July 3, 2013
At the recent American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual conference, it was strongly advised that arriving immigrants obtain and print out their I-94 information as soon as possible after arriving in the United States.
As explained in the May 20th posting on this website, most new arrivals no longer are given a paper I-94 form when entering the United States. Instead, an electronic I-94 is created and a stamp is placed in the passport with the date of arrival, class of entry, and expiration date. The arrival can then obtain and print out their I-94 information from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. The printout includes the arrival’s Admission Number.
New arrivals are urged to print out the I-94 information first of all to confirm that the information is accurate. For example, if an immigrant is re-entering the United States after a previous entry and exit, s/he could encounter significant problems if the previous entry’s expiration date had been incorrectly recorded.
In addition, as explained in a previous post on May 20, there will be many cases when the printed I-94 will be needed, for example to extend status. Waiting until it is needed to obtain the print out opens the possibility that due to computer problems, the information would not be available when needed.
Better safe than sorry – print out, review for accuracy, and keep with your passport, the I-94 information as soon as possible after entering the US.