H4 i94 extension by visiting SENTRI CBP office

Hi Anil,

Thanks for the clear write up with clear info and details.

My wife’s I 94 is valid till August and my current I797 / I 94 is valid till July ( as I got an extension during my change of Employer).

Can H4 extension be done at SENTRI office with H1B extended i797?

My employer suggested sending her out of the country and while entering show my current I 797 and get her I 94 extended in line with my validity.

So I’m not sure if I could follow option 1 mentioned above (To visit the SENTRI /CBP office) for an extension.
Can you please let me know if I can go and get my wife’s I 94 extended?

H4 visa is valid

She is on H4 dependent visa and her visa and I 94 are valid till August.

My employer said they would not file an extension for her now as it’s a waste of money and suggested that it would be easy for her to go out of the country and get her I 94 extended as she is having a valid visa till August.

BTW, I was with one employer and now changed to another employer and that’s how my I 797 is valid till July.

My employer’s Immigration attorney suggested sending her out of the country (doesn’t need to be home country) like Mexico or Canada and while entering the USA, she can show my I797 and get her I 94 extended only if she returns back before August ( Her current visa and I 94 validity).

Also, they suggested sending her and bringing her back with my current I 797 without filing an extension is recommended as she still has 3 more months of valid visa and she can enter before August.

I’ve also read on a couple of forums that she can cross the border by land (walk or drive) and while coming in they will extend her I 94.

Thanks for your help!

In your case

  1. You can either file H4 i539 or
  2. Visit any land border - in most cases, CBP officers do give a new i94 with longer approval based on H1B i797.

Hi Anil,

Regarding going out and entering back, I’ve checked with my company’s immigration team and they said at the port of entry they would extend the I 94 (not the H4) but we have to specifically let them know that we came for our I 94 extension and show them my current i-797.

Usually, they said the officer will honor the request and extend the I94 as per the I 797 validity.
Worst case scenario is as you said they will give her the i94 till August.

So, if I want to give it a try can I go to the " Laredo" US-Mexico border mentioned in this thread or is there any other location for crossing the border by walk? (I’m planning to drive till there and walk past the border and re-enter the USA.)

Thanks for all your help and bearing with me patiently.

Hi Anil, thanks for all the info. Yesterday, I went to the Laredo border and my wife got her I 94 extended till my current H1 validity period.
It was simple and all they asked for my current I 797 and current address proof. They issued the paper I 94 and also its reflecting on the i 94 website .
Hopefully this helps others in my situation.

Thanks Again!

Thanks for the information.

Can you help with these questions?

  1. Her H4 visa has not been extended? Right?
  2. Only the i94 has been extended to match your H1B i797?
  3. What does her H4 i797 shows as the date?

Hi @ramakrishnasai_sola

You can file H4 EAD using H4 i94 that you currently have. You only need to mention the H1B receipt number on form i765.

Read this for Travel risk while H4 and H4 EAD are pending:.

Hi @ramakrishnasai_sola

Answers have already been given on the above links. Please read and understand carefully.

I don’t want to repeat everything here again which has already been explained on the above articles.

Hi Anil,
My wife’s H4 I94 expired along with passport expiry on April 7, 2019. We got the new passport but failed to realize her I94 expiration. Her I797 is valid till November 1, 2019. Her visa stamp on old passport is valid till 2022. Will it work if we try out the CBP office at the Mexico border to extend her I94? We are worried that she is out of status since April 7th and will that prevent her getting her I94 extended.

Hi @Bharat_Kumar

You do not have any other option at this time. Your wife should leave US and re-enter to get new i94 anyway.

Your best bet is to visit the US Mexico border.

3 posts were split to a new topic: I94 extension for E3D visa - shorter expiry than E3 primary i94

Hi Bogendra. 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

Hi Anil

My h4 visa expired in Sept 2021. H1 - 797 is approved till 2024. Based on primary’s approval, can i visit CBP and request to update my i94. I know chances are less but do you think its possible.
PS - I cannot cross border as no stamped visa. Also H4 extension is pending .
An suggestions pls ?

Hi Anil,

I have my current H1b expiring on 29th April 2022. Also my wife H4 is expiring on same day. My new H1b extension is approved and my wife H4 extension is in process. Can I visit CBP office and have her I-94 extended based on my new I-797 approval? If yes can you also let me know which CBP location I can use for this purpose? Also Is there a website to book an appointment for this? Any information/direction will be helpful. Thanks.


Hi Jay,
Were you able to get the i94 extended? I’m in the and situation.

Hi Aksshay,

No i am not able to extend. I did not get any updates or more details on this from this blog. I am waiting to get more information on this and see if someone can can provide more details.

Akshay, also please let me know if you find any useful information from anywhere. I will also keep you updated if I find anything. Thanks.


Extension of status at CBP road borders may or may not work 100% of time.
Better way is to fly to Mexico over a weekend, say cancun and fly back. The CBP at POE will extend H4 based on the primary H1B.
Note that if your H1B/H4 visa is expired you will need to apply for tourist card for Mexico visit.

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I was able to get the H4 I94 extended by visiting Laredo border.
Laredo center is well aware of this. In fact when we were entering the US side (after half way through the bridge), one officer asked if we were there for h4 i94 extension!

They do check for H4 extension receipt. Officer told they won’t extended i94 if there was no H4 extending filed n is pending.

Let me know if any questions. Happy to help!

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Can I try getting the I94 extension without I797 approval notice in hand since my case is approved in the system and CBP has access to it? I don’t have enough time to wait for my husband’s H1 Approval Notice.

While the CBP can look up for immigration records, I think you do need to carry copy of the primary H1B approval notice. Call the CBP office you are planning to visit and ask them.