April 30, 2013 marks the beginning of a gradual process started by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to automate the issuance of form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record for arrivals and departures from air and sea ports of entry (POEs). In an effort to streamline the process of documenting legal status of nonimmigrant visitors in the US, the CBP will no longer require the filling out of a paper I-94 form upon arrival in the United States at air and sea POEs starting this week with a select few airports. After this week the phasing out of paper I-94 forms at air and seaports will gradually spread to other areas of the country. Arrivals to the US through land POEs will still require issuance of a paper I-94.
Despite not receiving an I-94 form, arriving visitors will receive a stamp in their travel documents and keep track of visitor’s travel information electronically. The stamp will show similar information as the I-94, such as the visitor’s date of admission, class of admission, and the date that authorized stay expires. If the visitor needs to access their I-94 information they may do so by accessing a new website used in the automation process: CBP.gov/I94. On this website visitors will need to list their family name, first name, date of birth, passport number, country that issued the passport, date of entry, and class of admission to access their online I-94 form. Stamps in visitor’s travel documents will evidence nonimmigrant status but aliens may still wish to obtain and print their I-94 information from CBP.gov/I94 for employment verification purposes or as additional evidence of status.
This process begins today and will last throughout the month of May. Not all air and sea POEs will change to the automated system at the same time. Beginning April 30 and lasting through Friday May 3 the following POEs will start to make the transition to automated I-94 issuance:
If you arrived at any of these POEs starting April 30 and did not receive or fill out an I-94 you should have received instructions to go to CBP.gov/I94 to access your admission record information if desired. Similarly, if you did not fill out and maintain a physical I-94 form, you should ensure that you received a stamp in your travel document showing date of admission, class of admission, and the date that authorized stay expires.
After the implementation of automated I-94 record keeping in the above 6 airports, the process will continual incrementally to other regions. During the week of 5/7/2013 air and sea POEs in the jurisdiction of the following field offices will begin to implement automated I-94 record keeping:
In the following week (5/14/2013) air and sea POEs within the following field offices and Pre-Clearance practices will begin automating I-94 issuance:
In the following week (5/21/2013) all remaining air and sea POEs will begin automating I-94 issuance.
Once the paperless system is in place visitors will arrive and depart the United States from air and sea POEs without needing physical I-94 forms. Arrival and departure information will be tracked electronically for DHS purposes and nonimmigrant status information will be stamped into passports or other travel documents. If you arrive after implementation of this process without needing an I-94 form, you will not be required to surrender such or similar form upon departure. If you arrived in the United States before or during the implementation and received an I-94 form from CBP, you will surrender it upon departure. Land POE crossings will still require physical I-94 forms.
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