U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced the publication of an Interim Final Rule that will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. The change will become effective on April 26 and will be implemented at air and sea ports of entry in a phased approach beginning April 30.
The automation means that foreign visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea. Records of admission will now be generated using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means. However, individuals who go through secondary inspection, such as asylees, refugees, and parolees, will be provided a paper copy of Form I-94 by a CBP officer.
Paper Copy of Form I-94
While the CBP is undertaking automation of Form I-94, a USCIS press release has stated that USCIS will continue to require applicants to submit a paper copy of Form I-94 when requesting certain benefits. Other government agencies, such as State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), also require a paper copy of Form I-94. Further, nonimmigrants who are authorized to work may present a paper copy of Form I-94 to their employers during the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process.
CBP has announced that travelers wanting a hard copy or other evidence of admission will be directed to CBP.gov/I94 to print a copy of an I-94 based on the electronically submitted data, including the I-94 number from the form, to provide as necessary to benefits providers or as evidence of lawful admission. CBP.gov/I94 will however not be a live website until the end of April.