Home > Department of State, USCIS > Importance of Returning the I-94 Card

Importance of Returning the I-94 Card

March 30, 2011

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) use the arrival/departure document known as Form I-94 to keep a log of entries and exits of a foreign national that enters/exits the United States.  Form I-94 is a white or a green card depending on the type of visa classification used to enter the U.S.  This Form is usually provided to arriving foreign nationals on an airplane or ship shortly before the arrival into the U.S.  At the Port of Entry, the CBP officer reviews the pertinent immigration papers and stamps the I-94 with an entry and an expiry date of the stay in the U.S.  It is highly critical that the foreign nationals leaving the U.S. must, at the time of obtaining the boarding pass at the airport in the U.S., ensure that the I-94 card (which is usually stapled inside the passport) is taken out of the passport.  If the airline representative ignores to take the I-94 away, foreign nationals must volunteer to turn in the I-94.  This helps the USCIS and the CBP in ensuring that you have not over stayed beyond the expiry date stated on the I-94.

If however the foreign national departs the U.S. without turning in the I-94, he/she must courier to the nearest U.S. Consulate the I-94 card along with a brief letter explaining the fact that it was inadvertently left in the passport.  Such I-94 and the letter could be addressed to “Non-Immigrant Visa Unit”, U.S. Consulate [City].  Addresses for the U.S. Consulates around the world could be found by clicking on this link: http://www.usembassy.gov/

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