Electronic I-94 Record Retrieval Tips

May 21, 2014

 

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: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.

The CBP I-94 website now requires the user to attest to the following before accessing I-94 information: "You are only seeking records about yourself, or you are acting as the authorized representative or legal guardian of the person whose records you are seeking. You are not authorized to access this website to retrieve records of another person unless you are the person's authorized representative or legal guardian."

After making the access attestation, the visitor is brought to the I-94 retrieval page. There are two tabs on the page, one for inputting traveler information and searching for the most recent I-94 record, and one for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). To retrieve the I-94 admission record, the authorized individual should click the Get Most Recent I-94 button after inputting the required information on the Get I-94 Information tab.

Notes

  • Travel history data displayed in the electronic I-94 system are pulled from CBP's Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS).
  • Read the caveat following the travel history list, which states, "This website provides information maintained in CBP systems. The information returned may not reflect applications submitted to or benefits received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigraion Services or Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
  • In response to the question, "How do I report my departure if I enter via air and depart via land?" CBP's I-94 FAQs respond: "If you have a paper form I-94 and depart by land, you can turn the form into Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon entry into Canada or to CBP at the port of entry prior to entering Mexico. If you received an electronic I-94 upon arrival by air or sea and depart via land, your departure may not be recorded accurately. A departure will be recorded if you depart via land and re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped in your passport. If you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an electronic I-94 and depart via land, but do not re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped on your passport, you may want to travel with evidence of your departure into Canada or Mexico. Evidence of departure can include, but is not limited to, entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and/or other receipts. A traveler can request an entry stamp from CBSA when entering Canada or from the InstitutoNacional de Migracion (INM) when entering Mexico."
  • Some individuals have reported finding departure data in their travel history that correspond with a round-trip return flight date, even if they never used that portion of their round-trip ticket to depart the United States. Like arrival data, departure data is also transmitted to CBP systems by air and sea carriers through electronic passenger manifests. If an airline does not edit the manifest to remove individuals who did not get on a flight, the manifest data will be recorded as a departure in the CBP NIIS system that feeds the I-94 travel history list.
  • The I-94 website was updated at the end of April, 2014, to: 1) add the "attestation" described above; 2) to no longer request "most recent date of entry" and "class of admission" in order to retrieve the most recent I-94 record; and 3) to add a Get Travel History button, which will display a list of the nonimmigrant's arrivals and departures relating to the same passport number over the past five years, as stored in CBP's NIIS database. In NAFSA's May 21, 2014 liaison call with CBP, CBP stated that the updated I-94 website should also allow the visitor to access his or her most recent Form I-94 record until a subsequent entry is recorded in the system.
  • NOTE that the electronic I-94 may indicate a departure in the travel history if the traveler had booked a return flight (even if the return ticket is not used) or if the traveler leaves the U.S. (such as a student taking a Caribbean vacation).
  • To request that inaccurate arrival and departure history data be corrected, CBP has suggested that individuals utilize DHS TRIP. The DHS TRIP website states that one of the uses of the site is if "You believe... the U.S. government's record of your personal information is inaccurate."
  • It is highly recommended that every nonimmigrant find and print his/her record as soon as possible after each 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.The I-94 FAQ on the CBP website states, "If a traveler was admitted incorrectly to the United States, the traveler should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or Port of Entry (POE) to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and POEs can be found on CBP's website, www.cbp.gov, under the "Ports" link at the bottom of the page. If a traveler was issued an incorrect I-94 by USCIS, the traveler should refer to the Form I-102, which can be found at www.uscis.gov/forms."

Tips

Finding the I-94 record online can sometimes take some real detective work. Before contacting CBP regarding an I-94 that can't be found,

  • First, try finding the I-94 record using the FAQs on the CBP I-94 website, https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.
  • If you can't locate the I-94 record using the CBP FAQs, try these troubleshooting tips:

Name

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 traveler's:

  • 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)
    • Examples:
      • 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.

Birth Date

TIP: Try inverting the month and day. Example: Birth Date July 9, 1980 correctly entered would be 1980 July 09; try instead 1980 September 07.

Passport Number

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.

Reporting Issues 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:

  1. Name on passport (add name on visa if different)
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Passport number
  4. Country of issuance
  5. Class of admission
  6. Date of entry
  7. Port of entry
  8. Airline and flight number
  9. Description of the problem encountered
  10. 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
  11. A statement that you have obtained the traveler's permission for NAFSA to share any personally identifiable information with CBP