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NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Monday, April 15, 2013

I-94 Automation Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has advised detailed information with regard to automated CBP Form I-94 which my go into effect soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Form I-94?

Form I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record issued to aliens who are admitted to the U.S., who are adjusting status while in the U.S. or extending their stay, among other things. A CBP officer generally attaches the I-94 to the non-immigrant 4 for the air and sea ports of entry. Travelers will visitor's passport upon U.S. entry. The visitor must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date stamped on the I-94.

How will the new I-94 automation impact international travelers' entry to the U.S.?

I-94 automation will not impact a traveler's ability to enter the U.S. CBP will continue to create an I-94 record for all travelers who require one, but the paper form will be created in an electronic format and not provided to the traveler. If a traveler requires a paper version of Form I-94, it will be available at www.cbp.gov/I94

Will CBP provide a traveler with any documentation or evidence showing status and time allowed in the U.S.?

Yes. CBP will provide each traveler with an admission stamp that shows the date of admission, class of admission and admitted-until date. The electronic arrival/departure record can be obtained at www.cbp.gov/I94.

Will travelers need to do anything differently when exiting the U.S.? How can they be sure their departure will be recorded properly with this new the I-94 automation process?

Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Travelers issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or CBP upon departure. The departure will be recorded electronically with manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94 and the record was created electronically, CBP will record their departure using manifest information obtained from the carrier.

How does a traveler revalidate a visa without their I-94?

The I-94 admission record is created electronically and maintained in CBP systems. CBP will verify the I-94 electronically to re-validate an expired visa if the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revalidation. If entry occurred prior to automation, a paper form must be presented in order to comply with validation requirements. For more information about automatic revalidation go to http://www.cbp.gov/.

Will CBP still issue a paper Form I-94 once the automation begins?

No. Rather than distributing a paper Form I-94, CBP will scan a traveler's passport, generating an electronic arrival record with data elements found on the current paper Form I-94. CBP will make the electronic I-94 available at www.cbp.gov/I94. Travelers may visit this website to print their electronic I-94 number before applying for immigration or public benefits, such as a driver's license or a Social Security number.

Since automation only affects air and sea arrivals, a paper Form I-94 is still issued at the land border ports of entry. Also, CBP intends to continue to provide a paper Form I-94 to certain classes of aliens, such as refugees, certain asylees and parolees, and whenever CBP determines the issuance of a paper form is appropriate.

What if a traveler does not have a foreign passport for CBP to stamp?

Individuals without a foreign passport will be sent to CBP's secondary inspection upon arrival into the U.S., where they will receive their electronic I-94 number. These individuals will be issued apaper I-94 with the pre-printed number crossed out, and the actual electronic I-94 number handwritten upon it.

Employers and agencies can expect refugees, asylee follow-to-joins, parolees and others who do not have any other travel document to have these I -94s.

What should a traveler do if he or she was admitted incorrectly to the U.S.?

If an applicant was admitted incorrectly to the U.S., the applicant should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or port of entry to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and ports of entry can be found at www.cbp.gov, under the "Ports" link at the bottom of the page. If an applicant received an incorrect I-94 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the applicant should refer to Form I-102 available at www.uscis.gov/forms.

Will the process help expedite passenger processing time?

The I-94 automation will expedite passenger processing. CBP automated the I-94W process in 2010, which independent studies show has resulted in an approximate 20-second time savings per passenger. CBP estimates that I-94 automation will result in similar time savings.

What is the I-94 website (www.cbp.gov/I94)?

Travelers may visit www.cbp.gov/I94 to retrieve their electronic I-94 number. Upon entering the U.S., travelers will receive a paper with instructions on how to access the website.

For more information, please feel free to contact the Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group at 201-670-0006 or by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com.


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