United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as other U.S. entities and border authorities, require most nonimmigrants visiting the United States to complete Form I-94 (Arrival – Departure Record) or Form I-95 (Crewman Landing Permit). Arrival – Departure Records detail information relating to the purpose of a foreign national’s visit, their Visa status and type, the date they arrived in the United States, and the duration of their authorized stay. Form I-94 and Form I-95 will also explicitly state the date that a nonimmigrant’s authorized stay is set to expire. Foreign citizens visiting the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program are not required to complete these forms.
Upon arriving in the U.S. at a port of entry (via land border, airline, or ship) nonimmigrants will receive either Form I-94 or Form I-95 (most likely I-94) from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer or other representative. These forms must be completed and presented to a CBP officer, who may also ask questions regarding the purpose of a visit, the duration of a stay, and other immigration matters. If a CBP office approves, they will stamp the form and grant final approval for admission into the country.
It is important that all non-U.S. citizens who receive these forms upon entry keep them on their person at all times. Upon leaving the country, these forms must be given to a CBP officer or other representative so that departure dates can be properly recorded. In some cases, nonimmigrants may simply hand these forms to airline or ship representatives or deposit them into a designated drop box. If no form is submitted upon departure, it may potentially create difficulties for a nonimmigrant when they visit the U.S. in the future, as immigration systems and files may find no record of a departure and show that an individual overstayed their visa. Visitors from Canada and Mexico who stay for 30 days or less may retain the I-94 form and use the balance of time remaining when they return to the U.S. in the future.
If your I-94 of I-95 form is lost, stolen, or tarnished, you may request a replacement from USCIS. To apply for a replacement, you must complete Form I-102 – Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival – Departure Document – and submit it to the USCIS office in the jurisdiction in which you are temporarily located. You can submit a copy of the original form or, if you do not have a copy, a copy of your biographic page from your passport and a copy of the passport page stamped by a CBP officer. If you cannot supply any evidence, you must submit a written explanation and some proof of your identity.
In addition to documenting your arrival and departure records, Form I-94 can also be used when you wish to apply for an extension of stay or a change of status while in the United States. As our firm’s legal team has helped many nonimmigrants complete these particular procedures, we can provide you with step-by-step guidance when completing your chosen action. As part of this process, your original I-94 Form will be used to verify that you were legally admitted into the United States.
Focused on providing comprehensive assistance to individuals, families, and employers in need of navigating immigration proceedings, our legal team is here to help those who would like more information about Arrival – Departure Forms, especially to nonimmigrants who wish to request a replacement form or who wish to apply for a change of status of stay extension. Work with proven, experienced attorneys who take the time to clearly explain every aspect of your case. Contact a New York immigration lawyer from Pozo Goldstein, LLP today.