The so-called I-94 form or entry form initially documents the entry and exit to and from the United States of holders of a US nonimmigrant visa and an ESTA approval or participants in the Visa Waiver Program.
In the I-94 form, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), stores simple data identifying the traveler – such as name, passport number, flight information, etc. – hence the name Arrival / Departure Record. The I-94 form thus serves as proof of the lawful entry or departure of foreign individuals.
At the same time, the document serves as proof of legal residence (= residence status) within the United States, in addition to important documents such as the US visa or passport including entry stamp.
Nearly all travelers visiting the United States receive an I-94 form upon entry, except, for example:
Foreign nationals who are already in the US legally may also, under certain filing procedures, obtain a new I-94 form from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For example, when the residency status is extended within the US (Status extension) or is changed (Change of status). On the USCIS approval letter (Approval Notice), a new I-94 is then found in paper form, which must be added to the passport and thus documents the new (legal) status. In addition, however, this information is also stored in the electronic system, i.e. on the official I-94 website and can be accessed there.
We advise you on the choice of the appropriate visa category and take over the complete processing for you or your company.
Since May 2013, the I-94 entry form has been filed electronically and entries and exits to the US are registered online in an automated manner with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Therefore, non-US citizens entering the United States by air or sea no longer need to fill out a paper I-94 form at the border or on the airplane/ship in advance. Upon entry, only the passport (incl. US visa) and, if applicable, other documents depending on the visa category must be presented to the border officials. The data entry is then done by scanning the passport and is electronically recorded in the system of the U.S. authorities.
Persons entering the country with a US visa or under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA approval) can then access the electronic form of the entry form on the official I-94 website immediately after crossing the border. There, the current I-94 can be viewed on the Internet using the passport data after entry has been completed. The USCIS / CBP store all relevant information on the residence status at this point:
We recommend that all travelers check the information on this website and print out the form immediately after entering the USA.
In parallel with the electronic collection of data via the I-94 form, all foreign persons entering the US generally also receive a stamp in their passport, which in turn is
Prior to the introduction of the electronic I-94 form or I-94 automation, all U.S. visa holders entering the U.S. were required to complete the I-94 form by hand, and visa waiver travelers were required to complete the I-94W form by hand. The form then had to be completed in its entirety and presented to the border agent at the counter, along with the passport (and visa, if applicable). A section of the I-94 or I-94W form was then stapled or stapled into the traveler's passport and had to be surrendered upon exit. This was the only way to document timely departure. Today, the departure is automatically recorded electronically.
Attention: Electronic I-94 automation only affects individuals arriving in the U.S. by air or sea.
By clicking "Accept All Cookies" you consent to our use and sharing of your information with our partners.