CBP to Rollout New Arrival/Departure-Record (I-94) Process for Foreign Visitors

Newsletter Vol. XXIII, no. 06, April 24, 2013, Issue No. 2

April 17, 2013, Foreign visitors arriving in the U.S.—only via air or sea—who need to prove their legal-visitor status—to employers, schools/universities or government agencies—will be able to access their U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrival/departure record information online when the agency starts its records automation on April 30, 2013. When the electronic rollout begins on April 30, CBP will no longer require international non-immigrant visitors to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival to the U.S. by air or sea. The agency will gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. This automation will streamline the entry process for travelers, facilitate security and reduce federal costs. Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

CBP will phase-in the Form I-94 automation at air and sea ports of entry through April and May. CBP has issued an implementation schedule for different ports of entry. Foreign visitors will continue to receive the paper Form I-94 until the automated process arrives at their port of entry. Once the automation is implemented, if travelers need the information from their Form I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available at CBP.gov/I94.

With the new CBP process, a CBP officer will stamp the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler. The admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that the traveler’s class of admission expires. Travelers will also receive on arrival a flyer alerting them to go to CBP.gov/I94 for their admission record information.

Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 would surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP. For more information and for answers to frequently asked questions, visit CBP’s Form I-94 webpages.

Summary of changes, and
our suggestions:

  • Starting April 30, 2013,
    paper I-94 cards will begin to be phased out at airports and seaports as per
    the implementation schedule announced by CBP.
  • After entering the U.S.,
    foreign nationals should consider printing out I-94 entry records through the
    CBP website. Multiple copies are recommended and a copy should be given to the
  •  If the information is
    incorrect, contact the CBP at the port of last entry.
  •  Have available a printed
    copy of the I-94 card when applying for a driver’s license or social security