U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published an interim final rule to automate the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Commencing April 30, most nonimmigrants, including those utilizing work visas, arriving by air or sea will no longer complete the paper Form I-94. Instead, CBP will gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records, including information provided during the visa application process. Those arriving at land borders will continue to receive paper I-94s.
Upon arrival and inspection by CBP, travelers will continue to receive an admission stamp in their passport that should show the date of admission, class of admission and the date until which the traveler is admitted. Travelers will also be able to retrieve a printout of their I-94 information by visiting www.cbp.gov/I94 .
Although paperless is convenient and eco-friendly, it is important to note that the paper I-94 printout will still be required to demonstrate lawful status to employers for Form I-9, employment verification purposes and to seek benefits from various government agencies including social security numbers from the Social Security Administration and drivers licenses from state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs).
The interim rule takes effect April 26, 2013, but will be phased-in over a four-week period starting April 30. The first airports to implement the procedure will be Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Miami International Airport and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport. Thereafter, in the second week of May, major air and sea ports in several cities including, but not limited to, Atlanta, Boston and New York will implement this new procedure. By the end of May, all remaining air and sea ports will have implemented I-94 automation.