Form I-94

What Is Form I-94?

Form I-94 is the Department of Homeland Security’s record of arrivals and departures, also known as the Arrival/Departure Record Card. It’s issued to people who are admitted to the United States, people who are adjusting status while in the country, people extending their U.S. stay, and others.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer generally attaches a Form I-94 to a non-immigrant visitor’s passport when they enter the country.

Form I-94 - Davis & Associates

All visitors to the country except U.S. citizens, people with immigrant visas, returning lawful residents, and most Canadian citizens need a Form I-94 and they will be issued one during the admission process.

Things To Know About Form I-94

Many details about Form I-94 can help travelers if they know about them in advance. For example, any traveler who intends to enter the United States at a land border or by ferry at certain ports can save time by applying for an I-94 in advance. Another time saver is that Customs and Border Protection lets travelers apply for an I-94 using its CBP One™ mobile app or on the CBP I-94 website.

Another important thing to know is that visitors who are part of the Visa Waiver Program are supposed to get an Electronic System for Travel Authorization prior to arriving at the U.S. land border. VWP visitors can also use the I-94 website or CBP One™ mobile app to apply for their I-94 in advance. Of course, you can go the old-fashioned route and use a paper Form I-94, but it will not save you any hassles.

FAQs about Form I-94

FAQs About USCIS Fee Reductions And Fee WaiversWhat is the difference between a Form I-94 and a Form I-94W?

The Form I-94W is a nonimmigrant visa waiver arrival and departure record. The I-94W is for nonimmigrant visitors who don’t have a visitor’s visa. Some nationals from certain countries can enter the country without a visitor visa thanks to the Visa Waiver Program. Form I-94, on the other hand, is the arrival and departure record for visitors who do have a visa.

Does my Form I-94 have an expiration date?

Yes, your Form I-94 will have an “Admit Until Date” on it that tells you your deadline for exiting the country.  It will also have an OMB expiration date listed on it, but that is not the date that you must leave by. You must leave by the “Admit Until Date.” That is the date that your visa status expires.

Sometimes, no date will be shown, and it will have “D/S” on it. That is short for “Duration of Status.” In other words, if your Admit Until Date is “D/S,” then it expires when your visa status expires. For other travelers, it will have a specific date that is listed. You can see an example here.

Does CBP record my departure?

If you have an electronic I-94, your departure will be recorded if you leave by land or ferry and re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date marked on your I-94. If you leave by sea or air, your departure will be recorded electronically by the manifest information provided by the carrier you are using or by CBP.

If you have a paper Form I-94 and you leave by land or ferry, you should turn the form into the Canada Border Services Agency or to CBP if you are about to enter Mexico. It is crucial that you don’t forget to hand in a paper I-94 when you leave the country because that is how the U.S. will track your departure and know that you left before your visa expired.

What if I was admitted incorrectly on my I-94?

If your admission was marked incorrectly, you should consult an attorney and visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site to have your admission corrected and recorded properly. Since you might use your I-94 travel records for many immigration purposes, it’s important that everything is documented correctly.

Texas Immigration Attorneys

If you have questions about your I-94 arrival and departure document, it’s best to check in with an immigration attorney. Remember, an I-94 is often used down the road by people seeking other visas, so it’s important that travelers consider what their Form I-94s might mean later. Davis & Associates has highly skilled immigration attorneys in Texas, so if you need someone you can trust, reach out to us today.