Frequently Asked Questions - I-94

I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

  1. Locating I-94 Online
  2. Information on Printing I-94
  3. I-94 Corrections
  4. Unlawful Presence
  5. H-4 extension for spouse and child
  6. I-94 Extension Time
  7. Have valid L-1 Visa, but I-94 expires
  8. L2 EAD Renewal based on I -94
  9. Nufield Memo-Are you deportable even if in valid AOS/I-485 pending?
  10. Covid-19/Coronavirus applying for B-2 status
  11. Loss of job/laid off during Covid/Coronavirus times
  12. H-1B visa holders during COVID
  13. Does withdrawing a timely filed application/petition with the USCIS lead to unlawful presence?
  14. Options to Stay in the USA After Expiration of H-1B
  15. I-94 expired -- Unlawful Presence
  16. Status Expiring During the Pendency of an H-1B extension
  17. Unlawful Presence for Minors
  18. Impact of Unlawful Presence
  19. H-1B and Green Card Transfer From a Non-Profit Organization to For-Profit
  20. Can I Get H-4 Visa Stamping While the H-1 to H-4 Change of Status is Still Pending?
  21. H-1B or Other Status Denied - What is my Status?
  22. H-1B Visa Stamping in Canada or Mexico; Importance of I-94
  23. Does H-4 Require a Prior USCIS Approval for Visa Stamping?
  24. I-94 Given for a Shorter Duration at the Airport than the Petition Approval Date
  25. Protection of Section 245(k) for Employment-Based I-485
  26. 60 Days Grace Period for H-1B
  27. H-1B title "Programmers" and USCIS site visits
  28. H-1 I-94 given at the airport for a duration shorter than the H-1 approval, how to extend I-94?
  29. Changing employers after 6 years of H-1 are over
  30. Carry Immigration Documents Every Day
  31. I-94 Given for Duration Shorter than Entitled
  32. Gap in Status
  33. H-1B Laid Off Issues
  34. Correcting dates on I-94
  35. Travel while H-1 extension pending – change in I-94 number
  36. I-94 Admission Record
Locating I-94 Online
I can't locate my I-94 online. What should I do?

If you tried to retrieve your I-94 from the online system and you receive a response that your I-94 is "Not Found", please read the following questions to help you check for mistakes and try to enter the information again:

1. Did you enter your first and last name the same way it appears on your passport?  Please do not use dashes or titles.

2. Did you enter the passport number that appears on the upper right hand side of your passport?

Information on Printing I-94
I do not have an I-94 from my last entry to the US in June, but I need it for my H-1B renewal. What should I do?
I-94 Corrections
Whom should we contact in the case of an erroneously issued I-94 cards, i.e., incorrect expiration date such as when the expiration date matches the visa expiration and not the I-797 approval notice? How do we reach this person? Which Ports-of-Entry (POE) may correct such a card?

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) indicates that, if an I-94 has an error, any POE can correct. If I-94 expiration date is based on the limitation of the travel document (i.e. passport expiration date), then this is not an error that will be corrected.

Unlawful Presence
If a Canadian does not have a Form I-94, does he not accrue unlawful presence until there is a finding that he violated the terms of his nonimmigrant alien status? Is the burden is on CBP to establish such a violation occurred?

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) indicates that the mere fact that there is no I-94 does not determine whether or not an individual overstays. Moreover, an individual who is admitted as a B, but does not receive an I-94 either on the southern or northern border is in a legally materially different status than an individual who is admitted as duration of status.

H-4 extension for spouse and child
We had applied for H-4 extension for my wife and child (1 year) in same I-539 form. We received an approved 797 form for dependents. Applicant's name is my wife's name and beneficiary's name is my daughter’s name. The I-94 in the form contains only my daughter’s number and not my wife's I-94 number. My wife's name is mentioned as a petitioner. Should my wife also have a separate I-94 in the approved 797 form?
I-94 Extension Time
I have a L1-A VISA through company Blanket. I have visa up to 2013. But my blanket expires in 2011-dec. I got I-94 up to Dec-2011. I have already applied for I-94 extension. How long will it take?

It can take a few months. You can apply for premium processing even when the case is filed and pending.

Have valid L-1 Visa, but I-94 expires
I have valid visa till 2013. Last year when I came to US, my passport was about to expire in Dec'2011 and hence I got my I-94 till Dec'2011. Now I have renewed my passport. At the time of entry, the officials said I can apply for extension once I renew my passport. I saw your previous comments "legality of stay in USA is governed by your I-94, not the visa." So my question is how to do L-1 extension?
L2 EAD Renewal based on I -94
Below are the validity dates of my L2 Visa,I-94& EAD: L2 Visa Expiration Date: 18JUL2010 I-94 : 06MAY2011 EAD expiration date: 02OCT2010 I would like to apply for EAD renewal on June 4th, 2010 [120 days before EAD expiration] Since I & my husband have I-94 valid till May 2011, my husband's company is planning to extend L1/L2 visas next year. Will my EAD renewal process have an impact with L2validity? As per my understanding, since I would remain on valid L2 visa after 18 July,2010 for 7 months[till I-94 expiration] can I renew my EAD without necessarily extending my L2visa.
Nufield Memo-Are you deportable even if in valid AOS/I-485 pending?
I have a question on the new very scary and confusing interoffice memo (May 6, 2009) that the acting associate director of USCIS issued regarding unlawful presence. I am currently on EAD/AP since the expiration of my 6 years of H1-b visa on september 3, 2008 with my I-140 approved and my I-485 (PD-october 2, 2004, EB2) pending. According to the example 2 (page 10) of this memo-, anybody with an expired non-immigrant visa is subject to deportation even though his I-485 was filed properly when that person was in proper non-immigrant status and the petition is still pending. My understanding was that once an AOS is filed, I am authorized to stay here and work on EAD and go in and out of USA on AP until that petition is denied. When did this law change?

That example does not make any sense. It appears to be more a clarification of a concept - NOT practice. Do NOT worry. You are fine. If someone has not already done so, I will write USCIS next week after reviewing the entire 51 page memo carefully. Do NOT lose sleep over this.

Covid-19/Coronavirus applying for B-2 status
I came to the US on H1b in 2010. My i140 got approved in Dec 2013. I joined a new employer on 21 Feb 2020. My H1B got approved till 20 Feb 2023, But I did not receive any receipt notice for my wife and my elder son H4. My employer told me that he applied for an H4 visa for my dependents. Unfortunately, I got laid off due to COVID-19 and my employer notified USCIS on 8th June 2020 to revoke my visa. My priority is to find a new job. But in case I do not find any job I would like to move out of the USA, I do not want to accrue unlawful days. But, due to the COVID-19 situation in India, I am scared to travel to India. My wife called USCIS and was asked to email USCIS on"> to notify her of the receipt number of my wife and son. But she has not received any response. I want to stay in the USA until the COVID-19 situation becomes normal. As per the Document COVID Coronavirus Converting to B-1 B-2 status.pdf on your website, I can apply for a change of status to B1/B2?
Loss of job/laid off during Covid/Coronavirus times
I lost job and my last date of employment with the employer is March 20, 2020. This employer sponsored H1B and also had ported GC AOS in 2018.: 1. After my last date of employment (March 20, 2020), how much time do I have to transfer H1B and I-487 to a new employer? 2. Will losing the job affect the EAD renewal in processing? 3. How would it affect I-487 application, which can become current any time soon?
H-1B visa holders during COVID
1. Is H-1B visa holder eligible for unemployment only if laid off or even furloughed? if yes, how do we know that we are eligible? 2. Where can I check my i-94 expiration date? 3. If I now have to change from H1 to B2 due to furlough, and if I have to return back to work later with the same employer, should i have to go out of the country to change back to H1? 4. What are the effects to my H1b if I have to chose using PTO or unpaid leave or combination of both, or if I have to work just 20hrs/week? 5. If I have to apply for a H4 and an EAD, do both of them get approved at the same time? I am asking this because I wanted to know if there could be a gap in my employment after I switch from H1 to H4 waiting for EAD.
Does withdrawing a timely filed application/petition with the USCIS lead to unlawful presence?
1. Can I just withdraw the whole petition? and go out of the country and travel back on H4 2. Will withdrawing the "Extension+Amendment" petition without responding to the RFE make my presence UNLawful for the last 11 months. (I-94 Expired Dec 2018 last year) because I worked on the client on their new address without an approved amendment?
Options to Stay in the USA After Expiration of H-1B
1. I am currently in H1-B more than 10 years in the USA and I have approved I-140 priority date Mar 2011 - EB2. My current employment is getting over in 3 weeks. And my current H1-B and I-94 expires in mid-August 2019. My question is if I am not able to find another job within my H1-B and I-94 expires on Mid August 2019. What are the options available for me to legally stay in the USA after my H1-B and I-94 expires? I have own house. Is there an exceptional case we can file GC EAD? 2. Without a job how many days i can stay in USA before my I-94 expires using I-140?
I-94 expired -- Unlawful Presence
I am H4 dependent visa holder. My I94 expired 9 months ago on Feb 2018 due to old Passport expiration. But my visa is valid until Dec 2019. I have over stayed more than 180days >365 days. I recently realized my mistake.Can you provide the best solution for this I94 problem? Explain please.
Status Expiring During the Pendency of an H-1B extension
1. I have approved I-140, on 7th yr of extension and my current H1B Visa and I-94 valid with emp A until dec 31,2018 based on my latest approval I received in Nov 1st week. I have another 1 month to apply for an extension and I am requesting my employer to apply in premium processing. 1)If my extension is applied in Premium before I-94 expiration but pending beyond my expiration date 12/31/2018, I will be 'out of status' even though 'authorized to stay' until decision is made. Is this correct that this may affect my future H1bs in case it is denied and attract NTA(notice to appear) in future because of my 'out of status' from date of expiration to date of denial or while leaving the country upon denial. 2. Is it better if I leave the country on the last day of my I-94 expiration(Dec 31, 2018) while my H1B extension is pending in order to avoid 'out of status' or 'unlawful presence' scenarios by staying here. If I leave the country while extension is pending in above scenario, is it possible for me to go for consular processing, get VISA stamped after it is approved and enter the US legally? or is h1b extension is considered as abandoned?
Unlawful Presence for Minors
My son’s I-94 and visa are expired in June. We have applied for I-539 for extension in October. Will he be granted the extension.

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Unlawful presence for minors

Video Transcript

For a child under the age of 18 until they hit 18 there is no unlawful presence. They are only out of status. More...


Impact of Unlawful Presence
I am a LPR for 1 year. I married my wife 10 month ago. She came here on a J1 visa that expired 12 years ago and she is out of status. She never filed anything with USCIS except the I-130 9 month ago. The new policy implemented on Aug 9, 2018 for the F,J,M students and accrual of unlawful presence says that she will accumulate unlawful presence starting Aug 9, 2018. If she leaves US after February 5, 2019 she will be subject to 3/10 year bar. She plans to leave shortly before that and wait for her priority date to be current in 1.5 years hopefully. Do you think she can have any problems at the consulate interview if she was out of status for 12 years, and she accumulates close to 180 days of unlawful presence?
H-1B and Green Card Transfer From a Non-Profit Organization to For-Profit
I am currently working for a Non-profit org on a cap-exempt H-1B. and my company initiated my GC processing. Below are the few questions: 1. Is the GC processing any different thru a non-profit from a for-profit organization? meaning, is it any advantageous to process my GC thru a non-profit? 2. Can my I-140 from a non-profit be transferred to a for-profit org, if I was able to move to a for-profit org? 3. What are the possible ways that I could move to work for a for -profit organizations? From your previous calls and thru my research I found out below few ways that I could to that. Please give your inputs a. Finding a profit employer to file my cap-subject H1 (Can I start working for my new employer as soon as my H1b is picked in the lottery or approved, instead of waiting till Oct 1st?) b. If a new employer sponsor my cap-subject H1 and if I dont move to the new employer, will my current cap-exempt H1 be still active and should I have to go under the cap next time I file a Cap-subject H1 c.applying for concurrent H1b d. Moving on to H4EAD and filing a H1b next April e.Joining a Masters CPT college and filing a Cap-subject H-1B next year

Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B and green card transfer from a non-profit organization to for-profit

Video Transcript

1. The answer is No. There is no advantage in going through for-profit or non-profit that's just irrelevant.

Can I Get H-4 Visa Stamping While the H-1 to H-4 Change of Status is Still Pending?
H1 to H4 COS pending from Jul 14 2017. I94 expired Nov 2nd. H4 to B2 applied on Oct 31 2017 as per our attorneys suggestion due to some delay with spouses visa. Spouse's H1 is now approved. I would like to get my H4 as soon as possible and apply for H4 EAD. Can I go to Canada/ any close by country and get my H4 stamping done while the petitions are pending or wait till H4 is approved? or going to India is my only option
H-1B or Other Status Denied - What is my Status?
My I-94 expired on Dec 13th last year. Company filed for extension but RFE….now i will be laid off on Feb 9th and my company will not file for RFE response. How many days do i have to leave the country? Do i need to leave immediately on Feb 9th or can i leave by Feb 13th or 14th ? Will 5 days of out of status impact my future applications ? Also another company has offered me a job. If they file for H1B do they have to do it after I leave the country or can they start it and i can leave in between and do Counselor processing?
H-1B Visa Stamping in Canada or Mexico; Importance of I-94
I am currently working on H1B visa, My current visa stamping is via my previous employer (Employer A) and valid till September 2017 and my I-797 is via my current employer (Employer B) ,its valid till August 2018. I have few queries regarding my new H1B visa stamping and I-94. 1. Can I get my visa stamped in CANADA or any other country nearby to USA without revisiting INDIA. 2. Am I eligible for drop box option for my new stamping as my current stamping is via my previous employer. 3. I can see also my I-94 expiring is September 2017. Do I need to reach out to USCIS to update it, in order to maintain my status.

Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B visa stamping in Canada or Mexico; importance of I-94

Video Transcript

1. You can get your visa stamped in any country which is called Third Country National (TCN) processing. It is a good idea to check with them beforehand. Sometimes if they have too much of a workload, especially in Mexico they might temporarily stop taking TCN's. 

Does H-4 Require a Prior USCIS Approval for Visa Stamping?
My dependents visa stamp on passport expires on Sept 1st 2017 and have valid I-94 till Sept 1st 2017 and this was with the previous employer A I worked for. I moved to a different employer B a year back and haven't filed H4 for dependents with employer B as it was not necessary. Now if my dependents travel to India prior to Sept 1st 2017, do I still need to file for H4 extension or is it good if they attend the interview at consulate in India and get visa stamped on passport without H4 extension using my approved I-797 (till 2019) with employer B.
I-94 Given for a Shorter Duration at the Airport than the Petition Approval Date
I have an approved I-797A with company B valid till 2018 May (attached i94 with same dates). My Visa with Company A valid till 23 Aug 2017 (old passport). I got a new passport in 2015 Dec, which I have applied after moved to company B. I traveled to India in June 2016 and comeback, CBP officer gave me I-94 till 23 Aug 2017 with new passport entry, because of new passport I-94 number changed. My question is I-94 (May 2018) is on my I-797 is still valid or it will valid only till 23 Aug 2017? If valid only till 23 Aug 2017, How to solve this issue with out going out of the country.
Protection of Section 245(k) for Employment-Based I-485
Will there be any issue with my I-485 approval? If it gets denied, will my unlawful presence/out of status be counted from the time my I-94 expired? What should be my next steps?
60 Days Grace Period for H-1B
My Project with My Client will end soon and my employer doesn't have any further projects and asking me to go back to my home country (India) by end of this month. My Visa is valid till Aug 2017 with extension filed. So I am considering to resign on last day of the assignment. ( no new employer found yet). 1) as per new Rule would I be getting the grace period till my I 94 expires i.e till Aug 2017? Is this correct? ( 60 days grace period rule) Also during this Grace period Can I apply for a Change of Status to another non immigrant Visa - F1? (change to a different nonimmigrant classification.) if yes and F1 filed after termination of employment, will this not be considered as timely filed which can result in problems in the future? 2) if F1 is filed Should I start my classes before I94 expiry date or can I Start in September or should I wait till F1 is approved ( after 90 days from date of filing F1)?
H-1B title "Programmers" and USCIS site visits
Brief history - 7th year on H1, 140 approved. 1. Per recent USCIS memo 'H-1B for Programmers - 2017 Guidance'…. if the designation in my current LCA has 'Programmer' word, should I be changing the designation to a different one when I apply for H1 ?renewal? 2. Also in the same memo, it said: "USCIS will now target employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location." ……..what does that mean……between my employer and the end client there is middle vendor…is that in any way related to what's stated above? 3. My most recent H1 is via COS from H4 and is valid until March -18. I will be applying for H1 renewal 6 months before but just in case the renewal doesn't go through, can I apply for a change of status to H4 while I'm here .
H-1 I-94 given at the airport for a duration shorter than the H-1 approval, how to extend I-94?
I have my H-1 extension till 2020. I recently visited India and got visa stamped 2020 as well but while coming back as my passport validity was till Feb 2018 - I got the I94 till Feb 2018. How do I extend my I-94?
Changing employers after 6 years of H-1 are over
1. With my approved I-140 from Company B can Company C use that to file my extension for 3 years. I have a copy of approved I-140. Is it safe to change companies in the 6th year. 2. Using the approved I-140, I have filed H4-EAD for my spouse in Feb 2017 and is yet to receive the EAD approval. If I get it will be only valid till Nov 2017 based on current I-797 validity. So, if H1-B is approved for Company C, can I file extension of H4-EAD 120 days before validity based on that approval. If EAD is provided, it is going to expire on Nov 2017 based on the H1-B's current I-797.
Carry Immigration Documents Every Day
We are on H (H-1B and H-4). For I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, can a printout from the web sufficient? We have US driver's licence, which we carry all the time. Do we need to carry original I-797A all the time?

You must carry the I-94 printout at all times. A photo ID is also important. The evidence of status COULD be in the forms of copies, I think. It is not required, but I recommend you do carry it.

For more on this issue watch this video.


I-94 Given for Duration Shorter than Entitled
On December 18th 2015 I came back to USA on H-4, at that time my old passport was expiring on September 19th 2015 so the Immigration Officer approved my I-94 until September 19. Later I applied for H-1 and it got approved on Feb 2nd 2016 and my H-1 is valid until Ending Validity Date: 12/19/18 with I-94 number in it. I renewed my passport now and I have validity until 2026. Question: Do I have to go for stamping again to extend my I-94 validity? Or since I got new I-94 with my H-1B is that good enough.
Gap in Status
A couple of questions on Gap in status: 1. I am on H-1B and my project/job is going to end on April 29,2016 (Friday). I have my H-4 approved effective May 2, 2016. I will get salary slip from 1 April to 30 April. Do I need to have salary slip for May 1, 2016 (which is a Sunday) to maintain H-1B/ legal status (considering that I won't be getting May 1 to May 31 salary slip). 2. I am currently on H-1B and have an approved H-4 Effective 15 July 2016. As part of my H-4 application (which I had filed along with my spouse extension) , I had requested USCIS to give me H-4 effective date of 13 May 2016 as my project was going to end on 13 May 2016. But, the request was not honoured and USCIS responded citing the reason "Since the beneficiary of the I-539 and I-765 will change status, we cannot give an earlier start date than what is shown on the I-129 approval notice." If my project ends on 13 May 2016 , should I leave the country as my H-4 effective start date is 15 July 2016 to maintain legal status ?
H-1B Laid Off Issues
I have been laid off by my current employer, with severance paycheck coming at regular pay intervals until mid January-2016. Finding a new employment is taking time. I am on H-1B which first started on October 01, 2013, latest I-797 valid until December 2017. 1. How long do I legally have, before I become unauthorized to stay? What constitutes as unlawful presence? 2. My I-94 admission validity is until October 2016; with no employment, does this mean anything? 3. Before I transition into a new H-1B, can I travel outside and into the country, without a Change of Status? Can I use severance pay checks if asked, for entry purposes? 4. Can I use my severance pay stubs as pay stubs when my next employer applies for new H-1B? 5. I am hesitating to inform my next employer about my termination, thinking that this may impact my hiring decision or my ability to negotiate. But not indicating terminated employment, is it possible that my H1B transfer or new petition may be considered unethical? 6. In your experience, how long does the USCIS take to update a revoked H-1B petition in their systems? 7. If my new employer files for H-1B transfer before the update but with pay stubs older than 30 days, do I have to mandatory leave the country for new H-1B stamping before starting to work? 8. If such is the case, is it best to change to a B-2 status and have my next employer apply for new H-1B? If yes, I would assume that I will be cap exempt until September 30, 2019 plus the days spent on B2; would this be a fair assumption. 9. Can my employer continue to pay severance checks when I am on B-2 status? 10. What happens if my new employer applies for H-1B transfer with severance paychecks, after USCIS has updated their records? 11. In your experience, what gap in unemployment is generally ignored by USCIS when filing for new H-1B or transferring new H-1B? 12. What other words of wisdom do you have for me?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

FAQ Transcript:

If you get laid off on H-1B there is no grace period. You get laid off today tomorrow you are out of status.

Correcting dates on I-94
My current visa H-4 VISA is valid till Nov 25 2016. - I had applied for an change of status/extension of stay (I539) for H-4 status to July 4 2018 (through underlying H-1 extension). - I had to travel to India while it was pending. USCIS issued an I-797 - Approval for the extension of stay without abandoning it. - At the port of entry, the I-94 expiry was marked as Dec 25 2016. - The expiry date does not jive with the original VISA expiry date Nov 25, 2016 that was presented at the time of arrival. Nor does it reflect the I-539 extended date of July 4 2018 (that was not presented at port of entry). Please advise - a) What action would I required to correct I-94 expiry date? Who do I contact to correct it? b) I am filing for a I-485 adjustment as a spouse of EB-3, The forms require to put the status expiry date. Is it OK to use the more conservative Nov 25 2016 date even though I-539 has been erroneously approved till July 4 2018?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

Travel while H-1 extension pending – change in I-94 number
I had applied for H-1B extension on May 15, 2015 with I-94 card expiring on Aug 29,2015. Due to some emergency, I traveled to India in June and returned in July with new I-94 card expiring on Nov 2015. Now, it's been 6 months that I applied for extension, no response from USCIS. Will there be any problem since I filed my H-1B extension with old I-94. Do we need to amend my case with new I-94 card?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

I-94 Admission Record
How does a traveler revalidate a visa without their I-94?

The I-94 admission record is created electronically and maintained in CBP systems. CBP will verify the I-94 electronically to re-validate an expired visa if the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revalidation. In order to demonstrate eligibility for automatic revalidation, a traveler may be required to present a copy of the website printout to the air or sea carrier prior to boarding. If entry occurred prior to automation, a paper form must be presented in order to comply with validation requirements.