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August 1 2013

Authorized Stay In US - Change in Form I-94

Previously, each time a non-immigrant visa holder or one using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) entered the U.S., the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) immigration officer issued a Form I-94 (“I-94”) and stapled it into the entering person’s passport.

The I-94 is very important because it provides the visa clarification, the admission date and the expiration date of one’s authorized stay. Historically, the I-94 has been a white or green piece of paper stapled to the inside of one’s passport.

However, the government has changed their policy, and will no longer provide an I-94 at the point of entry. Instead, the I-94 will be created electronically upon one’s arrival in the U.S. and will be available immediately for verification purposes. At the point of entry, the CBP immigration officer will put a stamp with the admission date in the passport and write in the visa classification and departure date (but they do not always do so, or place the departure date on the stamp). One should download the I-94 from the following website:;jsessionid=YZ1KR7rNtGHjKfZ9QDTQbbTrtRNWL3vl8DhN2mRBtv3nxtp3G32t!2055200489

The I-94 should have the visa classification, date of arrival and length of authorized stay in the United States. There may be mistakes, which should be corrected, and family members’ I-94s may differ, also requiring correction.