I94 expiring soon and options

After a recent international trip the CBP officer stamped the date for the I94 based on my current H1B visa set to expire in August instead of the dates on my news I797 ending in 2022. I did show the CBP officer my new I797.

What are my options now?

  1. Visit a CBP deferred unit and get the I94 changed
  2. Travel again before the I94 expiration and get new visa and return
  3. Travel within 180 days of the I94 expiry and get a new stamp and I94 on reentry. Apparently this is an option according to company lawyers.

What I have learned is the I94 attached to your new I797 trumps any existing I94. So for instance if you have never travelled since you got your new I797 and your visa expired your default I94 would be the one on your new I797. If any one can validate this explanation or offer any suggestions I would really appreciate it.

Did you travel after your most recent i797 was issued? If not, then the i94 attached to your i797 is valid and is considered active.

If you have traveled after i797, then the i94 you got at port of entry supercedes the once attached to i797.
In that case, you can check with CBP office located at international airport and they may get you a new one.
If they don’t, then you have to either file a new extention or travel again to get a new i94.

My travel was after I got my I797. I will follow what you said and try the CBP deferred unit first. Thanks

Do you have any thoughts on the “last action rule”?
After 2018 I have heard through forums and lawyers of how this rule kicks in when you have an approved extension. This is why it’s okay to have your I94 expire if you have an approved I797 that starts at a later date. Although to be cautious it’s advisable to travel within 180 days after the I94 expires.

https://www.murthy.com/2018/09/10/travel-after-change-of-status-approval-with-future-start-date/

“The travel does not invalidate the previously-approved USCIS change of status effective from a future date. This is because the last action regarding the foreign national’s status governs.”

Hi @maverick41

That’s correct. But, as you said, it is better that you get a mew i94 to be on absolutely safe side.

As a matter of fact, Immigration officer at port of entry do give extended i94 based on extended i797 but it did not happen in your case.