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

I recently (on 6/24, first day after the new EO went into effect) went to San Diego for I94 update and before i go into details, i was able to get the I94 updated.
Now for details, my old password was about to expire in Feb 2021 and i have renewed and got a new one. I parked at the outlet mall which is literally opposite to the San Ysidro West Pedestrial Port of Entry on the US side. Unfortunately it was closed, probably because of Covid 19 and the security people asked me to cross over to Mexico and come back. They didn’t/couldn’t answer any questions. I had to decide to take a chance and cross or come back home, since i traveled from DC i decided to take a chance. It took me about 20 mins to walk across a bridge to Mexico, there was a minimal security check and i was in Mexico. I right away turned and joined the queue to get back into the US it took about 2 hrs to get to the East facility on the Mexico side. The agent was very helpful and understood my situation, for I94 update we have to go to a Yellow building on the right that says Permits, before we go to the actual Entry point. I had to go back there get the I94 updated and then i was allowed to get back in.
If anyone is planning to go there, i am happy to answer any questions.


Hi Manohar- Did you go to Mc D instead of starting from Mall or Pod West building?

Yes, my fiancee got dropped off near the McDonalds and walked from there.
In fact, I was getting ready to share her I-94 extension experience (27-Jun-2020). The walk-through written by multiple users on this thread helped a lot.

  1. After getting dropped off, she talked to an officer outside the blue building about her situation and there was minor snafu. She showed her I-797 with an expiration of Mar2022 but forgot to mention that her most recent I-94 had an expiration date of Aug2020. The officer told her that she doesn’t need to cross border as her I-797 doesn’t expire until 2022. He told her that she can cross at her own risk if she wants and then he went back into the building.

  2. She waited for another 5 mins until a security guy called a supervisor to help her out . I think she explained her situation correctly and she was told to cross the border for I-94 extension.

  3. Rest of the process went smoothly and I think it took at least 2 hours. While waiting in the line, she asked an officer to see if they could let her through but it didn’t work.

  4. One thing to note is that they did not issue a paper I-94. They only stamped her passport with an arrival date and admit until date. I checked the CBP website after the stamping and the"admit until" date was updated to Mar2022.

If anyone is planning to go there, please review this thread thoroughly. Let us know if there are any other questions.

Manhor - Thanks for the reply. After seeing the posts here, I am confused about the buildings. Please see my rest of the questions and clarify/confirm.

  1. Since Ped West building is closed these days, we can skip going there. Can we go directly to Ped East building? Is Blue building and Ped East are the same?
  2. While returning to US we should go to Yellow building first. Actual I-94 work will be done in this building only or we also need to go to Blue building again?
  3. For clarity can you mention the order of buildings that we go through and the purpose of each building.
    I am planning to go 7/2. Thank you all.

Re-entering the United States via san diego with a new approved I-797 Form and Expired Visa ?

Hi Anil / all,

I am on L1A visa with approved petition till March 2021. Group is discussing “I94 extension at San Diego Ysidro US Mexico Border, Old passport expired, Renewed passport”. I was wondering why some one wants to extend I-94 , if they have approved petition . what are benefits? Do excuse me if this question was not a valid one

Thanks everyone for detail descriptions. I was able to update my i-94 today (Jun 30). Everything was smooth and total time taken around 1 hour. Immigration happened at Mexico border too and came back to USA immigration by taking U turn on pedestrian. I too did the mistake to go BLUE building first then diverted back to YELLOW building then again BLUE building, it wasted around 30 mins.

Yellow building is mysterious building, most of the people are missing it. haha.

If you stay past your I-94 expiration date then you become “out of status.” In this case, your visa is automatically cancelled. An overstay can also become “unlawful presence.” This can lead to more problems, including arrest and deportation by U.S. authorities. read more here I-94 Expiration Date | Visa Length and Arrival/Departure Forms.

  1. Yes, you can directly start from the blue building. I am not sure if the Ped east office and the blue building are same or not. Review the annotated satellite image posted by KP in this thread to understand the path.
  2. Once you enter US, you’ll go through yellow building first. This is where you will be interviewed and your date will be updated. After this, you will move on to the blue building. This is where they do a final review of your stamped passport.
  3. Like I said, review the annotated satellite image posted by KP. Also, there are detailed posts from other users in this thread that will clarify this question.

Visa doesn’t get cancelled. I have seen people renewing their I94 even after expiry of i94 and visa valid beyond I 94.

Visa enables you to get entry into USA. Your stay is USA is controlled by i94 expiry date. You can only stay up to your i94 date even though you have visa beyond i94 date. If you have approved petition and you are in US. You can continue to stay in USA. But if you go out of country and comeback then you need visa even if you have approved petition. Hope this helps.

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Hi All , I have medical need to go to Mexico , There is one doctor who can meet my medical needs . I have to go for 5 days . Can i go to mexico only on valid petition(I-94) and expired visa , In my petition , I have new I-94 number which is valid . I want ask fellow people, if there is any issue at border Or it is easy

Here is one rule called

Automatic Revalidation

Re-entering the United States with a Valid I-94 Form and Expired Visa is Limited

What Is Automatic Revalidation?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the United States. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port-of-entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Nonimmigrants who departed the United States for brief travel to Canada, Mexico for thirty days or less;
  • Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.


Has anyone got there i-94 extended ? I have got to get the i-94 extended and I saw this update from CBP that SENTRI is closed till 10th August


Could anyone let me know if there is still a possibility to get the i-94 extended at SENTRI ?

Hi @ash_swa

Did you care to read this update on AVR process durong travel ban before writing the same question multiple times?

You are spamming everywhere without even trying to find solution.

Thank you for all detailed posts. Today (7/2/2020) I went to San Ysidro port of entry, crossed the boarder and get the I-94 extended for my daughter.
I asked few questions earlier about different buildings and the purpose. I try to clarify those things here

  1. Blue Building - San Ysidro port of entry : This is the final building where people will go after crossing from Mexico. It is not required to go here first.
  2. To Mexico : Instead one can follow the directions “To Mexico” found just out side of the above building.
  3. Once you complete formalities at Mexico side, exit into Mexico and take U-turn and join the queue which goes into USA.
  4. Yellow Building : This is the main building where I-94 extension will happen
  5. Blue Building : This is final entry point into USA and so officer will check the validity of Visa.

Overall it is smooth process and expect at least 2 hours of time in the queues.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Online I94 date vs extended H1B I797 I94 date

True ! Worked for me too. I got my i94 extended today -07/03/2020.
The ped west is closed. However, as mentioned above By Kolli we have to walk to the Blue building By walking on the bridge which is to the right of ped west . After walking there exit from the gate and join the line to entre the US and head back back towards blue building. The permit extension happens in the Yellow building. The entire process took 3 hours for me as there is a huge line.

Thanks for this post everyone and Anil. It was really helpful.

Best Regards!

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Hi Manohar:

Thanks a lot for sharing you experience.
A bit confused here while the first officer told her that she doesn’t need to cross border as her I-797 doesn’t expire until 2022, why did the second tell a different story and your fiancee still go across border? Does it still lead to differences?

One more question, did the officer tell her under what conditions one has to cross border? What if I94 expired over 180 days; has valid i797(valid i94 on i797), but H1B visa expired?


Hi Kwan7353,
That happened because she failed to mention that her most recent I-94 was generated at the airport from her last trip. The first officer thought that her I-797’s I-94 is the most recent I-94 and therefore, there wasn’t a need to cross the order. We realized this error and when the second officer came, she clarified her situation.
As for your second question, the officer did not elaborate on the conditions. Is the i94 on your I797 the most recent I94?

Hi Anil ,

If I have valid i797 but visa stamping on old passport is already expired , then can I extend my i94 on US Mexico border? Is valid stamped Visa require to do so ,