I94 extension at San Diego Ysidro US Mexico Border, Old passport expired, Renewed passport

If your i94 date is same as your OLD passport expiry date and now you need to change/extend the i94 date based on your new renewed passport, you can visit SAN Diego CBP office at US Mexico border.

Travel to Tijuana Border, San Diego for i94 extension

You may or may not have to cross the border to correct the I-94 date at this border depending on CBP officer that you see. The CBP office is inside US territory.

San Ysidro i94 update opening hours

The i94 correction / extensions are done 24x7.

San Ysidro Land Port of Entry – West Pedestrian Facility - PedWest

This port of entry is just beside the Premium Outlets.

PedWest US exact Google map address:

499 Virgina Ave, San Diego CA 92173

Thanks to @vinodnama for sharing the exact PedWest address after he got his i94 extended.

East Pedestrian Facility does not fix i94 now.

i94 extension fees

$6 - Cash or Online

i94 extension fees CASH

Look for i94 permit sign on the building entrance or door.
Once you are in, you can make the payment and wait for your name to be called.

The waiting lines may be long at CASH payment counter.

i94 extension fees ONLINE

So, it is advisable that you make the payment online at CBP website with ‘Land’ border entrance option.

This payment is valid for 7 days meaning that you can pay online and visit the border for i94 update anytime during those 7 days. There are no refunds if you miss the 7 day deadline.

You will need to fill your NEW passport number on CBP website while paying for fees as this is the passport you will use to enter US now.

If your new passport number is not accepted by CBP site, you can use your old passport number as well.

Both options work fine for i94 fees payment.

i94 extension interview questions

The interview would be same as you would have faced (by immigration officer) while entering US at any port of entry.

Documents required for i94 extension

  1. Original Approved i797.

  2. Your Old and New passport.

  3. Your US address proof - Could be any utility bill, your driving license, state ID, EAD card etc.

i94 extension approval

Once the officer is satisfied, he will take your finger prints and a picture. This is exactly same as what happens at any other port of entry (at airport).

You will get paper I-94.

He will also stamp your passport with new dates as applicable per your approved I797 validity.

i94 extension at San Diego Processing time

The whole process can take anywhere between 15 min to 1 hour. So be prepared.

No appointment is required. Neither do they have any option of appointments. It’s a walk in facility.

Once i94 is issued, it is updated immediately at CBP website too.

New i94 record is attached to OLD passport number

This is fine. When CBP extends the i94 based on your renewed passport, they usually attach it to the same OLD and expired passport number.

So, if you search online on their website, you will be able to pull your new and updated i94 based on your OLD PASSPORT number.

Also, both “Most Recent Entry” date and “Admit Until” on I-94 are updated.

There is no need to worry here.

Tijuana Border Car Parking

You can park your car at the outlets mall

4463 Camino De La Plaza, San Ysidro, CA 92173

Or at this closest parking lot:

4570 Camino De La Plaza San Diego, CA 92173

Both are at about about 2-3 minutes walking distance from San Ysidro Land Port of Entry – West Pedestrian Facility.

Mexico immigration is NEVER touched

You do not need to go through Mexico Immigration at all.

You just cross the US border (step into Mexico land) and then immediately turn back to enter USA.
In this whole process, you never even see any Mexico immigration counter.

If US does not let you re-enter from Mexico border?

In the unfortunate case of rejecting your entry into the USA (it is possible), you will need to go into Mexico as that would be the only option left for you.

Your US visa/ i797 is valid to enter Mexico. So, no need to worry about applying for a Mexico visa separately.

Crossing the border is your choice

If the immigration officer asks you to cross the US border and re-enter to update your i94, then it is your choice to take that chance or not.
They do NOT force you. You are still on US side and safely come back to your home (if you decide to NOT cross the border) and use other methods to extend your i94.


6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Paying online i94 renewal $6 fee - Mention old passport number or new?

Hi @Anil_Gupta - Thanks for the write-up. I am planning to visit San Diego for my sons I-94 extension. My wife is his principal applicant (H1B). Is it fine if I go together with my son to CBP office with all the documents ? or is it mandatory that principal applicant be preset. Thanks in advance.

Hi @Anil_Gupta. Thanks very much for this post. It is very helpful. I went last Sunday to renew my wife’s (on H4) i-94 which was out of status since November 2019 & it went all smooth. Her passport expired in November 2019 so her i-94. i-797 is still valid till 2021. Because of an entry to US in August 2019, they marked admit until date in i-94 to her passport expiry date of November 2019. After that, we renewed the passport but didn’t renew the i-94 as it was an oversight.

We went on Sunday, crossed the border, came back and got the i-94 renewed. It was all smooth and took around an hour considering it was a weekend. We couldn’t pay the $6 fee online since i-94 was already expired so we paid in cash.

All details in your post were super helpful right from parking spot to the PedWest location. Thanks again!!


Hi @mkuttamk

There is no such requirement of primary H1B holder to go with H4.

Thanks Anil for the reply.

Thank you @Anil_Gupta and others for posting there I-94 extension experiences at San Diego Ysidro US Mexico border.
I went there on Feb 1st (Saturday) around 4pm to extend my I-94 which was expiring on March 2020 and valid H1B visa till October 2020. I crossed the Mexico border, came back and stood in prepaid I-94 line which was faster compare to cash line. I got my I-94 extended and came out checked the I-94 website the dates were changed.

Thanks again @Anil_Gupta.

1 Like

Hi @Anil_Gupta, I recently travelled to India and got visa stamping renewed (company change) with new i797 (valid till mid 2022) but when I entered US, since my passport was valid till first week of Dec this year, me and my h4 dependent’s i94 was limited to that date. H4 dependent’s passport was valid but i94 was limited based on my passport validity.

I have renewed my passport now. I am thinking of going to San Ysidro PedWest or Otey Mesa PoE for getting the i94 extended and match it with i797 (2022 date). The questions I have is:

  1. Is it too early to go for extending i94 ?
  2. Will I have to cross border for this ?
  3. Since me and my dependent both need to get i94 extended, and I have a kid who is US citizen, if asked to cross border, can we all go together and come back instantly ?

Kindly let me know on this.

Hi @drishtu11

The first post on this page above answers most of your questions. Please read:

There is no fixed time to renew i94. You can go anytime before current one expires.

You all can cross border and come back. No issues if they allow you entry. It is same as entering US via airport.

First of all, thanks to Anil for all his time and effort in maintaining this forum/site and especially for answering the queries that everyone has. Secondly, also thanks to everyone who contributes to this site with their experiences. In order to help those that will follow, I hope people continue to pay it forward by submitting their experiences as it continues to help people in the future when they see the most recent updates.

My experience - mostly repetition and confirmation of what many others have posted already on this page (apologize for the lengthy post):

  • Traveled to San Diego on 02/26/20. Reached at around 10:30 am, then took an Uber to the address: 499 Virginia Ave, San Diego CA 92173 which took ~30 mins. The driver drops me off right in front of the building shown in the photo for the PedWest facility. Went into the entrance door next to those benches that has a small sign next to the door for “I94 Permits”. If you attempt to enter the open entrance on the right, then the security guard sitting to the right side will ask what you want and then tell you to go into the office and stand in line for the counter window.
  • When I entered the I94 permit office, there were only a few people at the counter window. I had already paid the fees online and was holding the receipt in hand when one of the CBP officers asked what I wanted. After I explained that I needed an I-94 update as I renewed my passport. He asked to confirm that I had a valid US visa and then said that I would need to “Make Entry” that is to go outside and follow the signs “To Mexico” and then come back.
  • I followed the signs “To Mexico” that takes you through a long corridor ending with a revolving turnstile gate which is basically the border separation. After crossing this gate, I don’t see any way of simply returning to the US side (not sure if I missed something or if others can clarify this as the original post says that Mexican Immigration isn’t touched). I continue walking and following the signs for “Foreigners” on a long paved and covered path. This ends up at the Mexican Immigration office. Also note that there is a sign for this corridor walkway border entrance stating that it is only open between 6 am to 10 pm .
  • The Mexican immigration officer gives you a form that you simply have to fill out your name, passport (new) details at the top of the page, sign it and fill the same details out again further down the page right below the second red highlighted line. Stand in line to see the immigration officer, and explain that you plan to return to US the same day. He places an immigration stamp on your new passport and gives you the bottom half of the form you just filled out.
  • Go past the Mexican immigration counter and if you are carrying any bag with you then put it on Xray scan belt otherwise keep walking to the building exit. When outside, keep walking straight and you will see a sign “To Tijuana” - > walk up this ramp and when you reach the top you will see a sign for “To USA” pointing to the Right. There may or may not be a long line depending on the times you are entering. It was pretty long when I started at the back around 11:15 am . Stand and follow the queue on the right wall as people walking straight through on the left side are people with a Border/SENTRI card. The line moves and stalls in short spurts. It took me till around 12:45 pm by the time I went in front of the first CBP/immigration officer. He asked where I was headed to in the US as I showed my new passport and unexpired visa in my old passport and told him I needed to extend my previous I-94 and that I had already gone to the I-94 permit office and was advised to cross the border and return. So he told me to go back to that office and they would take care of it.
  • Went back into the I-94 permit office and there were a few people seated and two officers/counters working. No token system but it was just mutually understood by those seated and the officers the order we came in.
    -When called up by the CBP officer behind the counter, I had to explain my reason again for the new I-94 and showed the online receipt. He asked which visa I was on to which I answered H1B, then he asked me proof of residence. As I only recently moved and didn’t have an updated address on my DL, I showed him my apartment Lease and also showed that my address was updated on my new passport’s last page. He entered that address into the system and then asked for a letter from my employer showing proof of employment. I showed him an employment verification letter but he was looking for something that had proof of how long my employment would last till. Even though my Visa stamp in the passport shows the validity till 2022, I showed him the I797 approval notice that also shows my employment should be valid till the same time. As he seemed a little unsure at this point, he waited till another officer was able to come over to clarify the issue. He then went on to complete the process and returned the passports and other papers back to me along with a printed I-94.
  • I left the office around 1 pm (almost 2 hrs based on time and/or day(wed)), and ordered another Uber back to the airport. Had to cross the road to the Outlet Mall Side as that was where the Uber Pickup Point. Checked the I94 website when in the car and saw the status (old passport number) was updated with the new date as per Visa/797 .

Overall went pretty smoothly, but have to admit I was definitely nervous at certain times especially while waiting in the line not for any real reason except for just being anxious to get this process completed. Retrospectively there is no reason to be nervous especially when the Visa stamp is valid in the old passport and the previous I-94 hadn’t already expired for more than 180 days. Important docs needed would be the online I94 payment receipt, I-797, proof of current US residence and of course both passports. Other relevant docs could include an employment verification letter and/or recent pay stubs. Unlike my past experiences of CBP officers at POE airports, these folks at this Land Border Entry are very courteous and very pleasant.


Hi Sriharsha,

I am planning to visit San Diego Ysidro US Mexico Border for my I 94 renewal,i have one question if officer asked to cross the border do we need to enter to Mexico through Pedwest - bridge and return back to USA again? we need to walk till we entered into Mexico and return back?

Could you please answer this.


Hi @Naveen

I suggest to read above discussions as everything has been answered in detail.

Thanks Anil, i will check the complete thread

Did anyone recently went to mexico boarder ? not sure is there any change/restriction on I-94 update process due to Covid 19 ?

I am planning to go in next couple of weeks. I saw some other post who renewed i94 at California border couple of days ago

I went to San Diego - San Ysidro USA Mexico border and here is my experience.

Covid 19 Precautions
Wear Mask/Gloves
social distancing
Use Sanitizer

Travell Date :
30th May 2020
No of Travelers
4 ( Husband +Wife+2 Kids)

Visa Type:
H1b and H4

Documents Required :
Passport (original)
I 797 (original)
Latest I94
Pay check
Address Proof (Electric/Gas/Lease Agreement)
Employment Letter
Tax return Document
CA State DL (original)
Fee paid receipt

How did it go ?

  1. Travelled from Irvine ,CA to San Diego by car on 05/30/2020. It was just 1:30 hour drive.

  2. Took last US exit (1A) from Freeway I-5

  3. As soon as you take exit , you will see parking lot (As mentioned in the above post). However I parked at Shopping mall. (Next Block) ( parking is free at the mall premises)

  4. Walked towards Pedwest (499 Virgina Ave, San Diego CA 92173). But it was closed .

  5. Next walked towards Bridge and crossed the same. I could see Border Security office . I spoke to one of the security officer and he called CBSF officer. I explained him about my I94 status.

  6. He asked me to cross the border . I also heard him saying the same to other two families who had been there for I 94 update.

  7. Next we crossed the border and no one from Mexico side asked for visa or passport or travel reason.

  8. Make a U turn and joined the Queue to enter US facility office

  9. There were about 100+ people and No social distancing/ limited people were wearing mask

  10. Entered US facility and I94 update office(yellow building as soon as you enter USA facility)

  11. Junior office verified all our documents including online fee receipt.

  12. Then we were taken to Senior officer counter ( next to junior officer counter)

  13. He asked me few documents ( I-797 /Address proof/ last travel date/ What I do …etc)

  14. He asked me what date he need to put for I -94 expiry ? I responded by saying " Any date after I 797 expiry date should be fine). He approved with expiry date 10 days later than I 797 date

  15. Received the paper copy and he confirmed that same date is updated in his system.

  16. Overall time - approximately 2:30 hours


2 posts were split to a new topic: Daughter i94 expiring - passport renewed - E-2 Investor Visa

Hey Shrikant…Thanks for sharing the info. It is very helpful. We are planning to head to San Ysidro Border for getting my wife’s expired I-94 updated. Did you go to 720 E San Ysidro Blvd, San Diego, CA 92173 address…? Does below map correctly show your walk path for crossing the border and back to USA…?..Thanks again.

1 Like

Walking path shown in above map looking good. As soon as you cross the bridge you will see the USA CBP office . Please check with security office (They may not allow enter CBP office from USA side) and per their advise you can cross the border and take a U turn to enter USA. All the Best !
Shrikanth Nayak


I-94 Renewal by Land Border for E-2 Investor Visa Holder and Family
(Similar for other Non Immigrant Visas)

Firstly, a huge “Thank You!”, to everyone contributing to this thread/topic.

As I begin typing this, it is now 6pm Friday, 5th June 2020 and we just got back to Irvine in Orange County, Southern California after a 5 hour+ round trip by car to San Diego - San Ysidro USA Mexico border Customs and Border Patrol Immigration Office.

I would like to add my own experience to help others with this procedure, while noting it is based on others with personal clarification of areas I felt a little lost on.

As per Shrikanth Nayak’s own recent experience (TruVisa - Immigration visa questions, reliable answers - Ask your visa and immigration questions), there are a few points well worth noting. I have marked them with an asterisk (*) next to the item.

FYI - I discovered this forum/website after months of hunting online in English and Japanese, and what a difference it has made in terms of helping us sort this out at minimum cost, plus we ALL got new I-94’s valid till 4 June 2022. Now on to our experience.

Our case:
Family of three with E-2 Investor Visas valid for 5 years, expiring on 20 July 2020.
Me - UK, Wife - Japanese, Teenage Daughter - UK passport for US visa.
I-94 for wife and I valid till Oct 2021 and Feb 2022. Daughter’s was to expire with her old UK passport valid until 25 June 2020.

Could not travel outside US in order to come back and get new I-94
Immigration lawyer said they would file and extension for daughter only at around $1,000, which would take 7~8 Months.
This would put all our I-94’s out of sync, while being worried about new visa coming in time before earliest I-94 expired or daughter reaches age 21 years old. (Now, just turned 19yrs old)

Strong Recommendations:

  1. *Pay for the I-94 online - $6 for each person and you can add up to 25 people on the site
    I94 - Official Website
    This helped us a lot psychologically too as we felt we were making everything easier for the immigration officer.
    Remember to take the Receipt with you as it has a tracking number on it and it shows you paid.

  2. *Take more proof than you might need in terms of documentation. My list was.

  • Everyone’s current I-94 and Travel History. Both available at the link in number (1) above.
  • The most recent copies of utility bills from gas and electric, printed before we left from the utility web portals.
  • Copy of our apartment lease agreement with all three names on it.
  • Copy of Home Insurance transfer to new apartment
  • Original Post Office Address Change Confirmation, showing both old and new address, since we moved in early March. (Just in case for Driving License was asked for or other evidence)
  • Original copy of daughter’s college course payment and lessons, which are running until 10 August 2020 for this term.
  • Car lease monthly payment letter, unopened
  1. COVID19 related
    We took a mask each, which most people were also wearing but some travelers and immigration related personal did not wear any or put them on only as people approached them/the desk.
    Hand sanitizers with gel were available at both the US and Mexican entrances, so we used these after paperwork.

*As I said, the paperwork and preparation is more than I may have needed and this is for an E-2, so we do not have payment stubs or contracts as it is my own company, but I did not want anything to jeopardize or delay the process since it is not easy to get paperwork after the event.
(I also kept a copy on my phone in a Dropbox folder JUST in case, something happened and I forgot the original in the printer tray or car. This is due to past experience on a drive between Arizona and California at a state border crossing when we left some papers at home but I had them on my phone - Phew!)

Experience (with some further clarity where we felt more info would have been useful, although it may have been on some earlier postings which I may have skipped.)

  1. Drove to San Ysidro USA Mexico border Outlets, next to the East Side Mexico border Customs and Border Patrol Immigration Office. (499 Virgina Ave, San Diego CA 92173)

  2. *Parked the car there and walked through the Outlet Mall in case any cameras were watching cars being parked and then passenger foot route. i.e. did the passenger(s) go into the Mall or straight out? This is because there are warnings everywhere about the car park (free) being used by non-Mall users/shoppers and the car could be towed. So I wanted to reduce any risk of that.

  3. Went to the WEST Office right next to the Mall but as Shrikanth Nayak mentioned, it was closed. However, the security officer at the gate directed us to the EAST Office, which was a longer walk away than I expected and so got a bit worried trying to find it.

  4. *From the Mall you have to walk up the hill on the right side of the road, which is a bridge over the multi-car gate way into Mexico bu the looks of it. Make sure you can see the East Immigration Office on your left. Then you stop at a set of traffic lights with a pedestrian crossing, which is at the No Entry/Wrong Way signed junction for cars exiting the motorway/freeway. Then you cross-over and as you get closer to the top of the hill/bridge (motorway/freeway underneath at that point), there is an entrance to a steel bridge on your left which has a left turn on it after about 10~20 steps/paces. You can see the blue immigration building in front and to the left and further over you can see a bus stop, train station and a MacDonalds, so if you see these you know you are on the right track. It is a long walk over quite a long steel bridge and a long downward pedestrian ramp, which is where you come of and then you turn right towards the blue immigration building.

  5. *As you approach the building you go the the left side of it (Do not try to go into the door facing you, which is a side entrance to the building). You will see a large door and a security guard, which I discovered when I came out of it about 90 minutes later that it was the exit from the Mexico side and entrance into the US. So there are border patrol gates inside with people waiting to come through to the US.

  6. *At that point at that door from the outside I was a bit lost so as the security guard where I should go for my I-94 renewal. He called a supervisor as I believe Shrikanth Nayak when through the same experience. The person he called was a Border Control Officer and he was really nice. He asked what I wanted and I explained to him that we had paid for our I-94 renewals online but had to visit a land border immigration office but did not know what to do now we were here. He asked what visa we had and I explained E-2, but daughter has a new passport. He understood immediately what the situation was and directed us on how to proceed and come back in to the US.

  7. He said, go up the ramp or stairs to the Mexican Immigration Gate, which is a turnstile. Go through that and fill out a Mexican Registration Card, which a Mexican Immigration Official would hand out. After that go into Mexico and turn left then go to the Yellow building and then come back in. It seemed simple enough but we still got a bit confused - probably from anxiety as we were about the leave the US…

  8. We followed his directions up the ramp and through the turnstile. (Keeping the main US Immigration Office Exit Doors on your right, it is in front of you straight up the long set of stairs with ramp on the left). After you go through one of the two turnstiles you enter a corridor straight into Mexican Immigration Border Control. There were three desk and non Mexicans are directed to the right side as you approach the desks.

  9. We were called to one of the immigration desks by an Mexican immigration officer. I explained to her we were passing through just to renew our I-94’s. She understood immediately what we were trying to do and asked us to fill out a Mexican Immigration card on the next desk and give them back to here with our passports when were had completed them. She gave us pens too :slight_smile: We filled out the cards, which are standard for Air, Sea and Land Travel. We entered our names, Dates of Birth, Gender, Country of Passport Issue, Passport Number, Country of Residence (USA). We left blank Airline Number, Hotel or Place of Stay/Destination etc. We gave them back to her and she stamped our passports with an entry into Mexico Stamp and put the bottom half of the card, which has same details as the top half (so you fill the info out twice on each card - Top and Bottom), into our passports and directed us through to the right.

  10. There were three medical staff taking forehead temperatures after the immigration desks and they waved us through after checking us. Then we walked to the right down a corridor with one X-Ray machine for people with bags to have checked with a couple of customs officers checking bags. Then you see the exit gate to the outside just in front to the left.

  11. *At the gate were three heavily armed police/military dressed officers and a couple of border control looking individuals watching as people stepped out of the building. You turn left and there is a long beige walkway and no indication of where you are going or how to get back into the US, and there are flower vendors and others offering goods/services as you walk along the long walkway.
    I tried to turn back after walking a couple of minutes because I though we sere supposed to do a U-turn back into the US and maybe I missed it. A guy saw what I was doing and shouted to me (not at), just keep going the way you were and out the exit.

  12. *The exit is actually another turnstile quite a walk away from the Mexican Immigration building we entered and that is were we were lost and confused. There were no signs we could understand on how to get back to the US as we approached the exit turnstile. There was a guy speaking in American English next to us to I asked him if he knew how we could get back to the US Immigration Office. He said he thought we should just go back the way we came, which I had tried before getting pointed back towards the gate. At this time a Mexican looking lady with a lot of shopping in two big cards was trying to get through the turnstiles but struggling so as the American guy and his friend helped her, she turned around to me and gave instructions on how to get back into the US.

  13. *She said as we came out the turnstile, turn right and go towards the green trees and slopes upwards (that looked like a bridge over a road). There are a row of small stores, so keep on walking past them and then down the other side all the way to the end. There you will find the entrance back into the US. PERFECT!!

  14. So we walked up the slope and to the right past the stores and down the slope to a security gate with a US Border Patrol Guard on it. There was a line up past the shops of about 20 to 30 people but it was moving so no real delay. He asked us what we doing or why were were coming through the entrance (to another outside path), and I told him E-2 Visa holder renewing I-94 due to new passport. He waved us in.

*This is where it can be extra confusing

  1. If you have the I-94 renewal or have a visa and need one renewed then go into the YELLOW building to the right that has the word PERMITS written outside it. At first we waited in a long line, which is to go through BLUE building for customs and border control like you do at the airport. That comes AFTER you get your passport(s) processed in the YELLOW building.

  2. I saw a couple outside the building so left the queue and went to ask them if they new where we should go for an I-94 renewal. They said, inside this YELLOW building. So we went inside and started to walk to a person behind a counter, who told us to take a seat behind us (facing her). There were two active immigration officers at two of about 10 counters.

  3. We were called to another counter and asked what we wanted. I again explained E-2 Visa holders with a daughter whose passport was expiring in 3 weeks so we paid online for an I-94 Land Renewal. He knew exactly what we are asking for and then asked us for our passports. I then offered him the I-94 Renewal Receipt and the most recent I-94’s for all of us as well as Travel History from the I-94 website. He was very polite and yes and thank you. He then asked us to take a seat while he processed them. This was the most nerve-wracking part.

  4. He check and rechecked all the passports, the stamps in them against the travel I-94 Travel History and then called another officer over. She and he spent at good 10 to 15 minutes talking about us, the passports, the travel history, our countries of passport issues and then checking all the documents again (not lease and utilities set, as I still had those in needed). We did not feel good as there seemed to be something wrong or so it seemed.

  5. He then called another immigration officer to check our passports and I-94 documents, and then after about 5 or 6 minutes we got called to the front desk again to speak to all three officers. The last one to check our passports and documents was the one that addressed us.

  6. Basically, he told us everything was in order and then clarified that I paid for three I-94 renewals before saying “That’s good because we are going to issue all three of you with new I-94’s, but we must realize that this will extend out E-2 for two more years as long as we do not leave the US, although travel to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days would be OK.” In that two year period we should get new visas if we were planning to stay beyond the expiry of the new I-94’s. I told the officers that everything was in the hands of the immigration lawyers but delayed for several months due to COVID19, which also meant we could not fly out and back in again. He asked me where we would travel to once things open up again, and I said to see elderly parents/grandparents. He also noticed as I put documents away I had other paperwork and so i mentioned I had prepared apartment lease agreements, utility bills etc., and he smiled and said good job.
    We said we understood everything they had explained and we all thanked him and the others. They then directed back out to join the line (again) to the BLUE building.

Note that a Canadian guy next to us was denied re-entry to the US because they said some information about a company he was working for or was sponsoring him was incorrect. He was told to go back to Canada via Mexico. That actually made us really worried even believed we had everything in order.

COMMENT: We are so grateful to the kind explanation and thoughtfulness of the Land Border Control Officers in that YELLOW building. We think they were debating a few things, such as how come my wife has a Japanese passport but we have UK passports, but they all have E-2’s in them, and the fact the E-2’s expire in about 6 weeks. However, they really seemed to be thoughtful and did their best to make sure everything was in order so we could be issued the new I-94’s. It really meant so much to us after the experiences at LAX over the years.

  1. *After you finish having your I-94’s renewals processed in the YELLOW building, you must (re) join the long queue to the BLUE building. This line moves in stages, so actually faster than it first appears when you join it. They seem to let large groups of people in at a time after the majority of those inside have gone through the customs and border patrol check. As you get to the building entrance there will be a guard to is responsible for letting the groups of people in. Then after that you go into the building, which has three for four armed guards and a sniffer dog, who sniffs everyone going through.

REALITY CHECK: We saw two arrests. One with a guy and other friend trying to make a run for it after the dog seemed to pick something up. They were pounced on immediately and taken away. Then another through the railings at the cars coming through the gates outside, where there was a big commotion as five officers dragged a very big (tall and wide) guy out of his car and took him away in handcuffs. I mention this to you realize that the border patrol officers are dealing with some pretty scary stuff each day, so go through peacefully without making a fuss or complaining as much as it can be really frustrating and confusing at times.

  1. *Well, I though we had been processed in the YELLOW building - Wrong! (ish).
    After entering the BLUE building and seeing all the lines to the immigration officer desks, I went to ask one of the officers by the sniffer dog if we had to go through those desks as we had just had all our paperwork done in the YELLOW building. He said we had to join the line and go through immigration like everyone else. So we waiting in line with about 10 people in-front of us getting divided between two immigration officers at the desks.

  2. An old guy in front of us got marched off to some room by the immigration officer who did not seem happy with some paperwork he supplied. So we were called to the next desk. The officer asked me what the purpose of entering the US was and did we have a visa. I then explained we had E-2’s and had just had our paperwork and I-94 renewals done in the building next door while handing him the passports. He checked them all, scanned them then asked me a few questions about my business, my role and what did my wife and daughter do. I answered and he said here are you passports and you are free to go - PHEW!

  3. We then exited the building through the door as mentioned in numbers #5 & #6 above, so a full loop back into the US, but a much longer walk than I realized it would be, so be prepared for this. Next we headed back to the Mall carpark and started the journey home with a food stop on the way back to Irvine.

  4. It actually took us about 90 minutes or so from entering Mexico Immigration until exiting US immigration, and most of this was walking and waiting in lines. The Mexican Immigration forms and check took about 10 minutes altogether. The I-94 Processing in the YELLOW building took the longest about 20 to 25 minutes altogether. The walk through Mexican Immigration back to US Immigration took about 10 minutes or so with another 10 minutes of trying figure out where we were and how to get back to the US. The US immigration line into the BLUE building and through immigration back into the US, maybe about 20 minutes or so, even longer as we joined it by mistake the first time before going int the YELLOW building.

In closing, again thank you so much to everyone who helped explaining because I really was getting very worried about how to sort our situation out. I hope my long explanation helps others too, and note I used UPPERCASE for YELLOW and BLUE buildings because there is a real difference and it is important you know which one to use first.

If I can answer any questions or provide any other information because let me know. Also, please forgive any typos as its been a very long day and it is now 8:30pm, so this has taken me 90 minutes to write-up while it is still very fresh in my minds.