U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) began rolling-out its new automated Form I-94 process on April 30, 2013. This means that non-immigrant international travelers no longer are required to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record when they arrive in the U.S. Instead, the CBP gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records upon their arrival into the air or sea ports of entry.
The CBP has reported that this will result in an estimated saving of $15.5 million per year and a more efficient entry process for everyone.
Travelers will not need to do anything differently at the time of entry, however, they will no longer be issued a paper I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival into the U.S. Instead, travelers must log onto www.CBP.gov/I94 in order to access and print their admission record information. (Travelers will receive a flier upon arrival with information/instructions.)
We advise that all foreign nationals immediately access their information online and print it for their records. Always review your I-94/admission information to verify its accuracy since this ‘document’ controls the your period of authorized stay in the U.S. This printed document will also be necessary if you need to prove your status in the U.S. or file any applications with Immigration from within the U.S.
The new automated system is being phase-in at ports of entry throughout the U.S.; travelers who arrive at ports of entry where the automated system has not yet been implemented will receive the paper Form I-94. The process is expected to be in place at all ports by the end of May 2013.
Thank you to Yalda Haery for her contributions to this article.