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Travel Season Reminder: Check Your I-94 Card Expiration Date

3 min read
H-1B visas renewed

With the summer travel season upon us, numerous readers of MurthyDotCom are planning long-awaited trips abroad to see loved ones. Not in their plans is an issue with the expiration date on the I-94 arrival/departure card upon returning to the United States. The importance of checking the expiration date on one’s I-94 card is often overlooked, and such an oversight can lead to difficult issues. This conversation about the I-94 card expiration date gives updates and ideas as to how issues surrounding the I-94 card should be addressed.

Common Issues with I-94 Card / Early Expiration Date

An individual arriving at a U.S. port of section (POE), which could be an airport, seaport, or land crossing, should be inspected by an official from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). A foreign national looking to enter the United States utilizing an H1B or H-4 visa should show the CBP official a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) H1B approval notice, in addition to a valid H1B or H-4 visa in the unexpired passport.

Problems arise when one who is entering the U.S. doesn’t carry or introduce the most recent H1B approval notice. Concerns are also raised when the CBP official depends upon the petition expiration date (PED) from the visa. Rather than an extended expiration date in a most recent H1B extension. This results in the designation of an earlier, incorrect expiration date on the new I-94 card.

Similar issues apply to numerous other nonimmigrant categories. It is not unusual for a traveler to leave the airport or other POE without checking the recently given I-94. Complexities are compounded as the individual fails to see these mistakes. This is frequently the case until a significant period has elapsed.

Expiring Passport May Lead to Shortened I-94 Expiration Date

Another common issue happens when one enters the United States based on a passport with an expiration date that is approaching. While the individual might carry an I-797 approval notice. That is valid for a few additional years. The CBP normally gives only an I-94 card that is valid until the expiration date of the passport. Thus, the individual might be admitted for far less time than the duration. That was anticipated, based on the I-797 approval notice. This, as well, makes issues if it goes unnoticed until well after entry into the U.S.

When to Check I-94 Card

The best time to check one’s I-94 card is when it is first given, before leaving CBP’s essential inspection area at the POE. CBP presently ordinarily issues I-94s electronically, which the traveler can find online almost quickly after issuance. If the foreign national understands that a mistake has been made on the I-94. The individual can raise the worry with CBP at the air terminal or other POE. And hopefully, resolve the error even before leaving the POE. If the I-94 mistake isn’t detected until after leaving the POE, it might still be possible to address the matter through a CBP deferred inspection site.

[US eyes making H-1B more flexible for startups, pacing up the green card process]


What might seem like a small oversight regarding one’s I-94 can spiral into a very challenging immigration situation. Checking one’s I-94 online soon after being admitted to the United States. It can help avoid significant problems months or years later.

Source From: Murthy Law Firm

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