CBP has automated the I-94 and I-94W process for all travelers applying for admission at U.S. ports of entry. Consequently, nonimmigrants arriving at an air or sea U.S. Port of Entry no longer receive a paper I-94 card from the CBP inspector. CBP provides each nonimmigrant with an admission stamp that is annotated with date of admission, class of admission and status expiration date. After leaving the port of entry, the nonimmigrant can retrieve an electronic copy of his or her I-94 card from the CBP website. As advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP still issues a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.
Since the roll out of the electronic I-94 process, many nonimmigrants have been unable to locate their electronic I-94 record. The inability to access the I-94 electronically affects the nonimmigrant’s ability to get a social security number and a driver’s license, and it affects the employer’s ability to properly complete Form I-9. During a conference call with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on February 5, 2014, CBP stated the following tips for nonimmigrants when locating the electronic I-94:
- While standing at primary inspection, the nonimmigrant can request a paper Form I-94. They may be sent to secondary inspection to have this request completed.
- At all major airports, there is a CBP deferred inspection office where I-94s can be printed if requested before the nonimmigrant leaves the airport.
- The nonimmigrant should immediately check and print the I-94 record.
- If the nonimmigrant can’t find his or her record in the system, use the machine readable name on the bottom of the passport. The CBP officer scans the passport to populate the electronic I-94 record, so this is the best name to search in the I-94 system.
- If the nonimmigrant still cannot locate the I-94 record, it is possible to make an appointment at a CBP deferred inspection office to have the I-94 record corrected. Your GT attorney can assist with this process.
- For general I-94 information, the nonimmigrant can contact CBP at 877-277-5511.
CBP understands that the employer may not be able to correctly complete the Form I-9 in situations where the I-94 record cannot be located via the online search. Accordingly, CBP will be liaising with USCIS and ICE on the I-9 compliance issues that result from the nonimmigrant’s ability to locate the I-94 electronic record.