Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) is the white card issued to an individual when s/he enters the U.S. This document is also attached to the bottom portion of a Notice of Action (Form I-797). The Form I-94 states an individual’s immigration status and its expiration date.

The approval notice sent to an individual (Notice of Action Form I-797) includes a new I-94 card (also known as an Arrival/Departure Record), evidencing immigration status. The individual should attach the bottom right portion, Form I-94, of the original Approval Notice to the initial Form I-94 (the white card stapled in the passport).

Upon leaving the country, individuals are asked to hand in their Form I-94 cards. Individuals should have both the white Form I-94 and the bottom right portion of the original Approval Notice Form I-94. Individual should keep the left bottom portion of the original Approval Notice in their passports (not relinquishing it with the white Form I-94).

Effective April 26, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated the admissions process for most non-immigrants arriving to the U.S. by air or sea. As of that date, these individuals no longer complete a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Instead, CBP creates an electronic Form I-94 based on information collected in its databases to evidence an individual’s lawful admission to the U.S. CBP will continue to stamp the traveler’s passport at the time of inspection and any admission or parole and will annotate the stamp with the class of admission or parole and duration of admission or parole.

Because U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and other government agencies like State Departments of Motor Vehicles still require individuals to submit a paper Form I-94 in connection with benefits applications, you should either request from CBP a paper I-94 upon arrival at the port-of-entry or alternatively and preferably, access and print your own copy of the electronic Form I-94 via CBP’s website: www.cbp.gov/I94 before your next departure from the U.S. as it will no longer be accessible after your departure.

For now, automation will not apply to individuals arriving by land, nor to asylees, refugees and parolees, to whom CBP will instead continue to rely upon a paper Form I-94.

For additional information, please visit the following links:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=0d43e122c38ad310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e7801c2c9be44210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

and

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/03/27/2013-06974/definition-of-form-i-94-to-include-electronic-format.

Feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns.