On April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) began substituting a passport stamp and an electronic entry record for the paper I-94s that had been filled out by people entering the U.S. by air or sea ports (Note: Refugees, asylees and parolees will still receive paper I-94s, but will have to go to secondary inspection to obtain them).
While this is a good initiative in many ways, like any transition, it will be a little rocky.
People applying for driver’s licenses or Social Security numbers in some locations are being asked to present I-94s rather than the passport stamp alone. The I-9 instructions arguably require a printed I-94 card as well. And it is always a good idea to have proof of status that is easily recognized.
Therefore, we advise that you:
CBP is supposed to provide travelers with this information upon entry. If they do not, or if you have problems with the electronic I-94 process, please let us know so we can report these transitional issues to them.
- Print the electronic I-94 by going to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html. This page also contains a tab for FAQs that you can read if you have trouble finding the I-94 on line. Note that you should use your passport name rather than your visa name if they are different.
- Print the FAQ page to take with you to the driver’s license facility, SSA or other government office.
- Take your passport with the stamp and visa page as proof also.
- If you have a problem that you cannot resolve, the “deferred action” sites of CBP are the contact points to help you. See
- If you continue to have problems, you can ask for a paper I-94 upon entry if you are “nonimmigrant” (entering on a visa). However, you will have to go to secondary inspection to do this, so schedule enough time between flights to allow for the extra time it will take.