Customs and Border Patrol Starts Rollout of Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

May 1, 2013

By Fredrikson’s Immigration Group

As of April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began phasing out the paper Form I-94 cards at airports and seaports in the U.S. and U.S. territories. CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 card to foreign nationals seeking admission at land border crossings.

Upon entry to the U.S., CBP will scan the passport information of foreign nationals to create an electronic Form I-94 record. According to CBP, this automation will streamline the entry process, facilitate security and reduce federal costs. Foreign nationals will continue to receive the paper Form I-94 card until the automated process arrives at their port of entry (see schedule below).

Under the I-94 automation process, a CBP officer will also stamp the foreign national’s passport with the entry date, class of admission, the date the foreign national is admitted until and provide the foreign national with notice to go to CPB.gov/I-94 to obtain a copy of the admission record.

Upon arrival, foreign nationals can access CBP.gov/I-94 to ensure the information is correct. If there are any errors, CBP should be contacted as soon as possible.

Although printing the Form I-94 record is not mandatory, foreign nationals should print out a copy of the Form I-94 electronic admission record in order to apply for certain benefits such as a social security card or driver’s license.

At the time of departure, foreign nationals who entered under the I-94 automation process will not need to take any action. CBP will record the departure electronically via information provided by the carrier or CBP.

While foreign nationals will have access to the Form I-94 record through the CBP website when they are in the U.S., once they leave the country, they will no longer have access to the admission information. We strongly advise that all foreign nationals and their U.S. employers (if applicable) print a paper record of their admission as soon as possible after arrival. This will help re-construct an individual’s immigration history and U.S. presence if necessary in the future.

Employers of foreign nationals who present the Form I-94 admission record as part of the I-9 employment eligibility verification process can retain a copy of the admission record with the employee’s I-9 form if it is their practice to keep copies of supporting documents presented for the I-9.

I-94 Automation Implementation Schedule

Week 1

04/30/2013 – 05/03/2013

Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Miami International Airport and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport

Week 2

05/07/2013

Major Air and Sea Ports within the following field offices: New York, Boston, Buffalo, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa, Puerto Rico, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans and Houston

Week 3

05/14/2013

Major Air and Sea ports within the following field offices:
Pre-Clearance, San Francisco (includes Hawaii and Guam), Tucson, El Paso, Seattle, Portland (includes Alaska), Los Angeles, San Diego and Laredo

Week 4

05/21/2013

All remaining airports and seaports


For more information, contact the Fredrikson & Byron Immigration Team at 612.492.7648 or visit us online at www.fredlaw.com.