How early can we visit San diego for H4 I-94 ext after Passport renewal with valid I797

Hi Anil, Thanks for this great site.

My wife is on H4 and has I-94 valid till 03/2020(Passport expiry) but her I539/I797 is valid till 07/2021.
We renewed her Passport last week. My question is can we go to Otay Mesa/San Ysidro border to renew the I94 this early with the new Passport.
We both have valid visa’s H1B/H4 till July 2021 and border crossing reentry should not be a problem.


You can visit San Ysidro US border anytime before your current i94 expires to get a new one.

Process and steps for San Diego border:

Thanks Anil. I am going to the border this Thu. Will update my experience as well.
Regards, Abhi

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Hello Anil,
I successfully renewed my wife’s I-94 at the Otay Mesa Entry point in San Diego today morning.
Did not have to cross the border and the update was done in 5 mins.

We drove to the Otay Mesa port of entry at 7am and parked in the Plaza parking.
We had paid the $6 online using old Passport and directly went to the I-94 permits queue.
Only one officer was issuing permits so had to stand in line for 20 mins.

Once we reached the Officer I explained that we need a new I-94 since my wife’s was cut short.
He just asked why she was not given the full length of her I-797 to which I explained that her Passport was expiring. He was very satisfied and said “Ohh that explains it”.
After that he asked for her current address proof and updated the I-94 immediately.

Did not ask us whether we had crossed the border or anything.
I immediately checked the I-94 on old passport online and it is now reflecting the updated dates.

Key Points: I was concerned as her current I-94 was expiring in 03/2020 and we were way early(05/2019).
But that did not matter to the officer.

Just wanted to give back our experience since this forum has been a great support and I was very anxious how it all would turn out.


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Hi Abhi / @jack_traven

I have similar situation like yours but both mine an my h4 dependent i94 was given till passport expiry. I have renewed passport and planning to go to Otay mesa. I had called the Otay mesa Port of Entry and they mentioned that day give i94 permits between 6am-10pm Mon - Fri. I am bit confused on which exact PoE you went and which day and can you give address of Otay mesa PoE you went to ?