What is an I-94?
The I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record Card that the United States government uses to keep track of the arrivals and departures of foreign nationals. The only people who do not receive I-94s when entering the United States are U.S. citizens, green card holders, and the majority of Canadian citizens visiting the United States. Previously foreign nationals received a physical copy of their I-94 (a white card) when they entered the United States, however this information is now stored electronically. (Some land border crossings will still issue a paper copy of the I-94 but this is not common). Foreign nationals can get their current I-94 by visiting a website maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If you apply for a change of status or extension of status while in the United States, you will receive a physical I-94 on the bottom of your approval notice.
Why is my I-94 important?
The I-94 is an important document, as it shows your name, birthdate, passport number, current status in the United States and the date when your status ends. It is always possible that the I-94 information is entered or recorded incorrectly, which can have negative immigration consequences if left uncorrected. It is strongly recommended that you verify all information on your Form I-94 each time you enter the U.S. to ensure the information on the I-94 record is correct.
I checked my I-94 and the information is incorrect. How do I fix my I-94?
If your electronic I-94 contains incorrect information, the procedure to correct it from within the United States is to visit a local Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deferred Inspection Site or Port of Entry (POE) that has a Deferred Inspection office. You should bring supporting documentation to your appointment to show that there was an error. For example, if the I-94 shows that you were admitted as a B-2 tourist when you actually entered on an E-2 visa, you would bring your current visa, the incorrect electronic I-94 and the correct visa stamp showing your class of admission. If you received an incorrect I-94 on your approval notice from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services you can file Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document to get a corrected I-94.
Some of our clients have had success changing their I-94 by contacting deferred inspection sites here.
For more practical information and legal advice on immigration issues contact Scott Legal, P.C. Call 212-223-2964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Kelly R. LeGrand Weiner, Esq. is the Managing Attorney at Scott Legal, P.C. She can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at email@example.com.
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