H1B layoff - B2 COS pending - new employer I797B, options?


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Dear forum members:


My timeline is as follows:

1. I was laid-off during COVID in June 2020,

2. I petitioned for B2 COS (which is still pending) within 60 days from the last day of employment in June 2020,

3. Today received a new I-797 (no I-94 attached) associated with a new employer with consular processing.


I'm writing to solicit advise and experiences of others who have been in similar situation as mine in the recent past, and who have traveled outside of US and re-entered to acquire a new I-94.

My employers attorney has suggested two options:

1. Travel to San-Diego, and swing across the US-Mexico border to request a new I-94 while entering on the valid H1B visa.

2. Fly to Mexico (Mexico city, Cancun, etc.) and return back immediately and get a new I-94 at the port of entry in the US, again based on the valid H1B visa.  I don't have a Canadian visitor visa, so the northern border is not an option. 

I have read several posts with experiences of individuals who traveled to San-Diego to "renew I-94" based on expired passports, but did not see any where two H1B statuses were separated by a pending B2 COS petition. 

Which option would you suggest I take in acquiring the new I94.  Is there a benefit to go with the land option as opposed to flying internationally?

BTW, I have read that the US-Mexico border is limited to essential travel until Jan. 21, 2021, but have also read posts of individuals who have renewed their I-94 at San-Diego as soon as a few days ago. 

I am thankful for any pointers and suggestions.


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