I-94 Arrival/Departure Record FAQ
Updated on September 2, 2020
If you are a foreign national first time arrival to the Unites States, you must be very impressed how you were inspected at the international airport (or other port of entry). Upon entry, you will be issued an I-94. It is a very important document for any foreign national visiting the United States. Let’s learn more about it.
1. What is I-94?
2. Who may issue I-94?
3. Who will get I-94?
People who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents enter the United States legally will be issued I-94. In addition, people successfully change or extend their nonimmigrant status in the United States will be issued I-94.
4. Why I-94 is important?
I-94 is the proof that a foreign national was allowed entry into the United States. Not only does it prove that someone enters the United States legally, but it also says how long and in what nonimmigrant status they are allowed to stay. If you’d like to apply for change or extend nonimmigrant status or apply for green card through adjustment of status inside the United States in the future, you must submit a copy of I-94 together your application to prove you entered and/or stayed in the United States legally.
At DYgreencard, we may help you prepare many types of applications, like I-485 adjustment of status to apply for green card, I-130 immigrant petition for spouse, parent, child, or sibling, I-129F petition/K-1 visa for fiancé(e), I-765 application for employment authorization, and more. All you need to do is just answer a few simple questions online and upload supporting documents to our platform. Then we take care of the rest. The entire application package will be carefully reviewed by a professional immigration attorney to ensure its final approval by USCIS. Learn more about what we can do for you.
5. Where to get a copy of I-94?
If you entered the United States legally before 2013 and have never changed or extended your nonimmigrant status in the United States, you may find the paper I-94 card in your passport; normally it was attached to the page with your most recent entry stamp by CBP.
If you have successfully changed or extended your nonimmigrant status in the United States, you may find the I-94 part in the right bottom of the I-797 approval notice issued by USCIS.
6. How I-94 looks like?
After 2013, CBP switched away from paper I-94 to electronic I-94. Besides, USCIS issues I-94 as the part of the I-797 approval notice. So, there are three formats of I-94 as follow:
7. Why I can’t find the record of electronic I-94 at the website of CBP?
8. What if there is an error in the record of electronic I-94?
9. What if no I-94 in the I-797A Approval Notice?
If it is not an error by USCIS and the I-797 Approval Notice is issued for an I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, without I-94 means USCIS approves the request for nonimmigrant working visa but denied the change of status request in the I-129 petition. If that the case, you should leave the U.S. to apply for a working visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate then re-enter the U.S. with the working visa. However, it is highly recommended to consult an immigration attorney before you leave the U.S. because you might have trouble in obtaining a working visa or trigger the 3-year or 10- year inadmissible bar.
10. What if there is an error in the I-797A Approval Notice?
11. What if paper I-94 issued before 2013 was lost?