What is an I-94 record?
The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is an important form for any foreign national who is in the U.S. on a temporary visa, including H-1B, J-1, E-3, and TN visas. It lists the entry and end dates, port of entry, and visa in which the scholar was admitted. Historically, the paper I-94 card has been stapled into a scholar’s passport when he or she enters the U.S. The I-94 record may be required for I-9 employment verification and other official purposes.
Starting May 2013, any scholar who comes through an air or sea port into the U.S. will receive a stamp in their passport; scholars can use the information in this stamp to access their electronic I-94 record. Scholars who come through a border crossing will still receive a paper I-94 card.
How do I access my electronic I-94 record?
We strongly recommend that all scholars access and print their electronic I-94 record, check that the details on it are correct, and keep it for their records. As soon as you are admitted or re-admitted to the U.S., you should visit the Customs and Border Protection website at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/ and follow the instructions there in order to print a paper copy of your electronic I-94 record. This should be kept with your other immigration documents. Scholars on J-1 visas should bring the printed I-94 record with them to a scheduled check-in session. ISO will not be responsible for accessing or printing electronic I-94 records.
What if there is a mistake on my electronic I-94 record?
Sometimes the Customs officer may make an error on your electronic I-94 record. Some errors, especially those regarding visa type or “admit until date” (date of expiration), can be harmful to your immigration status. If you see an error on your electronic I-94 record, it may be possible to have it corrected. Contact ISO immediately at [email protected] to talk to an advisor about this issue.
What happens to my I-94 record when I leave the country?
If you have a paper I-94 card, that card will be removed from your passport when you exit the country to go overseas, but not if you exit the country to go to Canada, Mexico, or most islands in the Caribbean. A new I-94 record will be issued when you reenter the country. If you have an electronic I-94 record, your departure information will be collected by the U.S. government from airline manifests; under these circumstances, nothing will be collected from you. If you have an electronic I-94 record, but leave the U.S. by a border crossing, Customs and Border Protection recommends that you take other proof of your exit with you.
How can I get more information on I-94 records?
If you have questions about your I-94 record, or want to share an experience you’ve had with the new electronic I-94 system, please feel free to contact ISO ([email protected]). If you want more information regarding the electronic I-94 system, please check the CBP website at http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/i-94-instructions.