As of April 30, 2013, the Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) agency rolled out its new electronic I-94. This is an exciting development, because it will no longer require international temporary visitors (i.e. non-green card holders) to fill out a paper I-94 or have to continuously keep track of it. Instead, CBP will collect the information from electronic travel records and have the information available online. This will only apply to those who travel by air or sea, which means travelers from Mexico and Canada are still subject to the paper I-94 procedures.
Although the roll-out started on April 30, it is already estimated to save the CBP $15.5 million per year. A CBP port of entry with the fully automated and electronic I-94 process allows travelers to view their I-94 information here: http://www.cbp.gov/i94. It is a very easy to use site with only a few fields to fill:
The I-94 is a very important document. Originally on a small white piece of paper, the I-94 is typically attached to a passport and serves as evidence of lawful admission, adjustment of status, stay extensions as well as other things. With the new I-94 process, a CBP officer will no longer issue paper I-94s and instead simply stamp the passport or other travel document of each non-immigrant traveler. The admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until. There are no changes in procedures for travelers leaving the United States, but CBP will be responsible for recording the departure electronically. Those temporary travelers who already have a paper I-94 will surrender it to the commercial carrier or CBP upon departure.
For CBP’s official fact sheet and FAQ, please find it linked here: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/newsroom/fact_sheets/travel/i94_factsheet.ctt/i94_factsheet.pdf
Our office is happy that the CBP has streamlined procedures and made the I-94 easily accessible with just a computer and an internet connection. If you have any questions about these newly implemented I-94 procedures, please contact our office today.