Beginning April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) will no longer require international visitors arriving in the U.S. by air or sea to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. CBP will begin to gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. CBP expects this new automated process to save the agency an estimated $15.5 million a year and increase its efficiency, reduce operating costs and streamline the admission process. CBP will still issue the paper Form I-94 to international visitors who arrive at land border ports of entry.
The Form I-94 automation process will be phased in at air and sea ports of entry through April and May. The automation process is expected to be completed by mid-May. Following automation, if foreign visitors need the information from their Form I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available at www.CBP.gov/I94.
With this new process, the CBP officer will stamp the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler. The admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission and the date that the traveler is admitted until. Travelers will also receive a flier directing them to www.CBP.gov/I94 for their admission record information. The paper Form I-94, in combination with a valid foreign passport, is commonly presented as a List A document for many foreign nationals during the I-9 employment eligibility verification process. Foreign nationals arriving by air or sea at a port using the automated I-94 process can print out their I-94 admission record for presentation during the I-9 process, since an admission stamp in the passport is not an acceptable List A document.
Travelers will not need to do anything different upon exiting the U.S. If travelers received a paper I-94, it will be surrendered to the airline or CBP upon departure. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94 upon arrival, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the airline or by CBP.