TN Visa I-94 & Renewal of Passport

Question: I am a Canadian citizen on a TN visa.  I originally applied for my TN visa at the US/Canadian border and received an I-94 for a period of 1 year.  However, I decided to change my employer in Jan. 2010. My current employer filed an I-129 with USCIS, which was approved for a change of employer and extended my stay for another 1 year until Jan. 2011.  My passport was due to expire, but I renewed my passport prior to its expiration and it is now good for 5 years.  My question is: do I have to go over the border and back due to getting a renewed passport to maintain my TN visa status? 

Reply: Have you received a new I-94 since obtaining your I-797 approval notice (e.g. if you traveled outside the U.S.)? If so, what’s the expiration date of this I-94? If the new I-94 is only valid until your old passport’s expiration date, then you’ll need to go back to the border to get a new I-94 that is good until January 2011.

Under recent changes to the passport requirements, upon admission to the U.S., CBP may issue a TN worker’s I-94 card with a validity date coinciding with the expiration of the individual’s passport. In this scenario, a TN worker should return to the border with the renewed passport to receive an I-94 card for the remaining TN period (e.g. as shown in the I-797 approval notice). 

If you have not received a new I-94 card yet, or if you did and it’s validity date coincides with your I-797 approval notice, then you do not need to go back to the border for a new I-94 card. The I-94 will remain valid despite the renewal of your passport.