I-94 Automation Begins!

May 2013Alerts Immigration Alert

After much anticipation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began implementation of its automated I-94 arrival/departure record procedures on Wednesday, April 30, 2013.

Included in the first round of air and sea ports to use the automated I-94 procedures are:

  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina
  • Orlando International Airport in Florida
  • McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Miami International Airport and
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The implementation roll-out will continue at air and sea ports that support international arrivals through May 21, 2013, by which time the automation procedures should be in place at all affected ports of entry. CPB has posted its implementation schedule in a travel advisory at CBP’s Travel Advisory.

After implementation of the automated I-94 procedures, foreign nationals who would have previously held I-94 cards will instead be given instructions explaining how to access their electronic I-94 cards by visiting https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html , CBP’s website. Foreign nationals who want or need a paper printout of their I-94 cards may access their electronic I-94s using that website.

The paper I-94 may be needed when requesting certain benefits from the immigration service such as when a petition is filed seeking a change or extension of nonimmigrant status or an application for adjustment of status to U.S. permanent residence is filed, etc., as well as evidence of legal status for employers during the I-9 employment verification process, schools/universities or government agencies such as motor vehicle departments.

USCIS is in the process of updating certain forms that require I-94 information. This is being done to help ensure that I-94 automation doesn’t disrupt USCIS’s adjudication of benefit requests.

USCIS has indicated that it will accept a printout of the electronic I-94 as evidence of lawful admission when submitted with a benefit request. Alternatively, USCIS has stated that it will also accept a photocopy of the passport biographic information page, visa and admission stamp.

For more information on this Alert, please contact Catherine Wadhwani or any other member of Fox's Immigration Practice.