All non-immigrants entering the U.S. are issued an I-94 Arrival/Departure admission record. Previously, the I-94 was issued as a white paper card and placed in the passport as evidence of legal status and valid period of admission in the U.S. It was surrendered at the time of departure from the U.S. to officially record the non-immigrant’s exit.
I-94 Documentation Changes
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began the automation of the I-94 Arrival/Departure record on April 30, 2013 at select airports and seaports. Complete automation of all remaining air and sea-based ports of entry will occur in the U.S. by May 21, 2013. Land-based ports of entry along the Canadian and Mexican borders will continue to issue paper I-94 cards.
The I-94 automation will eliminate the need for paper-based I-94 and instead will generate an electronic record of the non-immigrant’s entry and departure information on www.cbp.gov/I94.
Proof of Legal Status
Passports will now be stamped with the date of admission to the U.S. and the visa status in which one has been admitted. Along with a valid passport and I-20, this admission stamp serves as proof of legal status. It is strongly suggested that one obtains a printout of their electronic I-94 document from the CBP website after each arrival and retain these documents for their records. The printout will serve as an official I-94 record for federal and state government-based benefit applications, such as driver’s license and social security number.
I-94 Printout Instructions
Students will need to visit the CBP website and search for their electronic I-94 record using their name as it appears on their visa stamp page. Since Canadian students do not have a visa stamp page, they will need to enter their name as it appears on the passport’s biographical page. If one has FNU on the visa stamp page, it will appear on the I-94; if FNU is not indicated, it will not appear on the I-94.
Phasing Out Paper I-94
All the previous rules and procedures related to the paper I-94 still apply until a student's next entry to the U.S. creates an electronic I-94 record. If a student currently possess the paper I-94, they will surrender it during their next departure from the U.S.