Home > USCIS > What You Need to Know About Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Changes

What You Need to Know About Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Changes

May 20, 2013

A few days ago, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection began implementing automation of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure record.  What this new program does is that it eliminates the issuance of a paper Form I-94.  Thus, when a foreign national arrives via air or sea at any of the ports currently implementing the program, he or she will simply receive a stamp in the passport with a) arrival date, b) nonimmigrant visa classification, c) date of expiration of stay in the U.S., and d) USCIS or SEVIS case#, if any.

If foreign nationals prefer to have a copy of the I-94 record, although legally not required to do so, they may visit www.cbp.gov/I94 to retrieve and print a copy of the I-94 record.  We strongly urge that you print a copy of the I-94 for your records.  This also ensures that the data showing up on the CBP database matches the information on the stamp in your passport. It also helps to have a copy of the I-94 printed for various other purposes such as driver’s license, social security application, extension or change of visa status application filing with USCIS among other things.

The program implementing automation of Form I-94 began April 30 with airports including Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Miami International Airport, and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport that week, continuing across the nation through May 21.  CBP says that the automation of Form I-94 means that affected visitors (those arriving via air or sea) will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs.  It is imperative to note that at this time, refugees, asylees, and parolees will continue to receive a paper Form I-94 from CBP at land, air, and sea ports of entry (POEs).

What does a foreign national need in order to retrieve/print an electronic Form I-94:

  • Family/Last Name: (as it appears on your visa stamp or other travel document)
  • First Name: (as it appears on your visa stamp or other travel document)
  • Birth Date: Format MM/DD/YYYY
  • Passport Number:
  • Country of Issuance: (In other words, your country of citizenship)
  • Date of Entry: (i.e. into the United States)
  • Class of Admission: (For example H-1B, L-1, etc.)

Please note that the arrival record in the form of electronic I-94 will be available for retrieval and printing until a foreign national departs the United States.  An admission record will no longer be available to the foreign national on the CBP website once he or she departs the United States.

A word of caution to those traveling from the United States to Canada or Mexico via land:  If you have a paper form I-94 and depart by land, you can turn the form into Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon entry into Canada or to CBP at the port of entry prior to entering Mexico. If you received an electronic I-94 upon arrival by air or sea and depart via land, your departure may not be recorded accurately.  A departure will be recorded if you depart via land and re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped in your passport.  If you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an electronic I-94 and depart via land, but do not re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped on your passport, you may want to travel with evidence of your departure into Canada or Mexico.  Evidence of departure can include, but is not limited to, entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and/or other receipts. A traveler can request an entry stamp from CBSA when entering Canada or from the InstitutoNacional de Migracion (INM) when entering Mexico.

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