Compiled by the Travel Subcommittee of NAFSA's International Student and Scholar Regulatory Practice Committee (ISS-RP).
To access an electronic I-94 record, visit: www.cbp.gov/I94. There are two tabs on the site, one for inputting traveler information and searching for the I-94 record, and one for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). NOTE that the electronic I-94 may disappear if the traveler had booked a return flight (even if that is not used) or if the traveler leaves the U.S. (such as a student taking a Caribbean vacation). Therefore, it is highly recommended that every nonimmigrant find and print his/her record as soon as possible after entry to (1) make sure the information is correct and (2) have a record of the information if the electronic record changes.
The information on the electronic I-94 can affect the ability to get a driver’s license, Social Security number or other government benefits. The information also describes one’s visa status in the US. Therefore, it is extremely important to fix errors or missing records. More information on how to do that is below in the section on the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). To start, we give some tips on actually finding the I-94 record online – that can take some real detective work.
try finding the I-94 record using the FAQs on the CBP I-94 website, www.cbp.gov/I94.
If you can't locate the I-94 record using the CBP FAQs, try these
TIP: The name field on www.cbp.gov/i94 is not case-sensitive.
TIP: Try entering the name as listed in the various travel documents:
- Passport Name
- U.S. Visa Name
There are two locations for names on passports and U.S. visas: 1) the name
field and 2) the machine-readable zone. If the name is different, try both versions
TIP: Also try the versions of the name that appear on the
- Airline Ticket
- Boarding Pass
This might work because the electronic I-94 system initially receives names
from the carrier in an electronic transfer of the flight manifest.
TIP: Try entering variations of the names that appear on the
travel documents -
- If there are multiple last (or first) names:
- Try entering just one last (or first) name
- Eliminate the space between the names
- Add/remove a hyphen between names
- Truncate the last few letters if the names are long. (Note: each name
field has a 25-character limit)
- Last/Surname Lopez Garcia: try entering Lopezgarcia or just Lopez.
- Last/Surname Fernandes Carvalho de Sousa: try entering Fernandescarvalhodeso.
- Last/Surname Al-Hamdi: try entering Alhamdi or just Hamdi.
- First and middle name:
- Try entering both names in the First (Given) Name field with a space
– e.g., For first name Claire and middle name Anne, try entering
Claire Anne in the First (Given) Name field.
- Try entering just the first and middle initials – e.g., for Claire
Anne, try CA or C A.
- Only one name
- If the traveler only has one name, the Department of State may have placed
that name in the Last/Surname field and placed the abbreviation FNU (First
Name Unknown) in the First/Given name field. Try entering whatever name
appears in the machine readable section of the passport and/or visa, including
the abbreviation FNU.
TIP: Try inverting the month and day. Example: Birth Date
July 9, 1980 correctly entered would be 1980 July 09; try instead 1980 September
TIP: When both letters and numbers appear in the passport
number, try entering a space after the letter(s). Example: Passport number LA497327:
try entering LA 497327.
TIP: Also try the passport booklet number; sometimes the
booklet number differs from the number on the bio page.
TIP: If the valid visa is in an expired passport, try entering
the old passport number instead of the new one used for entry.
TIP: For Mexican passport entries, try eliminating the first two digits of
the passport number. Also try dropping the last two digits.
Most Recent Date of Entry
TIP: Try "bracketing" the date, by entering dates
one to three days before or after the actual date of entry.
Class of Admission
TIP: For those in H-1B status, instead of selecting H-1, try
TIP:Check the class of admission that is handwritten on the visa foil in the passport. If that is different, it may lead to the electronic record – and also identify a problem to be fixed with CBP.
TIP: Contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). For erroneous records, records that cannot
be retrieved, or for missing admission stamps in the passport, contact your local
CBP port of entry or deferred inspection office before recommending your student/scholar
visit them in person. Some CBP offices may assist with record retrieval by phone or
email. Other issues, such as a missing admission stamp, may require a visit in
person. It is worth noting if you live far from the Deferred Inspection site. For information on all Deferred Inspection sites, visit the CBP website.
Reporting the Issue to NAFSA
Make sure to check out NAFSA's Electronic I-94 Update Page. You can help our liaison efforts to improve the I-94 retrival process by submitting
your experience to NAFSA IssueNet's "Report an Issue," at issuenet.nafsa.org.
Your submission will be reviewed by NAFSA's ISS-RP Travel Subcommittee. Please use IssueNet; this is
the most consistent way for NAFSA to assess what is happening at the CBP ports of entry
and help keep this and other travel resources current.
Your examples will be most helpful if you can include in your report:
- Name on passport (add name on visa if different)
- Date of Birth
- Passport number
- Country of issuance
- Class of admission
- Date of entry
- Port of entry
- Airline and flight number
- Description of the problem encountered
- If you eventually found the record or were successful in having an
incorrect record amended, please report that, too, and let us know how
the problem was resolved
- A statement that you have obtained the traveler's permission for NAFSA to share any personally identifiable information with CBP