Posts Tagged ‘I-94 Form’

CBP Plans to Discontinue I-94s, No Longer Stamping I-20/DS-2019 Documents

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in the process of automating traveler arrival/departure records and will be eliminating at international airports and seaports the paper version of Form I-94, the white card placed in most foreign nationals’ passports that denotes the date of their admission as well as their status and authorized period of stay.  Instead, the traveler will receive a stamp in their passport with a handwritten code of admission (such as H-1B or O-1) and period of admission. Under the plan, nonimmigrants arriving at land borders, and certain classes of arriving foreign travelers, such as refugees, will continue to be issued a paper Form I-94.

The reasons for eliminating the I-94 paper form are two-fold: (1) CBP already has access to the information gathered on the I-94 through the foreign national’s application for a nonimmigrant visa and the Web-based Advance Passenger Information System (APIS); and (2) eliminating Form I-94 will save the agency money and resources.

Since first announcing its plans to implement a paperless I-94, CBP has received concerns from federal and state agencies about the impact on their programs that use the document for an identifier. For example, what will state DMVs require? And, what will the Social Security Administration require for SSNs? CBP also has not yet fine-tuned an online systems query capability that must be in place before the paper record is eliminated.  While implementation of the paperless I-94 is still some months away, it is clearly on the horizon.

Meanwhile, CBP has already implemented another change for certain arriving nonimmigrant visa holders. CBP officials are no longer stamping prospective or returning foreign students’ Form I-20s and exchange visitors’ DS-2019s at ports of entry. Instead, CBP is using an electronic system to adjudicate the individual’s status notation. The stamping of the Form I-20 / DS-2019 had been a longstanding USCIS procedure, and thus USCIS is apparently reaching out to other agencies to inform them of the change, since many agencies require these stamps prior to granting benefits.

“I Forgot to Turn in My I-94 Form! What Do I Do?”

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Occasionally, a nonimmigrant visa holder forgets to relinquish his or her I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) when departing the United States. In such instances, it is possible that the individual’s departure was not recorded properly, and CBP may conclude that he or she remained in the U.S. beyond the authorized stay. If this happens, the next time the person attempts to enter the U.S. the visa may be subject to cancellation or the person may be returned immediately to his or her foreign point of origin. What’s the person do to?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides the following advice: If the departure was by a commercial airline or cruise ship, the departure from the U.S. can be independently verified, and no further action is necessary. (Nevertheless, holding on to and presenting, if necessary, the outbound boarding pass can help expedite reentry in the U.S.) If, however, the departure was by land, private vessel, or private plane, the individual should take steps to correct the record. CBP further cautions that under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), visitors who remain beyond their permitted stay in the U.S. cannot reenter the U.S. in the future without obtaining a visa from a U.S. consulate. (VWP travelers who enter Canada or Mexico by land for an onward flight should, in particular, register their timely departure if their green I-94W was not taken when they exited the U.S, which often is the case.)

For those who fail to turn in their I-94 Departure Record, send the I-94 along with any documentation that proves the departure from U.S. to: DHS-CBP SBU, 1084 South Laurel Road, London, KY 40744. Do not mail to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. CBP will consider a variety of information that proves departure from the U.S., including original boarding passes, entry stamps to another country, subsequent paystubs from abroad, bank deposit records showing transactions abroad, school records from abroad, credit card receipts showing purchases made abroad, etc. The Kentucky office above does not answer correspondence, so such individuals are advised to keep copies of documentation submitted to correct their record.