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Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Old Aug 31st 2021, 2:22 pm
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Default Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Advice and experienced welcome! We’ve applied for our E2 renewal but due to COVID delays, our i94 needs to be extended before our visa expires and leaves us ‘landlocked. Has anyone else done this recently and/or more specifically at Otay Mesa?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

What does "our i94 needs to be extended before our visa expires and leaves us ‘landlocked" mean? If you leave and re-enter the US on your visa now, you will be admitted for a new period of stay, but your visa will still expire when it does. What's the difference between that and applying for Extension of Stay inside the US (other than the cost)?
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by ecpb1992 View Post
Advice and experienced welcome! We’ve applied for our E2 renewal but due to COVID delays, our i94 needs to be extended before our visa expires and leaves us ‘landlocked. Has anyone else done this recently and/or more specifically at Otay Mesa?

Thanks!

Isn't exiting to Canada or Mexico considered to be "flagpoling," which does not reset the I-94?
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by newacct View Post
What does "our i94 needs to be extended before our visa expires and leaves us ‘landlocked" mean? If you leave and re-enter the US on your visa now, you will be admitted for a new period of stay, but your visa will still expire when it does. What's the difference between that and applying for Extension of Stay inside the US (other than the cost)?
Applying for an extension of stay on E2 via USCIS instead of via the embassy in London, leaves you landlocked. As soon as you exit the US, you have to reapply at your home country.


We therefore are renewing our visa via London, however due to COVID delays in processing our i94 will expire before we are able to get our renewal through.



So that we do not become ‘out of status’, we need to renew our i94 by either exiting and entering the US so that it extends its validity period. This has to be done before the expiration of our current visa. Due to COVID restrictions, reentering the US is problematic and requires tests etc depending on which way over the border you go. We have two young children, and whilst they are US citizens, I would prefer to not put them on a plane just for the purpose of crossing the border right now.



Many others have managed to renew or ‘extend’ their i94 at the border to Mexico and I was looking to see if anyone has experience with that.



An already stressful enough process made even more stressful by COVID - yay.

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Old Aug 31st 2021, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Isn't exiting to Canada or Mexico considered to be "flagpoling," which does not reset the I-94?
From an ESTA perspective yes, but not sure on I-94. There is a processing center in Otay Mesa that allows you to extend without physically crossing the border. I know of others recently that have done it but wanted to see if there was anyone floating around on this forum that also had.

Last edited by ecpb1992; Aug 31st 2021 at 6:28 pm.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

My situation was that my L1 extension (now a GC-holder) was approved 5/20/21 and my I-94 was expiring 5/31/21 (11 days only for contingency).

I knew I had to do a same-day roundtrip flight from LA to Cabos to renew my I-94. (If the L1 extension didn’t come through I’d have used my combined AP/EAD for entry.) I did my Covid-19 test at LAX, and used that for inbound travel. The flight was uneventful (2h each way) with a 2h turnaround time at Cabo. Upon landing in the U.S. I explained to CBP that I have a new I-797 and they issued a new I-94 valid for two more years (as per the I-797).

The land border with Mexico is still restricted to essential travel and so my suggestion is that you do a same-day roundtrip flight instead.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by destone View Post
My situation was that my L1 extension (now a GC-holder) was approved 5/20/21 and my I-94 was expiring 5/31/21 (11 days only for contingency).

I knew I had to do a same-day roundtrip flight from LA to Cabos to renew my I-94. (If the L1 extension didn’t come through I’d have used my combined AP/EAD for entry.) I did my Covid-19 test at LAX, and used that for inbound travel. The flight was uneventful (2h each way) with a 2h turnaround time at Cabo. Upon landing in the U.S. I explained to CBP that I have a new I-797 and they issued a new I-94 valid for two more years (as per the I-797).

The land border with Mexico is still restricted to essential travel and so my suggestion is that you do a same-day roundtrip flight instead.
Great you got it done with no issues! We’re actually heading to Otay Mesa in the morning to see if we are successful without having to cross the border but are prepared to do a short Cabo trip next week if not. Doing a round trip in a day would be ideal if it were just my husband and I but with a 7month old and 4yo in tow it’s not much fun for anyone 😂
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by ecpb1992 View Post
Applying for an extension of stay on E2 via USCIS instead of via the embassy in London, leaves you landlocked. As soon as you exit the US, you have to reapply at your home country.
But the same thing is true if you leave and re-enter and get admitted for a new period -- after your visa expires, as soon as you exit the US, you will need to apply for a US visa before you can re-enter the US. I don't see the difference.

Originally Posted by ecpb1992 View Post
So that we do not become ‘out of status’, we need to renew our i94 by either exiting and entering the US so that it extends its validity period.
Or, your employer can apply for Extension of Stay before your I-94 expires, and you can stay in the US for as long as the Extension of Stay application is pending.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by newacct View Post
But the same thing is true if you leave and re-enter and get admitted for a new period -- after your visa expires, as soon as you exit the US, you will need to apply for a US visa before you can re-enter the US. I don't see the difference.


Or, your employer can apply for Extension of Stay before your I-94 expires, and you can stay in the US for as long as the Extension of Stay application is pending.

I’m an E2 spouse, my husband is an E2 visa holder as a business owner. We cannot get an extension of stay application. The i94 will expire before our visa is renewed as the application process is lengthy. We are aware we will be landlocked whilst the application pending as our visa will without doubt expire before we can get an appointment in London.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

I, too, find your posts to be confusing in light of your stated goals. I would not be surprised if you do not have a basic understanding of how the visa and concomitant stay provisions work. (It can be confusing to intelligent people and misunderstandings are common).

You may want to consult with your lawyer and and allow her to explain things.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by ecpb1992 View Post
I’m an E2 spouse, my husband is an E2 visa holder as a business owner. We cannot get an extension of stay application.
Why not? Your husband's employer can file I-129 for Extension of Stay for him, and you and the kids can file I-539 for Extension of Stay based on that.

Last edited by newacct; Aug 31st 2021 at 9:50 pm.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
I, too, find your posts to be confusing in light of your stated goals. I would not be surprised if you do not have a basic understanding of how the visa and concomitant stay provisions work. (It can be confusing to intelligent people and misunderstandings are common).

You may want to consult with your lawyer and and allow her to explain things.
Thanks - I agree my original post was confusing, I wrote it very quickly this morning and cannot go back to edit. It’s a very specific situation we’re in due to COVID which is likely only understood by those who have also been through the same thing in the last 12 months (very few I imagine!).

We have a lawyer we have used for multiple (successful) applications through the years & have taken their advice. We have also applied for our renewal so I am not concerned about my understanding of what I need to do to ensure we have followed the correct steps. My only query was in regards to others that have had to do the same thing due to the pandemic and looking to here their experiences. Appreciate your wanting to help, apologies if the goal of my post was not clear to you.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by newacct View Post
Why not? Your husband's employer can file I-129 for Extension of Stay for him, and you and the kids can file I-539 for Extension of Stay based on that.
Sorry this is confusing to you - my husband doesn’t have an employer - he owns the E2 business. As I just pointed out to another forum member, we have already applied for our renewal and an extension of stay is not possible for us. We just need to ensure that our I-94 does not expire whilst our application for renewal is under adjudication.
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Old Sep 1st 2021, 3:52 am
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by ecpb1992 View Post
Sorry this is confusing to you - my husband doesn’t have an employer - he owns the E2 business. As I just pointed out to another forum member, we have already applied for our renewal and an extension of stay is not possible for us. We just need to ensure that our I-94 does not expire whilst our application for renewal is under adjudication.
Then your husband would file the I-129 himself for Extension of Stay. Your statement "an extension of stay is not possible for us" does not make any sense. All of you can apply for extension of stay if you are in status. There is no reason why you would be able to leave and re-enter, but not be able to extend status. The fact that you started an application for a new visa at a US consulate is irrelevant.
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Old Sep 1st 2021, 4:06 am
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Default Re: Has anyone extended their I-94 at the border?

Originally Posted by newacct View Post
Then your husband would file the I-129 himself for Extension of Stay. Your statement "an extension of stay is not possible for us" does not make any sense. All of you can apply for extension of stay if you are in status. There is no reason why you would be able to leave and re-enter, but not be able to extend status. The fact that you started an application for a new visa at a US consulate is irrelevant.
Thank you for your reply but there’s a great lack of relevance in your replies to the original question I was asking on this forum and the goal for this post. We are NOT filing with the USCIS an extension of stay for our visa after seeking legal advice and have chosen to only re-apply in our home country for a multitude of reasons.

We have made our decisions on the route we need to take and filing for the extension of stay still does not negate the fact that our I-94 needs to be renewed. An extension of stay would not be returned before the I-94 expires due to severe USCIS backlogs, so it is somewhat a moot point. If you have any experience in renewing I-94’s during COVID, I will welcome a response but I don’t wish to get into a debate about anything else regarding our visa status or the ‘right’ route to take to renew or extend.

Have a great day.
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