Nonimmigrant Visa Holders Should Always Retrieve I-94 Record

gavel and u.s. flag

Recently, when we have filed for adjustments of status, changes of status, or extensions of status for nonimmigrant clients, we have noticed that both U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State have been requesting copies of the Applicant's previous I-94 Admission Records and if the Applicant does not have any of the previous I-94 Admission Records, the Applicant must explain the circumstances of his or her last admission or entry to the U.S. and submit a copy of the admission stamp placed on the passport.

This is important because, in the year 2013, USCIS ceased requiring nonimmigrant visa holders to fill out Form I-94 (the infamous "white card" that was previously filled out on the airplane) at the port of entry. See the Interim Rule published by the Department of Homeland Security at 78 F.R. 18457. For that reason, many clients say that they do not have an I-94 Admission Record for all of their entries. However, they do not realize that about the same time that USCIS ceased requiring nonimmigrants to fill out Form I-94, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) implemented the automated retrieval of the I-94 Admission Record, which allows a nonimmigrant visa holder to retrieve and download their I-94 Admission Record. This is the webpage: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/recent-search.

Therefore, because of the requests by USCIS and the Department of State for previous I-94 Admission Records, we highly advise all nonimmigrants to retrieve their I-94 Admission Record immediately upon any arrival to the U.S. Furthermore, it should be noted that past I-94 Admission Records do not appear to be accessible on the CBP website mentioned above, although a Travel History is available. Therefore, if either USCIS or the Department of State requests a copy of a previous I-94 Admission Record, the nonimmigrant applicant may have trouble retrieving that records if he or she did not download it or print it out immediately upon entering the U.S. As such, we implore all nonimmigrant visa holders to retrieve their I-94 Admission Record immediately upon any arrival to the U.S. at the above-mentioned website.

Screenshot of Admission (I-94) Number Retrieval

If you have any questions regarding immigration law or the process for retrieving an admission record, please contact me, Santiago J. Padilla, Esq., at (305) 824-2400 or contact us online.

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