H1b extension approved, but had to travel with old 797, I-94 expiring soon

Hi, Anil, I have a question regarding my latest I-94. My employer applied for my H1b extension and got the approval notice. The valid date is from 9/9/2019. However, before I could receive the hard copy, I had to go on a trip. So when I come back, I was using my old 797 with an valid through date on 9/18/2019. The CBP officer could only give me a I-94 till 9/28/2019 based on old I-797.

I’ve read some discussion online and people said the new I-94 date (9/28/2019) would void my new I-797(valid till 2/10/2021) and I would be considered illegal stay after 9/28. However, my attorney said it should not because my new I-797 effective start date is 9/9/2019.

I don’t have plans to travel recently but now I am debating whether I should cross the border to get it to match my new I-797 or it will be automatically rolled in once my new I-797 become effective?

We are also in the process of applying green card, not sure if the expired I-94 from CBP website would have any negative impact.

Appreciate your feedback on this issue.

Thank you!

Hi @flyflyalaska

As per my information, you should travel and re-enter to get a new i94.

If you got a new i94 with the i797 Approval, then it is possible to use it if the start date on i797 is future date.

It can create confusion in future and hence it is advisable to get a new i94 by re-entering US and start with clean slate.

Thanks Anil. Do you think I can try this with CBP deferred office or maybe I should go to San Diego border directly.

And can you elaborated more on this comment you made earlier:

“If you got a new i94 with the i797 Approval, then it is possible to use it if the start date on i797 is future date.”

When an extension is approved, USCIS issues a new i94 and sends it with i797.

CBP deferred site will not issue a new i94. They only fix the i94 errors.

You will need to visit San Diego border. Here is the process for San Diego border.

Thank you Anil for the explanation.

Just wanna update here. I sent an email request to sfoi94correction@cbp.dhs.gov since I enter through SFO and explained to them my situation. I got an automatic reply to upload necessary documents. I just checked my I94 admit until date is updated aligning new 797 after I submit the documents last Friday.

HI @flyflyalaska

That’s awesome. Congrats. You saved a trip for yourself. Thanks for sharing.