Foreignborn.com - US Visas & Immigration
US Immigration and US Visa Help for Foreign-Born for More Than a Decade
Search
Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer
US Visa and Immigration Lawyer
Online Now
 letters left
Answers to US visa and immigration questions
A Service of  A Service of The National Association of Foreign-Born     The National Association of Foreign-Born
Related Articles
Share This Article:
Click for Overview | See Related Articles box for more topics »

I-94 Form Arrival-Departure Record, or Form I-94 Card

US Entry

Form I-94 Card I-94 Form I 94 Arrival Departure Record I94

International Money Transfer - International Money Order
THIS ARTICLE

For information on additional immigration forms, see USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations.


What is an I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card) and Why Do I Need Form I-94?
As a nonimmigrant, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card) or Form I-95 (Crewman's Landing Permit) shows the date you arrived in the United States and the "Admitted Until" date, the date when your authorized period of stay in the US expires (your I-94 Form may have a shorter validity than your US visa).

Visitors entering the US under the Visa Waiver Program are exempt from having a US Visa and must complete a similar I-94W Form. In addition to the I-94 Form standard requirements, the Form I-94W includes specific questions related to inadmissibility issues and indicates agreement to waive your right to a hearing before an immigration judge, if found inadmissible.

You will receive an I-94 Form (or Form I-94W or I-95) from a CBP inspector when arriving in the United States at a land border port-of-entry or from an airline or ship representative when arriving at an air or sea port-of-entry by aircraft or ship. The I-94 Form (or I-94W or I-95) must be completed and presented to an CBP inspector who may ask you questions about the purpose of your trip, how long you will be in the United States, and your residence abroad.

Do not lose this I-94 Form (or I-94W or I-95 Form).  When you leave the country, you should give the Form I-94 / I-94W or I-95 to your airline or ship representative, or, if you are departing over a land border, give it to a Mexican or Canadian immigration inspector (if you are taking a short trip to Canada or Mexico, see below). A Form I-94 / I-94W or I-95 that has been approved by a CBP inspector can prove that you arrived in the US legally and that you have not stayed beyond the period of stay authorized. In addition, returning Form I-94 / I-94W or I-95 to the proper authorities when you leave the country can prove that you did not violate U.S. laws by staying in the country too long. Proof that you are willing to obey U.S. immigration laws will be very important if you again want to travel to the U.S. as an immigrant (Green Card holder) or nonimmigrant (on a US Visa or on the Visa Waiver Program) in the future. If you forget to turn in your I-94 Form or I-94W, see How to Record Departure from the US After the Fact.

If you are applying for an extension of stay or change of status, you will also need to be issued an I-94 Form (or I-95) if you were not issued one of these documents when you entered the country. Note that Visa Waiver Program visitors (who are issued a Form I-94W) may not file an application to change their immigration status or extend their stay beyond the 90-day timeframe.

Canadians who travel to the United States as tourists or on business generally do not need an I-94 Form. Also, certain Mexicans who have a nonresident alien Mexican border crossing card (commonly known as a laser visa), or a multiple-entry nonimmigrant visa may not need an I-94 Form.

If your Form I-94 or I-94W (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card) or Form I-95 (Crewman's Landing Permit) is lost, stolen, or mutilated, you must replace it.


The I-94 Form and Short Trips to Canada and Mexico

In general, if you have been admitted to the United States under most visa classifications if you take a short trip (30 days or less) to Canada or Mexico, you may retain your I-94 Form or I-94W so when resume your visit to the United States you are readmitted for the balance of the time remaining on your I-94 Form or I-94W.

For those admitted as academic students (see F-1 Visa) or exchange visitors (see J-1 Visa), if you take a short trip (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, or the Adjacent Islands, you may retain your I-94 Form and your SEVIS form I-20 or SEVIS Form DS-2019, so when you resume your visit to the United States you are readmitted for the balance of the time required for you to complete your program.

However, because each traveler’s individual circumstances may vary (such as your current status in the United States, foreign destination, and the nationality of the traveler); it is recommended that you contact CBP (see below for phone numbers) at the port of your departure and prior to your departure if you have any questions regarding these issues.


I Need a New I-94 Form - How Do I Apply for Form I-94?
To replace a lost, stolen, or mutilated Form I-94 or I-94W (Arrival-Departure Record) or Form I-95 (Crewman's Landing Permit), you must file USCIS Form I-102 (Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival - Departure Document). If the Form I-94 / I-94W or Form I-95 is mutilated, attach the original form. If the form was lost or stolen, submit a copy of the original form. If you do not have a copy of your original form, submit a copy of the biographic/photo page from your passport and a copy of the passport page that was stamped by US immigration inspectors when you entered the country. If you cannot submit any evidence of your legal admission to the United States, submit a full explanation and proof of your identity.

If you are applying to extend your stay in the United States or change your US immigration status, you will be asked to give US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) your I-94 Form. If you were not given an I-94 Form when you were legally admitted to the United States, file USCIS Form I-102. You will need to give USCIS proof that you were legally admitted to the United States. You should file USCIS Form I-102 at the same time that you apply to extend your stay in the United States or change your US immigration status. Note that Visa Waiver Program visitors (who are issued a Form I-94W) may not file an application to change their immigration status or extend their stay beyond the 90-day timeframe.

USCIS forms are available online, or by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting an online request to receive forms by mail. After receiving Form I-102, read it carefully and note the documentation that must be submitted. Detailed information is provided in the accompanying instructions for USCIS Form I-102.  Further information on forms, filing fees, and fee waivers is available in USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations.


Where Should I Send My Form I-94 or I-95 Application?
If you are applying to replace a lost, stolen, or mutilated Form I-95 (Crewman's Landing Permit), file USCIS Form I-102 (Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival - Departure Document) at the local USCIS office serving the area where you are temporarily located.

If you are applying to extend your stay in the United States or change your immigration status, file USCIS Form I-102 at the same local office that is handling your extension of stay or change of status application.

In all other instances, file USCIS Form I-102 at the appropriate USCIS Service Center for your region.


How Can I Check the Status of My Form I-94 Application?
You may check the status of your Form I-94 application or case online, by phone, or by contacting an appropriate USCIS office. For details see USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration. You may also want to review US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times. For more assistance, see HELP! (below).


How Can I Appeal if Denied a Replacement I-94 Form?
If your application for a replacement I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card) is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the Form I-94 application was denied. You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision to a higher authority. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the same office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing these motions, you may ask the office to reexamine or reconsider their Form I-94 decision. A motion to reopen must state the new facts that are to be provided in the reopened Form I-94 proceeding and must be accompanied by affidavits or other documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy, and further establish that the Form I-94 decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made. For more information, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).


HELP! with My I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card)

  • Have a specific question? To help you find an answer quickly, we have placed "Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer" boxes on this page. Simply type a question in any of the boxes to receive a response online from a visa and immigration lawyer.

  • You may contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection directly by calling the CBP Customer Service Center at 1-877-227-5511 or from outside the US at +1-703-526-4200.

  • For further assistance outside of the U.S., contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

  • In the US, you may contact your nearest USCIS District Office or Sub Office. This link provides telephone numbers, addresses, directions, office hours, local filing procedures, and more.

  • Or, call the national USCIS toll-free information service at 1-800-375-5283.
Guides from Our Sponsors
Mortgage GuidesLearn to Study Guide
Health Insurance Plans
Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use. The information provided in this site is not legal advice, is intended to provide basic understanding in summary form, may not be comprehensive, is subject to change, and may not apply to you. Your individual circumstances should be confirmed with the appropriate government agencies or an attorney.
A Service of  A Service of The National Association of Foreign-Born
The National Association of Foreign-Born