The I-94 card, known by those in the immigration field as your most important proof of last entry into the U.S., is no longer going to be issued for the majority of travelers entering the U.S. U.S. Customs and Border (CBP) officials have created a new online, automated system that will replace the I-94 card paper system. The new system is called the CBP Trusted Traveler Program, and it has been established to expedite entry for international travelers into the U.S. This program applies to all travelers entering the U.S. by air or sea.
The most important point to remember is that travelers Must still retain proof of their last date of travel into the U.S. Instead of an I-94 card, CBP will now place a stamp in the person’s passport. There will also be an electronic record made, and I strongly encourage everyone to log into www.cbp.gov/I94 to print out the electronic record made of their last entry into the U.S. For filings with USCIS, the stamp in the passport may be enough in some circumstances, but I still strongly encourage travelers to log into the www.cbp.gov website and obtain secondary proof as well. I am an immigration lawyer, after all! The paper print out may also be needed when applying for a driver’s license or social security number, etc.
A paper print out of the proof of entry is also important in case CBP’s electronic system is down and the record cannot be accessed by government officials when needed, etc. Therefore, it is wise to print out the proof of your last entry into the U.S. at your earliest convenience. Be sure to hold onto this proof just like you would keep your I-94 card safe and sound.
This new requirement does not affect individuals traveling into the U.S. via a land border, asylees, refugees or those being paroled into the U.S. These individuals will still get a traditional I-94 card.
For those especially careful, they can request a paper I-94 card from CBP at the port of entry, but the applicant must go to secondary inspection to obtain the paper I-94 card. The paper I-94 card will be the electronic print-out accessed at www.cbp.gov/I94.
Also, as a side note, it is the name on your passport (not the name on the applicant’s visa) that CBP will enter into the system. If there is a mistake in the record or you cannot access your record even though you entered the name on your passport, then contact CBP directly at deferred inspection or seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer so that you can obtain proof of your last entry into the U.S. and proof of your expiration date.