flight to Atlanta.

    At Atlanta airport, immigration office asked where are you coming from? I replied Cancun Mexico. Do you have green card? No, I am on H1B visa. And I was let into US after giving the fingerprints. This was also pretty smooth.

    • Hi Abdul,
      I want to know you went to Cancun after doin two dose vaccination or without doing. I also wanted to update my I-94 date, want I go to Cancun without vaccinated do US or Cancun have any quarantine if I am not vaccinated?? Please help me on this

      • Hi Revanya,

        I recently travelled to Cancun on May 20th and returned on the next day. THey don’t need any vaccination for travel. You will need to get negative test when you return back. So make sure to give the test before leaving and hoping to get the results before travelling back. they will verify while giving you boarding pass in mexico. Let me know if you need more details.

        • Hi Naveen,

          Thank you for the details.
          Can I know did you stayed anywhere in Cancun? Any hotel references? And from where you took the covid test in Mexico.
          I am also planning to travel this weekend or next weekend and as I will be traveling alone if you provide me the hotel details and covid test details it will be more helpful to me.

          • stayed at mariott. which is 10 mins from airport and they have shuttle services. Give the test here and go and make sure to have the results before boarding the flight there. as the results are good for 3 days(72 hours)

          • Hi Naveen
            Thank you for your reply.

            Can I know which Covid test you took from here? Is that RT- PCR test or Rapid Antigen test.
            I am planning to take it from Nortan. CVS and Walgreens are taking more time to give the results. Can I know where you took the test and which type of Covid test you took. Can you share those details please.

          • Hi,
            You need to take RT-PCR test only. Usually walgreens will give results the next day end of day, if you give sample before 7 pm today. and they will upload the test results in case u have to fly the next day morning. So when are you flying ? Are you in MA? MY wife need to update her I94 as well, so looking if they have any companion so its easy to travel.

        • I stay in Kentucky, Louisville Naveen.
          And also I heard from other groups they are saying Texas and Mexico land border is not closed for the people who wants to update the I-94 form.
          Still I am checking the best options whether to go by flight or through land border crossing I can update the I-94. Let me know if you know anything about the Texas and Mexico land border crossing.

          • Thanks. I checked with our attorney, and they preferred to go fly rather than land crossings. Sometimes they might not extend beyond VISA or vlaidity to new 797. So not sure if we have to take that chance or just fly to cancun.

        • Hi Naveen,

          I recently travelled to Texas Mexico border to update my I-94, but they said we can’t update it now as my I-94 is getting expired only on October 9th. They will be able to update only before one month of the expiration date so asked me to come in September month.

          Did your wife updated the I-94??

    • Thank you so much Anu for taking time to write it. I have posted it to main article for everyone benefit. Appreciate you taking time to share it !

  3. Hi Kumar,
    First of all, Thanks for sharing your experience. Please advise in my scenario, similar to yours.

    We visited India last year (2019) and got VISA stamped till 2022. When we entering USA she got I94 till her passport expiry (8/2020). Now her I94 expired 1 month, but Stamped VISA (H4) exists in old passport till 2022. We got her passport renewed on time, but missed to update I94.
    CBP told they will do only corrections, and our case is extension.

    Is visiting Mexico (Cancun) is good option? If so, do we need any visiting VISA to travel to Mexico ? (I read if valid USA VISA exists, it should be fine to visit Mexico.)
    Also is there any specific COVID test etc, required to visit Mexico ? (Or Get in to flight)
    If she travels, she will be entering back to USA with same stamped VISA, but there is a month out of status. Will that be a problem ?

    Alternate, can we try visiting San diego board by walk ?

  4. Hello Team. Please get me some inputs if this is the right time. I am planning to go to Mexico for h1b stamping. I am in the US Now and I got my h1b visa recently and it was approved as COS f1 to H1B. I am in H1b full time from last 4 and half years on the same company. I see Mexico Us consulate i was able to see the dates available slots to book. My questions are:

    1. is it safe to go to Mexico – I am near to san Diego.
    2. Isn’t the immigration proclamation doesn’t affect me?

  5. Hi Kumar,

    We have a tricky situation. My wife’s I-797 (with I-94 info) is valid until next year, but her latest I-94 expired last month as per her H1B stamp. We called CBP and also emailed them and they replied that they don’t have evidence that she showed latest I-797 while entering the US early this year. Now we are considering either going to Canada or Mexico and comeback the same day. I was wondering if this is eligible for I-94 automated revalidation? And if there’s any concern with current presidential ban.


    • Harsh,
      Well, I do not know if AVR is fully allowed as it is not open unless essential travel. Some were turned back at the border recently, best bet is to call them and plan.
      Also, I do not get it…If you got I-94 from USCIS, CBP would not have that info with them, you cannot even verify on CBP website. If you have entered US and then applied for COS or extension and got i-94 with approval notice and it is valid, then you are fine. Check with your attorney once as well.

    • Hi Harsh,

      We were in the same situation when my wife missed to show the latest i-797. That was resolved easily by visiting CBP office with all the necessary documents.

  6. Hi Kumar,

    I was working on H-1B for a company that shutdown. I was not able to find an employer to file H-1B within 60 days of termination, so I applied for COS to H4 before the 60-day deadline and the petition is pending. Now (after 60 days) an Employer is filing my H-1B, which most likely will be for counsular processing. I have an H-1B stamp that is valid till Aug 2021. If the petition is approved without I-94 (i.e. I-797B), then what are my options if I do not want to exit the country and come back to get an updated I-94/activate H-1B?

    Thank you,

    • GD,
      Well, if you do not want to exit, then your employer should apply again for H1B as COS, this time they will again evaluate like new petition and you can work. The timeline for H4 COS is long and you may not be able to work until then…Talk to your attorney…

        • GD,
          You can apply for h1B COS after you get h4 approved. You may not be able to COS now as you do not have full legal status with pending H4.

          • Thank you, Kumar! I would appreciate if you can help will following two questions, so that I have some clarity on my options.

            1. Can the lawyer try H-1B application as “COS and extend status” option (Option 4b on I-129) or extend status (option 4c) now as I had H-1B and I am technically not on H4 as it is pending (i.e. I am on period of authorized stay)? In this case, if USCIS does not agree, then is there a possibility that they can approve with consular processing instead?

            2. I have H-1B visa stamp valid till Aug. 2021. In case the H-1B application is approved with consular processing, will I be able to cross the border at Otay Mesa, etc. and come back for new I-94 just like how people have been trying to extend their I-94?

            Thank you,

          • GD,
            1. Yes, they would likely do the same and give consular processing approval.
            2. not sure, how it will work here….Frankly, your situation is slightly tricky with this option, I suggest you talk to your attorney and take the call

  7. Hi Kumar,

    I have a tricky situation on I- 94 extension. I was in India from March to June and our company has stopped operations due to Covid-19, so they were closing the business. They told that official Last day of Employment for me as June 15th. In meanwhile I got another job and they processed my H1B but hey wanted me to come ASAP. It was a premium processing so the approval came very quickly in the E-mail. The attorney said, receipt also would be fine to travel. As I got the approval E-mail, I booked the tickets in VBM on July 5th and come to US. At the POE I showed my Passport with Visa stamp from my old employer and the officer didnt ask me any questions and allowed my entry.

    Here is my doubt now,
    I Didn’t tell or show any documents or approval e-mail of my new H1B and my I-94 was given based on my previous employer’s Visa stamp. After I came back I joined my new employer in a week and got the H1B approval copy from my Employer.
    I saw that my approval is a “I-797-B” consular processing. As my H1B was filed when I was in India so I think they filed in a consular processing. Now I already started working with my new Employer and my I-94 is not updated with the new approval,

    1) Is it OK to work with my new employer now. I have my i-94 (based on my old employer’s Visa stamp) valid until next year November. ***
    2) If I go out of the USA any time before my current I-94 expires, will that be fine or should I need to do something immediately.
    3) Is there any way to get the I-94 updated without leaving USA in this case.
    3)When Visa services open up in India, can my wife apply for the H4 visa with my new approval notice (I-797-B)? or will there be any trouble doing that as my new approval is not recorded with the POE?

    I am not willing to travel unless it is really needed.
    Please suggest me the best thing to do now.

    Thank you.

    • KM,
      No, you cannot work like that, they should have applied as change of status. You cannot work like that.. Also, when you entered, you should not have used your old employers details as they let you go before your entry date. If there is a site visit or something that happens you will be deep trouble. You should talk to an attorney immediately and get this sorted out.

      • Hi Kumar,

        How will they apply change of status in my case, as I was not out of Status correct, I was on H1B ?
        My attorney was saying I can go before my current I-94 expires. But I will speak once again to reconfirm the same.
        If I plan to travel out of the US (May be to mexico/canada) ASAP and get the I-94 extended, will that be fine, or there will be an issue that I entered with my old employer details? If there will be a trouble in that case, I will be struck in Mexico or canada.

        So any better way to get this cleared?

        • KM,
          Anytime you do not follow rules, you are considered violating your status, that’s when you will be considered out of status. In your case, if your employer filed as Consular processing, the intent was that they want you to enter from outside country and you will not get I-94. In such cases, you cannot start working for them.

          Usually, the best thing to do in these kind of situation is to leave the country immediately and then re-enter. Discuss with your attorney and be prepared with what you need. In general, if everything is right, CBP should let you in. But again, there is never 100% guarantee for anything… Stay positive and act swiftly as directed by your attorney. Do update how it goes here too. Good Luck !

          • Hi Kumar,

            Discussed with my attorney about my situation. They said that, I had a valid I-94 when I entered the US so CBP officer allowed me to the US and I have an approved petition to work. So my work authorizations is also legal. Basically my extension of stay in the US is not approved so I cant stay as per the timeline specified on my approved petition. They said I can get my I-94 updated before my current I-94 expires, either by Visa stamping or by exiting and re-entering. This is what is told by them and my HR is aware of this.

            I will post the updates if something new happens with my situation.

          • KM,
            I suggest you check with another attorney to be sure. You entered using a company document that you were already laid off. It is technically a misrepresentation. It does not matter you had approval or wrong. It is your discretion…Some of these things can come back and haunt you in the long run. So, be careful and verify with another one or two attorneys.

    • Hello!
      I am on L1 B Visa and my I 129 petition is valid till Dec 2, 2022. When I arrived in the US my I-94 was updated with validity till Dec 2, 2022.
      But my L1B visa is valid till Jan 7, 2023. Can I travel to Mexico to extend my I-94 to Jan 7, 2023, which is the same as the visa validity date? I plan to make a 1-day trip from Texas to Mexico. Please advise.


      • Prabhu,
        If you have got extension done, then you can do that. But, sometimes, it is tricky, they extend and sometimes there are issues. You can try and give it a shot. Some had success after trying one to two times at different locations.

  8. Hi Kumar,

    We live at New Jersey and my husband i94 has to be renewed,Canada visit visa we can’t apply as biometric is closed at Canada.can we reach Canada border and get it done without enter ring Canada? Please advise it is emergency.thanks..

    • Pratima,
      You need to call the CBP office and validate before you try to exit the country. It is very risky without having proper clarification with the CBP office that you plan to visit. If they say that they will update without crossing border, then only go to their office. Some had luck, some did not had luck…so depends.

  9. Hi,

    I need inputs. I got my passport renewed last month and my i94 is expiring on 29th July. I wanted to understand options in this pandemic situation. Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Is there mandatory quarantine of 14 days in Mexico?

    Is it okay if we get flight and return same day to USA for i94 renewal?

    How about going to Canada or Mexico border? Is there advantage of visiting SENTRI centers?

    • Pompana,
      Before you plan any travel, do check with the embassy and then only try. Now, with the Executive order that is speculated, anything can happen. So, wait for few more days and then plan it.
      If they are given option to update I-94 without exiting the country, it will be the best. Try calling all of them and verify.

  10. Hi Kumar Good Day,
    I got new job and new employer applied h1b in consular processing. I traveled to India in the month of Jan 2020 and came back to USA in Feb 2020, after that my new h1b consular procession petition got approved in April 2020. I have valid visa and i-94 upto 2022. Am I eligible to work with new employer or do I still need to exist and back to the country to extend my i-94 as per my new h1b. If so, can I travel to Mexico(Laredo,TX border) to get extended.
    Thank you!

      • Hi Kumar ,

        H1B visa, H1B I-94 is valid upto April 2020.
        Can I join with new employer applied in consular processing with out exist and re Enter to USA.

        • Kumar Ravi,
          You say April 2020…confusing.
          In any case, if your I-94 and Approval notice are valid, you are fine. If your I-94 is expiring and your petition is valid for more time, then you need to extend I-94.

          • Hi Kumar,

            Sorry, Its my mistake, typo.
            i-94 and visa are valid upto April 2022. Got new i797B approval, now am I eligible to join with new employer or POE is required to get h1b activated.

            Thanks in advance.

          • Hi Kumar,

            New I-94 is not attached to my new i797B approval notices, it was applied on consular processing.

            Thanks in advance.

          • Kumar Ravi,
            If you do not have I-94 attached, you need to get out and get stamping to be able to be on H1B. Or talk to your attorney and apply for COS.

          • Hi Kumar,

            Spoke with my attorney, she said visa is not required as I already have valid visa which is valid upto April 2022. She asked Me to show new i797 to CBP officer at POE.
            Can I exist and reenter to USA with out getting visa stamped ? I’m planning to go to Laredo, TX .

            Thanks in advance.

          • Kumar Ravi,
            If your visa is valid, you do not need stamping again, you can use the old valid stamp in passport that is valid to re-enter US.

          • Hi Kumar,
            I visited CBP office Laredo TX, with out existing country I am done with my i94 extension.

            Thanks for your inputs.

    • Hi,
      I am also planning to go to Laredo TX to get my i94 updated. Can you please share your experience with the CBP at Laredo?

      Thank you.

  11. Hi

    Very helpful article. I’m on H1b and i’m also in a similar situation that my I-94 has already expired in Mar 2020. I had travelled to India in Jan 2020 and while coming back I did not show the extension papers, and so I got my I-94 date based on my old petition. Then after getting an email from my lawyers, that I would need to travel outside country and come back to get new I-94, I contacted CBP Miami and explained them my situation. They understood and were able to correct my I-94 to new passport expiry date of June 2021. But still my lawyers want me to outside US and come back. Is it really necessary considering my electronic I-94 was already corrected by CBP office?

    • Abhishek Mehra,
      Well, technically, if your online I-94 is updated and you have proof indicating the same that it was corrected, there may not be a need for travel. Your attorneys want to be extra safe, so they are suggesting to…

    • Hi Abhishek,

      Thanks for this update. My friend is in the same situation. She just got her new Indian passport. Her H-1B visa is in her old passport and her current I94, the most recent one, she got when she came back from vacation from India at the port of entry. This I94 is expiring soon. Can you please describe in detail how to extend the date on one’s I94 without possibly traveling outside the US? Can you please send me the email or phone of the CPB office you contacted in Miami?

    • Hey Abhishek,

      What was your port of entry when you came from India? I wanted to know if CBP Miami process other Port of Entries too.


    • Hello!
      I am on L1 B Visa and my I 129 petition is valid till Dec 2, 2022. When I arrived in the US my I-94 was updated with validity till Dec 2, 2022.
      But my L1B visa is valid till Jan 7, 2023. Can I travel to Mexico to extend my I-94 to Jan 7, 2023, which is the same as the visa validity date? I plan to make a 1-day trip from Texas to Mexico. Please advise.



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