Foreign visitors arriving in the U.S. via air or sea who need to prove their legal-visitor status (e.g., to employers, schools/universities, or government agencies) will be able to access their U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrival/departure record information online when the agency begins its records automation process on April 30, 2013.

Under the new process, CBP will no longer require international nonimmigrant visitors to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival to the U.S. by air or sea. The agency will gather travelers' arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. CBP said it expects this automation to streamline the entry process for travelers, facilitate security, and reduce federal costs. CBP anticipates that the automated process will save the agency an estimated $15.5 million per year.

Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper I-94 at land border ports of entry.

CBP will phase in the I-94 automation at air and sea ports of entry in April and May. Foreign visitors will continue to receive the paper I-94 until the automated process arrives at their port of entry. Following automation, if travelers need the information from their I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available here.

With the new CBP process, a CBP officer will stamp the travel document (typically a passport) of each arriving nonimmigrant traveler. The admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date until which the traveler is admitted. Travelers will also receive upon arrival a flier alerting them to go here for their admission record information.

Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Those previously issued a paper I-94 will surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. If a traveler did not receive a paper I-94, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.

Implementation will begin on April 30 at five pilot ports of entry and will continue to the remaining ports of entry over a total of four weeks.

The CBP Fact Sheet can be found here.