I-94 Record Goes Alphanumeric

The I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record Card that the United States government uses to keep track of the arrivals and departures of foreign nationals. Beginning May 2019, CBP is no longer using the 11-digit long number for the I-94 and is instead switching to alphanumeric I-94 numbers. The number will remain 11 characters, but will follow the format of 9 digits, followed by a letter in the 10thposition, and a digit in the 11thposition. Foreign visitors no longer need to complete the paper I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record. The CBP arrival/departure record can be accessed and retrieved online through the CBP.gov website. A paper form I-94 will still be issued at land border ports of entry. All paper I-94 forms must be surrendered upon departure. For automatic I-94 forms, CBP will record the departure electronically. If you are coming to the United States and have questions about the electronic I-94 form, be sure to contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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Travel Ban Update

The President’s third attempt at preventing certain foreign nationals from entering the United States has hit another speed bump. On December 22, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision to partially block the latest Trump travel ban, which was issued via Presidential Proclamation on September 24, 2017. The three-judge panel determined that the President exceeded his power in issuing the directive that established country-specific travel restrictions for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. This ruling, however, will not have an immediate effect. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued a stay that will allow the government to continue fully implementing the travel ban despite the 9th Circuit ruling. Authority to Issue Travel Ban The President’s power to issue a travel ban is derived from federal statute and delegated to him by Congress. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if the President determines that the entry of “any aliens or of any class of aliens” would be detrimental to the interests of the U.S., he may “suspend the entry of all aliens … or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate.” In addition, the President is authorized […]
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Travel Update: Changes to Visa Waiver Program

The Trump administration has announced new rules in place for the 38 countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). On December 15, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would be rolling out enhanced security measures for the VWP as part of the administration’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts. The new rules will target the screening and vetting protocols of the 38 participating countries.  For example, tighter screening and security measures will be put in place at airports in the VWP countries. This will include using U.S. intelligence on suspected terrorists and criminals to screen airport employees, as well as travelers entering the VWP country from third countries. DHS will also be implementing new measures aimed at curbing the number of overstays. In addition to existing penalties, which bar a traveler from using the VWP if they have previously overstayed, DHS will begin forcing countries with overstay rates above 2 percent to conduct public awareness campaigns aimed at educating that country’s citizens of the consequences of overstaying. Visa Waiver Program Overview The VWP allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business without first obtaining a visa and for a maximum period […]
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Traveler Redress Inquiry Program Q&A

The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) is the point of contact for individuals who seek information or resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during travel screenings. Some of the more common issues include watch list issues, screening problems at ports of entry, unfair or incorrect delays, boarding denials, or issues in being identified for additional screening. This program is part of the DHS effort to welcome legitimate travelers while still securing the country from those who want to harm us. Q: What travel-related issues does DHS TRIP help resolve? A: DHS TRIP is designed to help travelers resolve a number issues, including: Not being able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or the internet; Being denied or delayed in boarding; Inquiries as to why the ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass; You were told that your fingerprints were incorrect of or poor quality; You were told your photo did not match your travel document; You were told your personal information was incomplete or inaccurate; You were told you are on the “No Fly List”; You want to amend a traveler record because of an overstay as a result […]
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Traveler Redress Inquiry Program Q&A

The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) is the point of contact for individuals who seek information or resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during travel screenings. Some of the more common issues include watch list issues, screening problems at ports of entry, unfair or incorrect delays, boarding denials, or issues in being identified for additional screening. This program is part of the DHS effort to welcome legitimate travelers while still securing the country from those who want to harm us. Q: What travel-related issues does DHS TRIP help resolve? A: DHS TRIP is designed to help travelers resolve a number issues, including: Not being able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or the internet; Being denied or delayed in boarding; Inquiries as to why the ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass; You were told that your fingerprints were incorrect of or poor quality; You were told your photo did not match your travel document; You were told your personal information was incomplete or inaccurate; You were told you are on the “No Fly List”; You want to amend a traveler record because of an overstay as a result […]
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Welcoming Catherine Dines to Berardi Immigration Law

Join us in welcoming Catherine Dines to the Berardi Immigration law team. She will serve as a great addition to our award-winning roster of highly knowledgeable legal professionals. Catherine is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she served as a legal extern for the National Immigrant Justice Center and a member editor for the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. She also studied at the University of Oxford and George Mason University Honors College. She graduated George Mason magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. As a law student, Catherine was exposed to the inner workings of U.S. immigration law and policy as a summer associate at our firm. From there, she served as a law clerk with the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and a Judicial Clerk with the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. As a professional, she began her career advising American and Canadian commercial banks in connection with various legal matters. She has a wide range of experience in cross-border corporate relations, and she has earned a reputation as a proven attorney with a successful track […]
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U.S. Lifts Laptop Ban on Inbound Flights

Back in March, the United States banned passengers from carrying laptops onboard U.S.-bound flights from certain airports in the Middle East and North Africa. Four months later, the controversial travel restrictions have been lifted. Why did the Trump Administration impose the laptop ban? The United States was not the only country to place specific travel restrictions on Middle East carriers. The United Kingdom imposed an almost identical ban. The U.K. policy targeted six countries and barred all electronic devices measuring more than 16 cm in length, 9.3 cm in width, or 1.5 cm in depth from the cabin of affected planes … but why? Both countries cite intelligence concerns. They point to a new terror threat in the form of tiny, hidden explosives. Intelligence reports indicate that Islamist terror groups have developed a new technique to hide a bomb inside the battery compartment of electronic devices. Could this actually happen? In February 2016, a member of the militant Islamist organization al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, smuggled one of these devices onto a Somali passenger jet. A sophisticated explosive device was built into a laptop computer and passed through airport security, including an X-ray machine, without suspicion. The device was detonated and […]
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