I-94 Extension or Update at Port of Entry Process USA

How to get I-94 Extension in US? 5 Options, Experiences [2020]

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 281 Comments

Depending on the type of US visa you get, you may get visa issued beyond your passport validity.  But, when you enter US at Port of entry, your current passport details are used by CBP officer to issue your I-94 Expiration date. (Check :  I-94, Sample, how to fill ).   Now, when you renew your Passport in US, you need to make sure you update your I-94 as well, so that its expiration date is extended until the actual expiration of your US visa or your approval notice. In this article, we will review all the options to get the I-94 updated, when you renew or re-issue your passport and also share User Experiences.

Before you understand options, it is important for you to have all your documents ready. Below is check checklist

Options to get I-94 Extended with Re-issued or Renewed passport

There are about 5 options to extend your I-94. While there are mixed opinions and answers, we will try to give all of those so that you can choose what works for you. Below are the all different options.

  1. Cross US Border by land and return
  2. Visit nearest SENTRI enrollment center
  3. Visit CBP office at a US Port of Entry
  4. As your attorney to file Extension with USCIS
  5. Call CBP Deferred Inspection Sites, send email, get updated.

Let’s look at each of these options in detail.

1. Extend I-94 by Crossing US Border by Land

The option to exit and re-enter US at the US border is probably the most straightforward one and seem to work most of the times. It is also confirmed by many of our readers. The process is simple and as below.

  • You go to any US Port of entry or border checkpoint, where there is land crossing like Otay Mesa.
  • Cross the US border by land
  • Get immigration stamp on your passport from the country you are entering, like Mexico by telling the reason for your travel is to update I-94
  • Re-enter US by land.
  • Once you re-enter US, you will fill out respective paperwork for new I-94 and then enter US with the same.

If you have vacation planned for other country or you live close by state to the border, this works well. The goal is to exit US and re-enter.

You can join I-94 Extension Community Telegram Group to share, exchange

2. Extend I-94 by Visiting Nearest SENTRI Enrollment Centre

SENTRI stands for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection. SENTRI enrollment centers does a variety of things related to US-Mexico border CBP processes. You maybe also able to update or extend I-94 at a SENTRI enrollment center. This totally depends on the center and some had successes and some could not update I-94 due to closures or the officer not allowing it. So, it depends on officer and your luck.

If you use this option, you do not really need to cross the border, but you can get your I-94 update done at the US side itself at any of the designated SENTRI Enrollment Centers. The only catch is that SENTRI enrolment centres are only in states of  Arizona, Texas and California and you probably need to drive or fly to the nearest one. You can check for the nearest SENTRI Enrollment Centers at CBP Website .

Process to Extend I-94 at SENTRI Enrollment Center :

  • First, before you go to any center, call them before hand and verify, if they are allowing I-94 extensions or updates.
  • If they allow it, it is very straightforward. You need to walk into the enrollment center and go to the Permits section. But, before that you can pay $6 USD at the cashier ( Carry cash ).
  • Depending on the line, your name will be called by the officer and he may ask questions on your status and tell that you need to extend your I-94 as you got new Passport.
  • They will ask for the documents, you show them and answer basic questions they ask and your I-94 should be updated. Many users shared their experiences in the past updating I-94 positively at “SENTRI / Global Entry – Otay Mesa Enrollment Centre, 2500 Paseo Internacional, San Diego, CA 92154 “

3. Visit Port of Entry CBP office at Nearest Airport

This is probably the best option to extend I-94, if it works out. But, this option has mixed opinion, few have got success, many have not got success. When you call the airport CBP office, sometimes they say, they cannot update I-94. While some have reported that I-94 was updated when they visited in person. It all varies by state and location.  

Process to update I-94 at Airports

  • First call the CBP office at International Airport closer to you and verify, if they do I-94 update or extensions.
  • If they say yes, try to go there and try out your luck. If you have time, you can directly visit them as well and try your luck.
  • You can look up for a Port of Entry on CBP website that is nearest to where you live and go to their office and get the I-94 update.
  • As I said, there are mixed opinions here and most of the times, you may get a No from them.

4 : Attorney to file Extension with USCIS to extend I-94

If your visa related approval notice expiration (i-797 Approval Notice) is less than 6 months for certain visas like H1B, L1 then you can ask your employer and work with your Immigration attorney to file relevant extension for the same. Also, if you plan to move to other status by COS or apply for extension on your own, you can try this as well. But, there are few things to consider as it can be risky in some cases.

If your petition is not close to expiration, your employer may or may not file. Also, if you are on visas like F1, H4 or L2 visas, the processing times for the extensions are really long like 8 to 10 months for some centers and you need to wait…This is risky option to wait for I-94 with expired I-94.

You need to speak to your Immigration attorney for this option and make a call.

5. Call CBP Deferred Inspection Sites, Email

This option is not fully verified, only one user reported they had success. One of our readers had expired US Visa, so they could not travel out of the country. They called few CBP Deferred inspection sites phone numbers and eventually they had success with San Diego CBP office. Phone: (619) 491-2680 or (619) 491-2625.

  • The officer gave the user an email id and asked to send I-94 correction request to that email id. 
  • There is an automated response to that email that has a form attached that you needed to fill and send along with old/new passport info page, US visa, I-797, last US entry stamp in the passport.
  • After sometime, you get an automated response that the I-94 is updated. You can check online on I-94 website to see the update.

Documents Checklist for I-94 Extension in USA:

  • Passports : Both Old and New Passports ( including the one that has US Visa Stamp)
  • Approval Notices of Your Visa Status : USCIS approval forms tied to your visa status. E.g. I-797 Approval Forms, if on H1B, H4, L1, L2 approval notices
  • Address Proof : Your current proof of address in US, where you reside like Rental Agreement, Utilities Bills, etc.
  • I-94 Card : Your Current I-94 Card/ Info printed from I-94 Online System
  • Supporting Documents based on Visa Status : Depending on your status in US, you need to carry additional supporting documents.
    • If you are on H1B Visa : Current LCA that is tied to your H1B.
    • If you are on H1B, L1, or other work visa :
      • Employment Verification letter from Employer
      •  3 to 6 most recent Pay Slips / Stubs showing your proof of employment in US
      • (optional ) Copy of I-129 from your employer
      • (optional ) Your Resume
    • If you are on H4 or L2 and working on EAD : 
      • If you are on H4 or L2 and working on EAD, you should carry : Employment Letters, recent 3 to 6 pay stubs.
  • Cash : $6 USD Cash to pay for the I-94 update. You may pay online ahead of time, but need to carry that print out and confirmation.

I-94 Extension in US Experiences by Users

Few of our users have been kind enough to share their experiences updating I-94. Below are their experiences.

Common FAQs for I-94 Extension in US

Let’s look at some common questions around I-94 Update or Extensions in US.

I-94 Extension / Correction Fee Option – Cash or Online Payment ? 

You can pay for I-94 using Cash or pay Online on CBP website. The only catch is that, you need to visit within 7 days from the day you do this online and you need carry a print out of the same. If you do not visit within 7 days, there are no refunds. You can pay online for I-94 at CBP DHS.Gov Website  . In terms of which is better, sometimes the line for Payment at Counters can be long…so, it is a better idea to pay online and carry the print out the confirmation.

What are I94 Extension Interview Questions  by CBP officer ?

For I94 extension or update, you will meet CBP officer and the interview is same as the one you have at US Port of Entry process , when you enter US either by Flight, Ship or Road.  You need to be prepared to answer questions around your employment, working, living in US, etc.

Do you get a Physical I94 Card ? Online system get updated too ?

Yes, you will get a paper I-94 printed and given when you do I-94 extension or update by crossing border. Check Sample I-94 Cards given at US Port of Entry.  Yes, the online system is updated as well. Usually they staple the new I-94 card with your passport, you will need to show that when entering back into US at border, so keep it careful. You can check online after you come back in online system too regarding your I-94 for the recent entry, it is updated in real-time.

For I-94 Update, should I cross the Border or will be done without it ?

Well, this all depends on the immigration officer and the process at the Land Port of Entry. Sometimes, you get lucky and you may not be asked to cross the border and everything is done at Port of Entry office in US….you may be asked to cross the border and re-enter.  Many users have shared that they ended up crossing Mexico Border and re-enter when they did this at Laredo, Texas or  San Diego, CA.

Is the I-94 update process different for H4 vs H1B Holders ?  L1, L2, etc ?

The process to update/ extend I94 is same for everyone as described above. You can use any of the three options. If does not matter, if you are on H4 or H1B visa…You will need to carry all your relevant documents and supporting documents.

What has been your experience updating I-94  ? Share your thoughts ? Anything I missed ?

   

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Comments ( 281 )

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Glad to hear, it went well. Thank you Manny for taking the time to write it up. I have moved it an article for everyone benefit.

    1. Sunil Mohandoss

      Hey Luke,
      If you dont mind, can you please copy paste the mail that you sent to this address. That would help a lot of us.

    2. Tanmoy Saha

      Hi Luke,

      Could you please explain the entire process along with the timeline (by when you got the reply, how did you pay the I-94 fees). It would help us a lot.

      Tanmoy

    3. Mohit Garg

      Hi Luke,

      I am also struggling to extend i94 for my kids(on H4) after passport renewal. Can you please help me to understand the process including email/timelines?

      Appreciate your help to the community

    4. Mohit Garg

      I have sent an email to above address and received below reply

      To Whom It May Concern,

      You should go through the nearest Deferred Office. As the Boston Deferred Inspections Office only handles those residing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

      https://www.cbp.gov/contact/ports/deferred-inspection-sites

      Thank you.

      CBP.BOSTON.I94

      I have also called nearby CBP offices(Charlotte, Raleigh and Atlanta) and all offices said the same thing that i94 with new passport can be renewed only with two ways:

      1) Re-enter USA
      2) Apply extension to USCIS

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Mohit,
        Thanks for sharing. Yes, most of the times the options given by them are the one that work always.
        Some CBP officers are nice enough to do it, but is purely luck…

        1. Osmi

          Hi Kumar,
          I recently got my Indian passport renewed in USA, I am on F1 visa. My I-94 has D/S as the end date, but the issue is that I-94 is connected to old Passport number. Wondering, if I am required to get I-94 updated with the new passport number.
          Also, what are my options, since I am currently in USA, completing my Summer semester at school.
          Thank you!

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Osmi,
            This is an interesting situation. I have not seen any F1 students do I-94 extension as there is no time limit and you can continue to stay as long as you are maintaining status. I suggest you check with your DSO or CBP office to be sure. Also, do update here.

    1. JAYASREE GUJJA

      There is a group on whatsapp on I94 and one of the user messaged as denied for B1/B2 visitor visa at laredo last week.

        1. jayasree

          send me your numbers i will add you people to that existing group, where they discuss only about I94 only. I hope admin of this website is okay with that

          1. Anu

            Hi jaysree ,
            Is Luke in your watsapp group? can you add me too or ask him to please explain how he got it done through emaiing? was it I94 renewal or error correction? also what all details did he send in the mail?

          2. Akhtar

            Hello Jayasree,

            can you please add me as well to that i94 group.Please let me know email id to share my number.

          3. Prasant Rout

            Hi , I need help with getting my spouse i94 extended after passport renewal , any luck with any one at Canada border without Canadian visitor visa or any other way

          4. Jitin Verma

            Hi Jaishree can you please add me to i-94 extension group on WhatsApp. Im looking to extend mine after new passport and kids after theirs expired in June. L1 and L2 statuses.
            My number to add is 9085005456. Thanks in advance

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Ash,
      B1/B2 visas are not generally eligible for I-94 extension as they are tourist visas, you need to work with USCIS. Most of the times, user exit and re-enter the country by crossing the border. You may or may not be allowed immediately as B2 visa is not meant to be used like that. So, discuss with an attorney.
      The best thing to do is to apply for B2 extension and leave the country when flights open, unless you have an extreme situation to stay back.

  1. JAYASREE GUJJA

    i am on H1B and have valid visa and I94 till sep 2022.
    My 2 minor children had I94 till 16June2020 because of their indian passport validity. They had valid visa stamped as H4 till september 2022. I went to texas laredo CBP office today.
    The process was like 5 mins and done. No questions asked and only address was asked while officer entered manually in computer and asked me to pay at cashier and all done.

    1. Sreejha

      Hi there

      I am on the same boat here but its about my kid (H4 visa). His I-94 is expiring in Oct 2020 due to passport expiry, but he has a valid visa till Nov 2021. After reading all these comments we are also planning to go to CBP office at Laredo, Texas. I tried to contact them in the phone before planning our trip but no one is picking up. As we live in NC, its risky to travel without confirmation. Would anyone please share the contact number or email ID of CBP office in Laredo.
      Thanks in advance.

  2. Zeeshan Ashraf

    I just got my i94 updated on OTAY MESA crossing. I went to the permits section directly as suggestd by someone. The officer there consulted her supervisor and told me i just need to make a meaningful departure. I crossed the bridge on foot and within 3 mins i was at mexico immigration. There was a very friendly guy who asked me the reason to come. i told him i want my i94 updated. He filled the mexico permit card in a hardly readable hand writing and asked for 30 dollars. I gave him at that time without thinking. Now i am confised whether it was a legit fee or a rip off. then i immediately left the office came to the road and crossed it immediately and entered US immigration. there was a line but i got my turn in 15 mins. The overall process hardly took an hour.

    As long as you have a valid work visa or dependent visa which was valid / issued before the proclamation came out, there is no need to file an i29. Just go to san diego and get it done in an hour for $6.

    1. Zeeshan Ashraf

      More details: I parked my car at “Tellos parking lot” which is 5 mins walk from the cbp center and starting point of the pedestrian bridge. I went from Fremont CA which is 500 miles away. To save a day, i left at 4.30 am in the morning and reached the border at 12.20. I was back to my car at 1.30. On my return journey i got a lot of evening traffic while passing through Los Angeles. In the end i was extremely tired because of lack of sleep a night earlier due to anxiety of getting this done. I reached home at 10.30 in the night. very tired. i wont recomment anyone going from bay area to do it in one day. its very tiring.

      The other comments that i read. it looks likecrossing border at otay mesa is lesser walk as compared to san ysidro. The staff was very cooperative and friendly there. I was shit scared and all but there is nothing to be worried about. They are friendly and good people. as long as you have a proper visa and no ambiguity in your record you are good. I kept every single document i had just in case. But they did not even ask for the i797 notice. I only needed my two passports both old and new. But i still suggest to keep all the documents just in case.

      Let me know in the comments if you need any more details.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Zeeshan Ashraf,
        Thank you for sharing your experience. If you had valid US visa, then it seems to me that the 30 USD was rip off unfortunately…
        In any case, you got it done and all good now !

        1. Manny

          thanks Ashraf and Kumar. I was just worried about EO and how CBP interprets that while issuing i94 updates. But now I feel more confident on my Otay mesa trip. Thanks to Redbus2us for such an informative platform as this one. It helps out many individuals in so many different situations.
          I will sure share my detailed experience once I get it done soon at Otay Mesa CA.

        2. min

          Even if you don’t have the visa, you don’t need to pay $30.
          Its needed if your visa gets rejected and you have to fly to your home county and want to use their airports.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            min,
            Interesting…Is there any official link or info for this on their consulate website or airports site ?

      2. Jithendran

        Kumar/Zeeshan,

        Are the otay mesa and san ysidro centers open on weekends? If so, what are the timings?

        Also, what are the timings on weekdays?

        Thanks,
        Jithendran

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