U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to record the arrival and departure dates of people visiting the U.S. The information on the I-94 includes the name, nationality, visa status, date of birth, arrival date and the assigned date of departure.
Earlier, all the visitors were required to complete the paper Form I-94 but now CBP has automated the arrival/departure record process. Information on foreigners traveling by air or sea is being transmitted electronically, so these travelers need not complete the paper form. However, people arriving at the land ports of entry will need to complete the paper form. This also applies to refugees, asylees and parolees.
Though paper forms are not required, the visitors’ passports will be stamped. This stamp will indicate their immigration status, arrival date and the date on which they need to depart the country.
Visitors entering the U.S. will be given a flier that contains information on how to access their I-94 records. These non-immigrants can request a copy of their Form I-94, if they need a proof of their legal status.
When these foreigners leave the country by air or sea, CBP will record their departure information electronically. Those who hold paper forms will need to surrender the forms to the commercial carrier or to CBP. In case it is lost while in the U.S., the I-94 had to be replaced by filing Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document.
According to CBP, automation of the online form streamlines the entry process for the visitors. It has also reduced federal costs. CBP says that this automation will save the agency $15.5 million per year. This system will not impact the travelers in any way; it only saves their time.