What if My Form I-94 is Lost?
While traveling to the United States as a non-immigrant, it is mandatory to keep all your travel documents in a safe place and you must also hold copies of all the important documents. If you unfortunately miss your travel documents, while in the United States, you must first lodge a police complaint. Every foreign national who travels to the United States must fill out the CBP Form I-94, before entering into the country. This I-94 card is an important document as it proves that you had entered into the United States lawfully. This card will contain information about you, date on which you got into the country, visa classification and the date of expiration of your non-immigrant status.
At a US port of entry all the non-immigrants will be required to complete this form and record their arrival and departure and this must be done before immigration inspection. A CBP officer will stamp your Form I-94 after inspection, if you are admissible into the United States and return the departure portion to you. The date on which you must leave the country will be printed on this form and you must not lose this form. You need to return the departure portion to a CBP officer only while leaving the country. Your visa expiration date will be printed on your visa and that date is different from the date that is printed on Form I-94. This form will be attached to your passport and you will get into trouble if you lose this document, so it is mandatory to apply for replacement, by filing Form I-102, as soon as possible.
However, if you lose this form you must report the loss of your Form I-94 and contact the USCIS. You will have to file a complaint at a local police station and you must also obtain a copy of the police report. You must then file Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Non-immigrant Arrival-Departure Document. While filing Form I-102, you will have to submit a copy of the police report and a copy of the lost Form I-94, if you have one. You may file Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, along with Form I-102, if you wish to receive notifications. You may also file Form I-102, to replace damaged Form I-94. However, this form must not be filed to correct errors on your departure record. USCIS generally takes around five months to process Form I-102 and the processing time may not be the same for all the applications. However, you will be issued a new departure record only if you are eligible.