I94 expired with old passport, but I797 and H1B valid

Hi,

I am on an H1-B visa thru June 30, 2019. My I-797 is valid through that date as well. Since having the visa, I’ve traveled 2x. My last trip was in 2017, and I just noticed that the I-94 that they stamped had an expiration date that was the same as my passport’s. My old passport and most recent I-94 basically expired 6 weeks ago and I am just discovering it now. I still have a valid H1-B visa and I-797, and I’m still within the 180-day “grace period”.

I’ve contacted CBP regarding this and they told me to either file for an extension or travel to get a new stamp. The immigration officer from our university also told me the same thing. Do you think this is safe? Can I travel with a gap in my I-94? I assume it’s OK since I have a valid visa and <180 days since I-94 expiry - just want to confirm this. Can I still stay in the US even though there is nothing filed on my behalf yet?

I’m panicking right now. I should have known about this but I didn’t. This was my first H1-B and I thought it worked like my prior J-1 (where I-94 is always same as validity as the rest of paperwork). Any response is appreciated.

Thanks, friends!

There is NO grace period if your i94 has expired.

The 180 days that you have read or heard is the limit after which you get an automatic 3 year ban on US entry.

My suggestion is to immediately get new i94 by either travelling outside USA and re-entering or visiting any of US land borders.

  1. Laredo, Texas:
  1. San Diego, CA:

Hi Anil,
Just thinking a loud, if he has new passport with him, he can visit “deferred inspection office” in person without travelling outside USA or boarder posts. correct?

I was in similar boat when my I-94 admit date expired (passport was valid), so visiting nearest deferred inspection office fixed I-94 date.

Hi @ankitkshah2000

You were lucky if your i94 was extended by deferred inspection site as it depends on individual CBP officer.

In 99% of cases, CBP officer at US international airport office (deferred inspection site) will refuse to renew i94 as that site is only meant to FIX i94 mistakes and not extend i94.

Hello @ankitkshah2000

Thanks for the information. I am also in the same situation. If possible can you please tell where you went to fix the I-94? It will be very helpful. I want to Fix mine.

Thanks

I went to Los Angles office, you can find address at below link. I would suggest you to call them first explain your case on phone and then visit office as suggested.

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

Hello Ankit,

Thanks for your quick response. Appreciate it. My I-94 expired due to passport expiry. You had the same case. Right? Did CBP officer asked you anything? how did you explain? so I can also explain accordingly.

Thanks

No, i had different situation where My I-94 expired due to visa stamp expiry. I would still recommend you to call them and explain situation as you have explained here, ask for what supporting documents they need, who all need to be in-person (wife,children)? etc…

Ok, thank you. Will try to call them.

Hi @solution , I am in a similar position where my passport expired and i couldn’t renew it in time due to consulates being closed due to COVID. I am planning to try the deferred inspection route. Did you have any luck with that approach? I would be very grateful if you could share your experience. Thanks!

Hi, we are in the exact same situation. Have you figured out a way to get your i-94 changed?

Hi Guys,
I have a similar situation. My H1B (which is stamped on the passport) is valid till March 2021. But my I-94 expired on Jan 2, 2020 (with the expiration of old passport). At this moment i already overstayed in US for more than 180 days. Should i go out of the country and get a new I-94 on the way back. Can there be a problem with my reentry because of the overstay? Or should i ask my attorney to file for H1 extension with nunc pro tunc?
If i do go out of country and get a new I-94 then what happens to this period that i overstayed. Does it count as illegal and effect my future H1 and green card?
Also, is US Mexico border still open for I-94 renewal?

Thanks,

Hi @H1Visa

It is better to talk to an attorney and file NPT extension immediately.

You have done a very serious offense by overstaying your i94 and that too by 180 days.

NPT approval is extremely important in your case.

Hi Anil,
Thanks for your advise. My employer filled for H1B extension with NPT and it got approved.

Thanks

1 Like

hi @H1Visa , @Anil_Gupta , Today I have realized that my i 94 in my old passport got expired ( even though my I 797 is valid until 11/2021) and my employer told me that they will apply for amendment. Also they have requested that I should be out of payroll because it got expired almost 200 days back( 3/2020).
Can I know how long it took to get the amendment/ new I 94 in your case from USCIS?
Appreciate your help.