US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) continues to make changes that impact people who are legally in the country. These changes are often claimed to be beneficial or to streamline the process. However, the more changes are made, the more confusing and riskier these processes can become for everyone involved.
One such change impacts foreign nationals with passports who are coming to and staying in the US for any period of time. In the past, officials would issue paper I-94s and give an admission stamp inside the foreign national’s passport. In 2013, the process converted to electronic I-94s and a stamp in the foreign national’s passport that indicated what their visa classification was and how long they were permitted to remain in the US. Both of these processes provided immediate clarity with limited confusion.
More recently, the USCBP has expanded its program that will now cease providing these admission stamps while also not providing paper I-94s. This means foreign nationals will not be able to quickly look at their stamp to get an understanding of their status or timeline and will be held more accountable for their own status by going out of their way to verify and remember their status.
Download Your I-94 Today
It’s imperative that foreign nationals now go online to download their I-94 form. This can be done on the USCBP website. You should keep your I-94 copy in a place that is secure and accessible to avoid confusion in the future. This form will provide all the necessary information in regard to your visa status and the length of time you are permitted to stay. The I-94 download can also be provided to officials should questions arise about your status in the US.
If you view and/or download your I-94 and notice there is an error, you should get this corrected promptly. You can contact the USCBP Deferred Inspections Department to get this corrected. This can often be done via email through the proper officials in your region.
At Valvo & Associates, we have always kept a close eye on important changes that have impacted foreign nationals and other immigrants traveling to the US. These continue to be contentious issues at times and on the minds of many politicians and citizens alike. If you have questions or concerns about changes that could impact your visa or immigration status, contact our experts in U.S. immigration law right away.