United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has now fully implemented its program to automate Form I-94 at all air and sea ports. CBP now also provides a foreign national’s arrival and departure records for the past five years. It’s important to note that the system is passport driven. Consequently, every passport number used by a foreign national must be entered in order to obtain the full travel history available. Below are some tips for locating and printing the I-94 and travel history via CBP’s automated system:
1. I found my I-94 and travel history on the CBP website, what should I do next?
• Print the I-94 record each time you arrive in the United States. CBP also advises printing the travel history as well.
• Verify that all information is correct. The I-94 may be needed for future immigration petitions or to apply for other benefits such as a Social Security number or driver’s license.
2. When I try to locate my I-94 record on the CBP website I receive a “Not Found” message. Now what should I do?
• It is possible that the I-94 record does not exist due to a system error. However, it is more likely that the I-94 is in the system but the data is formatted differently than it was entered. Below are some steps to locate the I-94 record when a “Not Found” message appears:
1. First ensure data is entered correctly in all applicable fields.
a. Enter the name as it appears in the passport, visa or submitted Form DS-160. Although CBP has stated the name would be drawn from the passport, it is sometimes drawn from the visa or DS-160 instead. Try entering the name as stated on each document.
b. Enter the first and middle name in the first name field. Do this even if the middle name is not listed on the passport.
c. Switch the order of the names. Switch the last and first name when entering the information on the website. Some countries state the name in the passport as first name, last name, rather than the more standard listing of last name, first name. This may cause the name to be recorded incorrectly in the CBP system.
d. Enter multiple first names or multiple last names without spaces. If a person has two first names or two last names, type the names without a space between them. For example, type “Mary Jane” as “Maryjane.”
e. Check for multiple passport numbers. Check the DS-160 (if available) for the passport number stated. If the passport number is different than the passport number on which the foreign national was admitted, type the passport number as stated on the DS-160. Also check the passport number listed on the visa. If the passport number is different than the current passport, enter the number listed on the visa.
f. Do not enter the year if included in the passport number. Some passport numbers may begin with the year in which the passport was issued, causing the number to be too long for the relevant field in the CBP system. If relevant, try entering the passport number without the year.
• Special consideration for some Mexican passports: For a period of time, Mexican passports were issued with 11 digits. The first two digits correspond to the year of issuance. For example, passport number 07000001529 was issued in 2007. For such passports, three or four searches may be necessary:
1. Search the travel history with the entire passport number;
2. Search the travel history without the first two digits;
3. Search the travel history without the last two digits;
4. Search the travel history without the first digit.
2. Check the classification. Check the classification designated on the visa and compare it to the classification stated on the admission stamp in the passport, as there may be a slight variation. Be sure to try both designations. For example, the visa may state “E-3D” for an E-3 dependent, but the admission stamp may only state “E-3.”
3. Call or visit the Deferred Inspection Office. If none of the above efforts resolve the issue, telephone or visit the CBP Deferred Inspection Office and explain the problem. Some Deferred Inspection Offices have been able to resolve problems without an in-person visit. However, some offices may require that the foreign national visit the office in person to resolve the issue.
Remember, Berardi Immigration Law always helps you cross the border with confidence! If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.