The I-94 form (Arrival / Departure Record) is used to record the entry and exit of foreign persons (e.g., holders of US visas or ESTA authorizations) to or from the United States as well as their legal residency status within the United States.

Jump to topic

What is the I-94 form?

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:

  • US citizens
  • Holders of an immigrant visa (Green Card)
  • the majority of Canadian citizens – under certain conditions
  • Mexican nationals entering the country with a Border Crossing Card (for short stays)
  • Crew members (C-1/D or D visas) – they usually receive an I-95 form
  • Persons entering under the Automatic Visa Revalidation process.

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.

Bidl von einem Videocall mit mehreren Teilnehmenden
Our services

We advise you on the choice of the appropriate visa category and take over the complete processing for you or your company.

  1. First contact: We clarify which visa or which visa types are applicable in your case.
  2. Worldwide support: We will assist you with your request, no matter where you are located.
  3. Assignment: We send your HR department and the respective employees all the necessary documents and checklists.
  4. Visa processing: We take care of checking, correcting and compiling the application documents.
  5. Visa Interview Preparation: We will disburse the visa application fee for you and arrange the visa interview appointment. In addition, each applicant will be prepared by telephone for the formalities and procedures at the US Consulate.
  6. Visa issuance: We check your visa for accuracy and prepare your employees for entry into the USA by telephone.

Where can I get the I-94?

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:

  • I-94 Number
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Passport information
  • Date of entry
  • Visa category under which you entered the country
  • the date by which the person must leave the US at the latest

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

  • proves the date of entry
  • the visa category and
  • the date on which the traveler must leave the USA again.

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.

Other visa topics

Sie haben nicht alle nötigen Cookies akzeptiert um diese Funktion zu verwenden. Sie können Ihre Einstellungen hier ändern.