Travel Update: Foreign Visitors No Longer Need to Complete Paper Form I-94/I-94W
If arriving by air or sea, foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. no longer need to complete paper Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or Form I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record. Upon arrival, a CBP officer will stamp the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant with the admission date, the class of admission, the record number and the date he or she is admitted until. A new feature on the I-94 website also gives travelers an option to check their last possible departure date from the U.S. Individuals can visit the I-94 website, click on the “view travel history” tab and enter their travel information, including name, birthdate, passport number and passport country of issuance. An admitted until date will then be provided.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Why do I need an I-94? The Form I-94 is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status and employment. It provides non-immigrant visitors with evidence that they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. Whether visiting or working, the I-94 is a necessary component of the immigration process for individual’s seeking entry into the U.S. For more information about entering the U.S., please visit our page.
- What about land border ports of entry? CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 at land border ports of entry. However, an online I-94 application and payment option for travelers arriving at a land port of entry is now available. An individual can provide biographic and travel information and pay the $6 fee online up to seven days prior to their entry.
- What if I need a paper Form I-94? If, for whatever reason, a traveler arriving by air or sea would like a paper Form I-94, one can be requested during the inspection process. The paper Form does, however, need to be surrendered to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure.
- Why is the paper copy being eliminated? The Form I-94 has been automated by CBP so that Officers can create an I-94 Arrival Record within primary and secondary inspection processing systems. The automated process is meant to streamline entry for foreign travelers, facilitate security measures and reduce federal costs. CBP estimates that the new system will save the agency roughly $15.5 million a year.
If you are interested in visiting, living or working in the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!