CBP’s New Arrival/Departure Record Process for Foreign Visitors
Foreign visitors arriving in the United States – only via air or sea – who need to prove their legal-visitor status – to employers, school/universities or government agencies – will be able to access their U.S. Customs and Border Protection Arrival/Departure record information online when CBP starts its records automation starting on April 30, 2013.
When the electronic rollout begins on April 30, 2013, CBP will no longer require international non-immigrant visitors to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival to the United States by air or sea. The agency will gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. This automation will streamline the entry process for travelers, facilitate security and reduce federal costs. CBP anticipates that the automated process will save the agency an estimated $15.5 million annually.
As advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 at land border Ports of Entry.
CBP will phase-in the Form I-94 automation at air and sea Ports of Entry through April and May. Foreign visitors will continue to receive the paper Form I-94 until the automated process arrives at their Port of Entry. Following automation, if travelers need the information from their form I-94 admission record to verify immigration status, legal entry or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available at CBP.gov/I94.
With the new CBP process, a CBP officer will stamp the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler. The admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until. Travelers will also receive on arrival a flier alerting them to go to CBP.gov/I-94 for their admission record information.
Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the United States. Travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 would surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.
For more information and for answers on CBP’s automation of Form I-94, contact our experienced immigration attorney directly for a FREE consultation.
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