New Rules on Admission (I-94) Number Retrieval: FAQs

By Tatyana Behar
on July 28, 2013

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's ("CBP") automation of the I-94 admission process is now effective nationwide for individuals arriving by air and sea, and to replace paper I-94 admission cards, CBP has a portal on its website to locate and print travelers' electronic I-94 records. However, AILA has received multiple reports of individuals whose electronic I-94 records are "not found" through the electronic portal. Please contact experienced immigration attorney for assistance if you cannot locate your I-94 electronic record.

Here are some of the I-94 Frequently Asked Questions published by CBP:

What information must I provide?

The following information is required to retrieve your Admission (I-94) number. Enter the information as it appears on the travel document you used to enter the United States.
1. Family Name- Enter your family name as it appears in the Family Name or Surname field on the travel document you used to enter the United States.
2. First (Given) Name- Enter your first (given) name as it appears in the First or Given Name field on the travel document you used to enter the United States. Do not include middle names, nicknames, or titles.
3. Birth Date- Enter the date of your birth in the MM/DD/YYYY format (e.g., March 4, 1960 is 03/04/1960).
4. Passport Number- Enter your passport number as it appears on your passport biographic page. The passport number may contain numbers and/or letters. Please closely distinguish between the two. Some commonly confused characters are the number zero (0) and letter 'O' and the number one (1), and the letter 'I'.
5. Country of Issuance- The passport country of issuance is your country of citizenship as it appears on your passport. The country of citizenship on your passport is the passport issuing authority, regardless of the country the passport was physically obtained in.
6. Most Recent Date of Entry- The most recent date of entry refers to the date you entered the United States. This date can be found on the admission stamp located on your passport.
7. Class of Admission-Your class of admission can be found on the admission stamp in your passport. Class of Admission is typically two to three characters, which may contain numbers or letters.

Will CBP provide a traveler with any documentation or evidence showing status and time allowed in the U.S.?

Yes. CBP will provide each traveler with an admission stamp that is annotated with date of admission, class of admission and admitted until date. The CBP admission stamp is listed as an alien registration document found in 8 CFR. 264.1.

How long will my admission record be available on the I-94 website?

A traveler will have access to their most recent admission record on the I-94 website until departure from the United States. An admission record will no longer be available to the traveler on the website once he or she departs the United States. The record will remain available to the traveler for the duration a traveler remains in the United States. The availability of the record does not convey legal authority to remain in the United States outside of the terms and conditions of admission. All travelers must comply with the terms of the classification granted and admitted until date.

Will the I-94 automation process help eliminate errors? If information on the I-94 is in error, how does the traveler correct mistakes?

The electronic version of the I-94 will help eliminate errors because the information will be obtained by official documents and officer input. If there is an error or mistake on the paper or electronic form I-94, the traveler can contact the Deferred Inspection office closest to their location.

What should a traveler do if he or she was admitted incorrectly to the United States?

If a traveler was admitted incorrectly to the United States, the traveler should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or Port of Entry (POE) to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and POEs can be found on CBP's website, www.cbp.gov, under the "Ports" link at the bottom of the page. If a traveler was issued an incorrect I-94 by USCIS, the traveler should refer to the Form I-102, which can be found at www.uscis.gov/forms.

How do I report my departure if I enter via air and depart via land?

If you have a paper form I-94 and depart by land, you can turn the form into Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon entry into Canada or to CBP at the port of entry prior to entering Mexico. If you received an electronic I-94 upon arrival by air or sea and depart via land, your departure may not be recorded accurately. A departure will be recorded if you depart via land and re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped in your passport. If you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an electronic I-94 and depart via land, but do not re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped on your passport, you may want to travel with evidence of your departure into Canada or Mexico. Evidence of departure can include, but is not limited to, entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and/or other receipts. A traveler can request an entry stamp from CBSA when entering Canada or from the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM) when entering Mexico.

How does a traveler revalidate a visa without their I-94?

The I-94 admission record is created electronically and maintained in CBP systems. CBP will verify the I-94 electronically to re-validate an expired visa if the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revalidation. In order to demonstrate eligibility for automatic revalidation, a traveler may be required to present a copy of the website printout to the air or sea carrier prior to boarding. If entry occurred prior to automation, a paper form must be presented in order to comply with validation requirements.

How does CBP document SEVIS records?

CBP does not currently document or update SEVIS records. Upon automation, CBP Officers will provide the SEVIS number with the admission stamp.

How does CBP's automation of Form I-94 affect the Form I-9 process?

It does not affect the Form I-9 process. However, the public should be prepared to see I-94 Forms that will look differently than what they are used to seeing. Now, they will see both I-94 Forms that have original stamps and writing on a card as well as I-94 Forms that are printouts with no original writing or stamps on them. Both versions are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes. For more information on the I-9 form and process, visit www.uscis.gov.