Although Canadian citizens travelling to the United States as visitors for business (B-1) or visitors for pleasure (B-2) typically don’t receive a Form I-94 Departure Record, those entering under other non-immigrant classifications will receive a Form I-94 at the time of entry. Citizens of other countries, even those who hold Canadian permanent resident status, will also receive a Form I-94 when they enter the United States.
A Form I-94 indicates the date of admission, the classification under which the non-immigrant traveller has been admitted, and the expiration date of their non-immigrant status. Among other things, it serves as evidence of the non-immigrant’s lawful admission to the United States. In addition, when a non-immigrant traveller surrenders her Form I-94 at the time of departure, United States Customs and Border Protection (“USCBP”) is able to verify that she has not overstayed her previously authorized period of stay.
On April 30, 2013, USCBP began rolling out an electronic Form I-94 system at airports and seaports. Under the new system, instead of issuing a paper Form I-94 to the non-immigrant traveller at the time of entry, USCBP gathers the necessary arrival/departure information automatically from his or her electronic travel records.
USCBP will continue to stamp the passport or travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveller. As before, the admission stamp will show the date of admission, the class of admission, and the expiration date of their non-immigrant status. However, instead of receiving a paper Form I-94, travelers will receive a flier alerting them to visit CBP.gov/I94 for their admission record information. If a non-immigrant traveler needs the information from their Form I-94 admission record to verify her immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available there.
It usually takes several days for a traveller’s Form I-94 information to appear at CBP.gov/I94. In addition, some travellers have reported errors such as incorrect entry and expiration dates. In light of these reports, non-immigrant travellers who receive electronic Form I-94s should verify the accuracy of their online Form I-94 records at their earliest opportunity and, if necessary, request that any errors be corrected.
All airports and seaports converted to the electronic Form I-94 system at the end of May 2013. However, land ports of entry will continue to issue paper Form I-94s for the foreseeable future.