I-94 Extension At San Ysidro Border (Tijuana, Mexico)


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My I-94 got extended at Tijuana border on March 7th 2015 (Saturday), would like to share my experience.


Note: Some Important Points to be noted here to avoid confusion, I will try my best to share each and every point so that it will be easy to others!!


1) Drove from Bay Area,CA on March 6th 2015 (Friday) @10:00PM, reached San Ysidro border on March 7th 2015 (Saturday) @5:45AM PST.
2) Parked my Car behind 'Jack in the Box' parking space. Parking Address: 721 E San Ysidro Blvd, San Diego, CA 92173, paid $7 for 8 hours
3) Crossed the border by feet, you see signs "Pedestrian path to mexico", just follow the path and you see "Revolving Door" to enter Tijuana.
4) After passing Revolving Door you will see the people waiting/passing in lines to enter the USA, lines go towards right, ****dont go left****.
5) Dont join the "General Public" line, keep passing from the right most way, you see two gates one for "General Public" and other Gate for "I-94/Permits".
6) Once you enter that "I-94/Permits" Gate, you will see the CBP office building on the right.
7) Entered into the CBP office around 6:00AM PST.
Officer: officer asked what do you want? 
Me: surprised to hear that, but anyways told him I came for I-94
Officer: told me go to the next counter and pay $6 cash to get I-94
Lady officer: went to the lady officer, showed my passport and asked her I-94.
Lady officer: She looked at my Visa on old passport and saw the Visa validity till May 2016 and told you don't require I-94.
Me: Again surprised to hear that :) gave her I-797 approved copy as well.
Lady officer: officer saw the port of entry stamps on opposite page of Visa, she saw 29 May 2016 date on one of the  stamp, she said you don't require I-94.
Me: reason for that stamp on my passport: in June 2013 when I came from India CBP officer in SFO by mistake didn't  check the passport expiry date and entered Visa expiry date, which is May 2016, even in 2014 I went to India but that time CBP officer in SFO stamped till passport expiry April 11th 2015.
Me:  I have couple of port of entry stamps on opposite page of Visa, since I travel to India more frequently.
Lady officer: She verified I-797 and she noticed the I-94 on the I-797 approved copy, she again told me that you have I-94 in your I-797 so no new I-94 required.
Me: Since I have not detached the old I-94 on my I-797 she got confused, she said that she will check with the senior officer.
Lady officer:  she went to officer and told the situation, he said that she is right and I don't require new I-94
Lady officer:  she came back to me and told you are good, no I-94 required!!!
Me:  Now I understood the situation and the officers knowledge on I-94.
Lady officer came out of the room after taking to officer and she came to me with my passport and I-797 and she is trying to convey that I dont require I-94.
I clearly told her that, if you see my opposite visa page on passport you see multiple port of entry stamps, she said yes I can see that, told her each time I go out of the country and while coming back to USA the CBP office in airport looks for my Visa validity and passport expiry and puts the stamp, if the passport expires before the Visa expiry date, they put the date of passport expiry. With all these explanation I showed her last port of entry stamp and the date on it, which is April 11th 2015, I told her since the I-94 is online, my online status show that my I-94 is valid till April 11th 2015, so I came here to cross the boarder to update my I-94. Finally!!!! she understood and said Okay I will give you I-94, please pay $6 cash she gave I-94 paper copy  (Blank copy) and asked to go to CBP officer!!!
Hold on Guys!!! story not done yet!!!! :)
Note: Lady officer in the room will only verify whether we need I-94 or not and will issue  I-94 paper copy  (Blank copy) only by taking $6 cash, main information in I-94 will be updated by CBP officer in the same office.
Joined the Line and went to  CBP officer, CBP officer took the passport, I-797 and I-94 paper copy (Blank copy), Officer after seeing the I-797 and my Visa he told the same story that I don't require I-94, again repeated the same story to the officer and finally gave me paper copy of I-94 and updated it online as well!!!! :)
Once done with the I-94 came out of that building and joined the General public line to enter USA, CBP officer asked why I came to mexico, told him that I came to update my I-94 and said I am work in USA on H1B, he verified my visa and I-94 on the passport and he said you are good to go, while coming out I passed my bag through security scanner for  screening and collect the bags once done, Finally Came out the building entered USA!!!!
Total time : 6:00AM to 7:30AM PST, go early to avoid wait times in Lines.
Guess What caused Confusion here????
Yes...you got it! I-94 on your I-797 Approved Copy!!!
Remove the I-94 on your I-797 Copy and explain your situation to CBP officer to get your I-94, CBP officers in San Ysidro (Tijuana) boarder are very polite and friendly!!!! :)
Key Points & Documents:
1)Make sure you carry both old and new passport
2)I-797 Approved Copy Original
3)Employment Verification Letter
4)Make sure you have Valid H1B Visa on you passport to enter USA
5)No Mexico visa required to enter Mexico, since you are crossing the boarder by walk!
6)Carry latest pay stubs


Note: If you traveling to the San Ysidro boarder by Car, don't travel with your friends who doesn't have the valid visa in their passport (people who have valid I-797 but expired Visa in passport), if you miss the last exit you enter into Mexico and they will be in trouble coming back to USA!


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  • 3 months later...

Thank you for your detailed post. This and other related posts were very helpfull. I managed to get a new I-94 on July 1st at San Ysidro. Along with this i would recomend people to look at the youtube video also try Bing or Google street view for the parking to get yourself familiar with the area.

US -> Mexico : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V8HgWAAuvM



The CBP officer asked for I797 and didn't look into it. He asked are you a tourist? I said no, i came here for I-94.

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