CBP Is Discontinuing Passport Entry Stamps, Transitioning to Online I-94 Arrival/Departure Records Only; Mistakes Are Common
This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated the I-94 process for most nonimmigrants arriving by air and sea. According to reports, this means that in many cases, foreign nationals no longer receive an entry stamp in their passports at ports of entry documenting their arrival.
Employers should advise their foreign national employees to check the accuracy of their I-94 Arrival/Departure Records on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website soon after they enter the United States, as errors are common. The site requires the name, date of birth and passport number. The I-94, not the passport, visa or prior approval notice, documents a nonimmigrant’s status, approved length of stay in the United States, and departure information.
In case of an I-94 error, there is an online CBP system for requesting corrections, but some practitioners report months-long delays and agency inaction. They recommend contacting the appropriate CBP office directly or sending a Deferred Inspections email instead to get I-94 records corrected.
Earlier this year, CBP also announced that it is issuing electronic I-94s at land ports of entry. For land arrivals, CBP is no longer issuing paper I-94s to nonimmigrants upon arrival except in limited circumstances and upon nonimmigrant request if feasible. Nonimmigrants can access Form I-94s online at the CBP website or via mobile application.