Effective April 30, 2013, US Custom and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer require foreign travelers to fill out a paper form I-94 upon arrival to the US by air or sea. Instead, CBP will gather foreign travelers’ information automatically from their electronic travel records provided by the carriers.
Additionally, under the new I-94 automation process, a CBP officer will stamp the foreign traveler’s passport with an admission stamp listing the traveler’s date of admission, class of admission and the date that the traveler is admitted until, and NOT issue a paper form I-94 (other than for at land border port of entries). Foreign nationals who want a copy of their I-94 will need to print them out from the CBP website (www.cbp.gov/I94).
Although optional, we recommend that all foreign nationals obtain a printout the I-94 record after each and every entry to the US because I-94 records are still required for immigration paperwork, I-9 verification, applying for a social security card and applying for a driver license.
I-94 will no longer be available for printing once one departs the US or once one’s authorized stay in the US has expired. As such, we recommend all foreign nationals do the following after each entry to the US:
- Go to the CBP website at www.cbp.gov/I94;
- Check to make sure all personal information such as name, date of birth, etc. are correct;
- Check to make sure the class of admission (e.g. H1/H4/L1, etc.) is correct;
- Check to make sure the date of authorized stay is correct;
- If there are no errors, print out a copy of the I-94 form for your record and email a digital copy to the law firm; and
- If there are errors, contact CBP immediately to get the errors fixed.
Foreign nationals departing the US still need to turn in their previously issued paper Form I-94 card to the carrier or CBP. If a paper Form I-94 was not received, CBP will record the departure electronically by using the information provided by the carrier.