Transition to Electronic I-94 Card

Beginning April 30, 2013 in select airports and continuing through May 21st, 2013 (when all air and sea ports will have transitioned), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will transition to an electronic I-94 arrival/departure record. International non-immigrants entering the U.S. through air or by sea will no longer have to fill out a paper I-94 arrival/departure record. CBP will gather all required information automatically from the traveler’s electronic travel records. This automation will streamline the entry process for travelers. The paper I-94 card will still be used at land border ports of entry.

Read CBP’s press release detailing this new process.

Review the below FAQ to answer questions about what this transition means to you.


What is an I-94?

The I-94 card is the document that is used to denote a person’s immigration status, and their period of authorized stay in the U.S. It is distributed upon entry and, at present, is removed when an individual departs the U.S.

What does this mean for me?

When entering the U.S., you will no longer be issued a paper I-94 admission number, unless entering at a land border. You will still receive a stamp in your passport which details the status you were admitted in (i.e, F-1, J-1, H-1B) and the duration of stay.

Does this mean if I enter the U.S. after April 30th I will no longer have an I-94 admission number?

No, you still receive an admission number, just not a paper form. You can access this number by visiting CBP’s website, http://www.cbp.gov/I94. To access the I-94 information, simply type in your name (as it appears on the visa stamp), biographical information, port and day of entry, and then you will be able to access your I-94 admission number and print off as needed. An image of what this screen will look like can be viewed on page 2 of this PDF.

How will the OIS assist with this transition?

The OIS will assist new international students and scholars in printing their electronic I-94 card during check-in with our office.

How does this affect the Social Security Card, Driver’s License, I-9, and other processes that require I-94 cards?

These processes haven’t changed and still require the I-94 admission number. You will still need to print off the paper version of the I-94 card to apply for a social security number and driver’s license. Anyone who will be on University Payroll and needs to complete an I-9 will also need to print off the I-94 card before completing this form. Additionally, USCIS forms (I-765, I-539, I-129, etc.) still have the I-94 admission number as a required field, in which case you will need to use the printed version of the card when filing these applications.

What happens when I depart the US?

If you still have a paper card in your passport, this will be collected by the airline. Keep in mind, if you have a paper I-94 card now, depart the US, and re-enter after April 30th you will not be provided a paper card for re-entry. The airlines are still responsible for recording the departure information and will do so electronically for anyone that does not have a paper card.

What if I was issued a paper card, but lost it?

CBP will make admission records for entries on, or after, April 30, 2011 available electronically. You can simply visit CBP’s website, www.cbp.gov/I94, and print the card. If the last entry to the U.S. was prior to April 30, 2011, CBP will not have an electronic record of the admission and you will have to file for a replacement using Form I-102.