Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) arrival or departure record. Among its other uses, it is issued to aliens who are admitted to the United States, adjusting status while in the U.S., or extending their stay. A CBP officer generally attaches Form I-94 to the non-immigrant visitor’s passport upon U.S. entry. The visitor must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date stamped on his or her Form I-94.
On the passport admission stamp or the paper I-94 card, the officer writes either a date or "D/S" (duration of status). Students and scholars on F or J status should receive a stamp marked "D/S" or "duration of status." This means that they may remain in the United States if they are properly maintaining status and their I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) has not expired. Students and scholars are required to keep the passport entry stamp or I-94 card for the duration of their visit. Make sure to keep it in a safe place so it does not get lost.
When international students travel to the United States, they receive a Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” at their port of entry. International students who enter the country at an air or seaport are issued an electronic form, while those who enter the country at a land port are issued a paper Form I-94.
Type or print legible with pen in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Use English. Do not write on the back of the form. The form has two parts. Please complete both the Arrival record (Items 1 through 17) and the Departure Record (Items 18 through 21). Make sure that all the information that you enter is exact and complete.
Note: Use the information on your visa first. If your record cannot be found, use the information on your passport and then the information on your Form I-20/Form DS-2019.
The information requested on the CBP Form I-94, Arrival Record, upper portion, includes:
Every I-94 record has an eleven-digit admission number. This number may be needed at the Department of Motor Vehicles and for employment purposes, but it is not a number that needs to be memorized. In fact, a new I-94 number will be given each time the student or scholar re-enters the United States.
1. Family Name
2. First (Given) Name
3. Date of Birth
4. Country of Citizenship
5. Sex (Male or Female)
6. Passport Issue Date
7. Passport Expiration Date
8. Passport Number
Some passport numbers may begin with the year when the passport was issued, causing the number to be too long for the passport number field. Do not enter the year. (For example, a Mexican passport that was issued in 2008 may have a passport number that starts with “08” followed by nine digits. Try entering the passport number without the “08”)
9. Airline and Flight Number (if applicable)
10. Country Where You Live – Lawful Permanent Residence
11. Country Where You Boarded (if applicable)
12. City Where Visa was Issued (if applicable)
13. Date Issued (if applicable)
14. Address While in the United States (Number and Street)
15. City and State
16. Telephone Number in the U.S. Where You Can Be Reached
17. Email Address
The information requested on the CBP Form I-94, Departure Record, lower portion, includes:
18. Family Name
19. First Name
20. Date of Birth
21. Country of Citizenship
Do not fill out the next side of the form, it is for government use only.
Where to file Form I-94?
After the successful completion of processing the applicant, present this form to the CBP Officer. The CBP officer stamps the applicant’s CBP Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Records, and the passport. The CBP Declaration, used at air and seaports of entry, may also be stamped by the CBP officer. The CBP officer retains the arrival portion of the CBP Form I-94 and returns the departure portion of the CBP Form I-94 and passport to the traveler.
The departure portion of CBP Form I-94 and passport is to be always in the traveler’s possession until the applicant departs the United States. If an applicant boards a commercial conveyance to depart the United States, the transportation carriers are:
- To remove the departure portion of the CBP Form I-94 from the applicant’s passport.
- Annotate the reverse of the departure portion of the CBP Form I-94 with the facts of the applicant’s departure from the United States.
- Return the departure portion of the CBP Form I-94 to the nearest CBP office.
Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Travelers issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the airline, boat line, or CBP upon departure. The departure will be recorded electronically with the information provided by the carrier or by CBP. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94 and the record was created electronically, CBP will record their departure using manifest information obtained from the carrier.
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/I-94W, so that when you resume your visit to the United States you are readmitted for the balance of the time remaining on your I94/I-94W. For those admitted as academic students or exchange visitors (F or J classifications), if you take a short trip (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, or the Adjacent Islands, you may retain your I-94 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.
What is the Form I-94 process?
The process of recording the arrival and departure of non-immigrants, including foreign students, foreign temporary workers, North American Free Trade Agreement workers, visitors for business or pleasure, diplomats, and other travelers requires that an airline or vessel serving the United States prepare a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Records.
How long does it take for CBP to update the Form I-94 information?
Generally, Form I-94 is completed at the time of arrival. The airline or vessel notifies Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of your arrival via a computerized system immediately after you land in the United States. CBP staffs primary inspection booths at airports to process arrivals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The information obtained in primary inspection is used to produce your Form I-94.
How long can I stay in the U.S. after Form I-94 expires?
When you arrive in the United States, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will inspect your travel documents and determine how long you may stay in the United States. In most cases, the officer will issue a paper Form I-94 showing your authorized length of stay. If there is something wrong with your papers or if it appears that you plan to remain longer than granted, the officer will tell you that your stay is limited to a certain length of time.
You have six months to stay in the United States. If you need extra time, you must apply for an extension. If you stay in the U.S. longer than your Form I-94 permits, you could be charged with visa fraud which carries serious penalties, including deportation and imprisonment.
How do I extend my Form I-94?
You can extend your Form I-94 by mail or online.
You may file Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, only if the Form I-94 has not expired and you are applying for an extension of stay. You should file your application at least 45 days before the expiration date on your current Form I-94. Generally, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will adjudicate Form I-539 only after the Customs and Border Protection has determined that you are eligible to remain longer in the United States.
You can also file for a time extension online using the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS). It is an online portal where you can use to manage your immigration case electronically. The advantage of filing online is that it provides immediate confirmation, and allows for electronic submission of any supporting document.
What if I cannot leave the U.S. when my Form I-94 expires?
If you are applying for an extension of stay, file Form I-539 on time so that USCIS can adjudicate your application before your current Form I-94 expires. If you are not eligible to file Form I-539, you must be able to prove that you have a residence in a foreign country which you have no intention of abandoning and intend to depart the United States when your Form I-94 expires.
Also, the USCIS is strict when it comes to filing an extension late.
Who are eligible to extend Form I-94?
Only nonimmigrants or foreign visitors in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission, who have not violated the terms of their status, and who have not committed any crimes that would make them removable under Immigration Law, may extend Form I-94.
Specifically, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you can file Form I-539 for a time extension if:
- you were lawfully admitted into the United States as a nonimmigrant;
- you have not committed any act that makes you ineligible to receive an immigration benefit;
- there is no other factor that requires you to depart the United States prior to extending status. For example, a USCIS officer may determine that you should obtain a new visa prior to extending your status;
- you can submit an application for an extension of stay by mail, or you can file online using USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) for an extension of stay before the expiration date on your Form I-94; and
- your passport must be valid for your entire requested period of stay in the United States.
How long does it take for Form I-94 to be available online?
It takes approximately 48 hours after you arrive at an international port of entry to check your Form I-94 record online. If you are applying for an extension, it may take up to 45 days for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to approve or deny a timely filed request to maintain your nonimmigrant status in the United States.
If you filed Form I-94 by mail, it may take several weeks for your Form I-94 to land online. If you filed electronically, the system will generate and post your Form I-94 as soon as possible after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your application and before your current Form I-94 expires.
How do I update my Form I-94 without leaving the country?
You can update your Form I-94 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services online or by mail.
To update online, visit the official USCIS site or official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and log in to your USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) account. If you do not have an ELIS account, create one first. After you created your ELIS account, follow the instructions on how to update your Form I-94 online.
To file by mail, complete and sign the appropriate sections of Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document. Then, submit the application with the evidence of the mistake or correction and payment.
If you are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and U.S. Virgin Islands, mail your Form 102, Form I-94, and other documents to:
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266-0867
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: NFB (Box 660867)
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067-8003
If you are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, mail your Form 102, Form I-94, and other documents to:
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036-1281
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: NFB (Box 21281)
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034-4850
Who can file Form I-102 for Form I-94?
You can file Form I-102 if:
- you maintain valid nonimmigrant status;
- your Form I-94 has been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed; or
- your Form I-94 contains incorrect information.
Do green card holders have Form I-94?
No, green card holders or lawful permanent residents do not have Form I-94.
Green card holders or persons are issued Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, as evidence of their status as lawful permanent residents. They are not required to obtain Form I-94 as they are not considered nonimmigrants.
What happens if Form I-94 is not updated?
By law, Form I-94 is the only record of your authorized stay in the United States. If you do not maintain a valid nonimmigrant status or overstay in the United Statesafter your Form I-94 expires, you will violate U.S. immigration laws. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can put you into removal proceedings.
You may also have to pay fines or other penalties if you fail to obey the terms of your status by engaging in activities not authorized for that nonimmigrant classification.
How do I update my Form I-94 information?
Aside from updating your Form I-94 by mail or online, you may also contact the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at 1-877-CBP-5511 (1-877-227-5511) on Monday through Friday between 8:30 in the morning and 5:00 in the afternoon, Eastern Time.
You may also go to any Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port of Entry or Deferred Inspection Office and bring your Form I-94, passport, and visa.
However, it may be more convenient to access USCIS online services.
What is Form I-94 number?
Form I-94 number is your arrival and departure document. It is also known as the departure number or admission record number. It is used to prove your admission to the United States.
Your Form I-94 number is located on the upper left side of your Form I-94.
Is visa number the same as Form I-94 number?
No, your visa number and Form I-94 number are not the same. They serve different purposes.
The visa number is your foreign passport number. It is used to prove your identity and for consular purposes.
Form I-94 number is your arrival and departure document. It is also known as the departure number or admission record number. It is used to prove that you were lawfully admitted to the United States.
What do I do if I can’t find my Form I-94 online?
If you cannot find your Form I-94 online, you may file Form I-102 to replace it.
What is the class of admission on Form I-94?
Class of Admission is your visa classification or nonimmigrant status. It shows the category a person is admitted to the United States.
Each nonimmigrant entering the U.S. must have a class of admission on Form I-94, which tells the U.S. government what type of visa you used as well as your period of stay and date of entry or departure.
How do I know my Form I-94 expiry date?
Your Form I-94 expires when the conditions on your visa expire. When you receive your Form I-94, it will show the date when you were required to leave the United States. That date is normally the same as the expiration date of your admission.
What is Current Immigration Status?
Current Immigration Status is your current status in the United States. It shows your nonimmigrant status, if you maintain it and whether or not you have violated that status.
Does U.S. immigration stamp passport on entry?
Yes, U.S. immigration may stamp your passport on entry. However, the stamp will only include the date when you entered the United States and the visa classification under which you were admitted. It does not show how long you are permitted to stay in the United States or whether that time period has already passed.
For records of your stay in the United States, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue Form I-94. Keep or carry it with you until you leave the United States to help you prove that you are authorized to stay in the U.S.
Does Form I-94 expire?
Yes, Form I-94 expires when the conditions on your visa expire. When you receive your Form I-94, it will show the date when you were required to leave the United States. That date is basically the same as the expiration date of your admission.
Usually, your Form I-94 will allow you to stay in the United States within six months. Unless you extend your Form I-94 using Form I-539 or transfer your status to another visa category, you must leave the United States before six months.
What happens if Form I-94 expires?
If you failed to extend your Form I-94 before its expiration date, or if you violated the conditions of your status, you must obey a removal order and leave the United States.
It is illegal to stay in the United Stateswith an expired Form I-94. If you stay past your Form I-94 expiration date, your visa will be automatically canceled. Once your visa is canceled, you may be temporarily or permanently barred from the U.S. You may be able to apply for a new visa, but you must do so at a U.S. consulate abroad.
Can I extend an expired Form I-94?
The U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) suggests that you file Form I-539 45 days before your Form I-94 expires. If approved, your Form I-94 will be extended for a period of time equal to the new eligibility date. If you file Form I-539 too late, it may not be approved in time, and you might have to leave the U.S.
Who must file Form I-94?
Nonimmigrants file Form I-94 when they enter the United States. It does not matter if they are an independent traveler or traveling with their family.
Nonimmigrants include people who come to the U.S. for educational, research, business, or medical treatment purposes.
Specifically, these include but are not limited to:
- Sailors or crewmen
- Representatives of foreign information media or journalists
- Foreign government official or employee traveling on government business (G government official)
- Official government organization representative
- International representatives traveling for a purpose other than on government business (A NATO officials)
- Participants in international visitor programs
- Foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to participate in international cultural exchange programs (Q visitors for international cultural exchange purposes)
- Alien fiancés of U.S. citizens
- Registered nurses
- Scientists and technicians (C)
- International cultural exchange visitors (Q)
- Exchange visitors coming to the U.S. for a short period of time to attend seminars or conferences
- Participants in certain international business programs
- Religious workers
What is the purpose of Form I-94?
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) use Form I-94 to monitor visa holders and verify whether they have left the United States.
Form I-94 is a legal document issued by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer assigned at an international airport, sea port, or land border ports when someone enters the country under a nonimmigrant classification.
Form I-94 authorizes the nonimmigrant to stay in the country for a specific period of time. It also determines when the traveler is expected to leave the United States. Therefore, it acts as proof that you have permission to remain in the U.S. during this time period.
What is the difference between Form I-94 and a visa?
Form I-94 is issued to the traveler upon arrival in the United States. It reflects how long a nonimmigrant can stay in the country and under what circumstances they need to leave.
On the other hand, a visa is attached to nonimmigrants' passports and enables them to enter and remain in the U.S. for a certain period of time. A nonimmigrant visa allows aliens to live in the United States temporarily or change their immigration status while in the country.
Do I need to carry Form I-94 with me?
Yes, you need to carry your Form I-94 with you at all times. A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer or official may ask to see it at any time.
If you lose your Form I-94, you will need to file Form I-102 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to replace it.