Customs and Border Protection Information

July 25, 2017


Other CBP Resources

Reporting challenges to NAFSA

Have you encountered students or scholars who entered through a port of entry where the automated I-94 has been implemented and had trouble locating their electronic I-94 records, or whose electronic I-94 record is inaccurate? If so, please let us know through the Report an Issue function of IssueNet ( NAFSA remains in contact with CBP about I-94 automation, and we are gathering specific case examples to demonstrate problems.

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.

Timeline and Resources on the electronic Form I-94 roll-out

  • Roll-out of the electronic I-94 began on April 30, 2013, and will proceed along the schedule reproduced below. 
  • The I-94 website at went live on April 26, 2013.
  • On April 16, 2013, NAFSA commented on the CBP interim final rule that was published on March 27, 2013.
  • SEVP posted a link to a CBP I-94 Quick Reference Guide for Local, State and Federal Agencies that contains images of the different kinds of Form I-94.
  • Read DHS' Privacy Impact Assessment for the automated Form I-94 for helpful background information about systems and processes.
  • CBP updated their website with the electronic I-94 factsheet.
  • On March 27, 2013, DHS published the electronic I-94 Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register with an effective date of April 26, 2013. [78 Fed.Reg. 1847 (March 27, 2013)] Although the rule is effective on April 26, 2013, DHS will accept public comment during the 30-day period from the date of publication until the effective date. Actual implementation will take place over a four-week period beginning on April 30, 2013 (see the roll-out table below).
  • CBP updated their website on March 21, 2013 with a notice regarding the rule and how the automated I-94 system will work.
  • On March 14, 2013, CBP provides NAFSA with a briefing on the plans for I-94 automation (see the summary of that briefing, below).


For the past 50 years, most nonimmigrants admitted to the United States have been issued a small, white card designated as Form I-94. This card serves as evidence of a lawful admission and "alien registration" that is required by law. Prior to automation, I-94 information was sent to a contractor for manual data entry, which cost U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) approximately $12-15 million per year. CBP already maintained the data in an electronic form, so they decided to leverage that to create an electronic I-94, to reduce costs and enhance the accuracy of the data in their systems. A rule published in the Federal Register expanded the definition of "I-94" to include electronic means, included the CBP admission stamp [to be placed in the passport] as proof of a lawful admission and "alien registration," and paved the way for I-94 automation.

Roll-Out Schedule

The electronic I-94 program has been implemented only at air and sea ports of entry. According to an April 2, 2013 CBP notice, implementation began on April 30, 2013 at five pilot ports of entry and was extended to all remaining air and sea ports of entry over a total of four weeks. Here is the roll-out schedule:

Week 1 4/30/13
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport,
  • Orlando International Airport,
  • Las Vegas Airport,
  • Chicago O’Hare and
  • Miami International Airport
Week 2 5/7/13 Major Air and Sea Ports within the following field offices:
  • New York,
  • Boston,
  • Buffalo,
  • Baltimore,
  • Detroit,
  • Atlanta,
  • Tampa,
  • Puerto Rico,
  • Miami,
  • Chicago,
  • New Orleans and
  • Houston
Week 3 5/14/13 Major Air and Sea ports within the following field offices:
  • Pre-Clearance,
  • San Francisco (includes Hawaii and Guam),
  • Tucson,
  • El Paso,
  • Seattle,
  • Portland (includes Alaska),
  • Los Angeles,
  • San Diego and
  • Laredo
Week 4 5/21/13 All remaining airports and seaports


CBP updated their website on April 2, 2013, with the following notice describing how the automated system will work:

Foreign visitors arriving in the U.S.—only via air or sea—who need to prove their legal-visitor status—to employers, schools/universities or government agencies—will be able to access their U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrival/departure record information online when the agency starts its records automation on April 30, 2013.

When the electronic rollout begins April 30, CBP will no longer require international non-immigrant visitors to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival to the U.S. by air or sea. The agency will gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. This automation will streamline the entry process for travelers, facilitate security and reduce federal costs. CBP anticipates that the automated process will save the agency an estimated $15.5 million a year.

Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

CBP will phase-in the Form I-94 automation at air and sea ports of entry through April and May. Foreign visitors will continue to receive the paper Form I-94 until the automated process arrives at their port of entry. Following automation, if travelers need the information from their Form I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available at (

With the new CBP process, a CBP officer will stamp the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler. The admission stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until. Travelers will also receive on arrival a flier alerting them to go to for their admission record information. (

Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 would surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.

For more information and for answers to frequently asked questions, visit CBP’s Form I-94 webpages.

According to the March 27, 2013 Federal Register notice, the electronic Form I-94 record "will be created during the inspection process at the time of admission or parole when the CBP Officer pulls information from the traveler's APIS (Advance Passenger Information System) record and any CCD (Consular Consolidated Database) record, and enters any additional data obtained during the inspection process. The same data elements found on the paper Form I-94 will be collected and maintained in the electronic Form I-94. Any information the officer would have written or stamped on the paper form at the time of admission or parole can be entered into the electronic form. The departure record is created from APIS using the Arrival and Departure Information System (ADIS) to match the departure to the correct arrival record."

Here is an example of how the electronic Form I-94 screen will look (source: CBP I-94 Fact Sheet):
I-94 electronic view

March 14, 2013 CBP Briefing To NAFSA

On March 14, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) briefed NAFSA staff on CBP's plans to automate the I-94 arrival/departure record. In a recent meeting of the International Students Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene Johnson, mentioned concerns about the change and the need to inform the stakeholder community about it. This update from CBP was a response to the stated concerns and several questions.

These notes were taken by NAFSA staff during the discussion and have not been reviewed by the government officials involved.  They reflect information provided by government officials in an informal setting. They are best used as general information concerning current agency processes and policies, and it is important to recognize that agency processes and policies are subject to change. NAFSA notes and liaison summaries do not constitute legal advice.

CBP informed NAFSA that once the rule is effective, it is their plan is to implement automation rapidly over a four-week period across all air ports of entry. The start date of the implementation will be specified in the Federal Register notice. As an interim final rule, there will also be a comment period set out in the Federal Register notice, even though the automation itself can proceed.

Once the automated I-94 is implemented, an electronic I-94 record will be created when a traveler arrives in the United States. As currently happens, the information will continue to flow to the various DHS components and systems such as USCIS, SEVIS, etc., and the information will be available to various components and agencies as it was before. The principal difference is that no piece of paper will be issued at the air or sea port of entry as happens now. Rather, when the electronic record is created, the traveler will receive an admission stamp in her/his passport, which will reflect the class of admission [such as F-1, J-1, or M-1], the date of admission, and the admit-to date or D/S.

Since the I-94 is used in many processes beyond DHS, CBP has established an "I-94 website" that will be located at That website will go live 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register. The traveler will be able to go to the website, enter biographic and entry information [from the passport and passport entry stamp], receive his or her electronic I-94 number, print it out, and use the print-out to present to other benefit-granting agencies, such as USCIS, Social Security Administration Offices, Departments of Motor Vehicles, etc.

Since CBP recognizes that many stakeholders might be affected if stakeholders, travelers, or other agencies misunderstand or lacked information about the automated I-94, CBP has developed working groups, including a communications working group, to get the word out. The agency has engaged in extensive communication with other agencies, including-for example-the Social Security Administration and departments of motor vehicles.

"Tear sheets" will be distributed at ports of entry to notify travelers about the change and provide information about the I-94 website and process for obtaining a print-out. CBP is preparing all of the necessary informational materials and will be able to share them with the stakeholder community once OMB approves the rule and it has been published in the Federal Register.


The March 14, 2013 update was followed by a period of Q&A. Officials from federal agencies other that CBP (such as SEVP) participated in the call, in addition to NAFSA staff.

Q:   Nonimmigrants such as Fs and Js are admitted for "duration of status" and receive an I-94 marked D/S to indicate that.  How would that be reflected in the electronic version?

A:  Nothing will change. Those who are to be admitted D/S will be admitted with the same D/S status and notation. Currently this data is entered manually by a contractor. Once the I-94 is automated, it will be done electronically.  The traveler will receive a stamp in the passport annotated D/S.

Q:  How will the automated I-94 process impact processes such as the I-515 process. Currently the traveler sends in the original date-specific I-94 to get a new updated one indicating D/S. Would the printout from the I-94 website suffice for such internal DHS needs?

A:  In most situations the print-out will suffice, but in some situations (like the I-515A), because it is a secondary inspection procedure, the traveler will be given a special paper form annotated with the electronic I-94 number. In other words, if an I-515A is required, the recipient will also receive a paper I-94 so that she or he can complete the I-515A process. So that procedure will actually remain the same as it is now.

Q:  In terms of rollout, we've heard that it might start as a pilot at a few ports of entry. Can you speak to whether there will be a pilot program, or it will start at every port of entry at the same time? Also, will there be differences in implementation at air and land ports of entry?

A:  The implementation schedule has been condensed. The prior plan was to have a six-week implementation period, with a two-week initial pilot period.  The roll-out schedule has been condensed to a total of four weeks. During the first week the program will be implemented at four air ports of entry (Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, Charlotte). Over the following three weeks, the program will be expanded to all air and sea ports of entry.  Automation does not affect land ports of entry currently. They already have a modified automated system and do not rely on contacted data entry.  At land ports of entry travelers will continue to receive a modified version of the form which will be called the I-94A.

Q:  What happens in the case of automatic revalidation? Have you thought through the automatic revalidation of the visa and the use of the I-94?

A:   Nothing is going to change with automatic revalidation. If you depart, and-upon return-you meet the revalidation criteria, CBP will already have the electronic I-94 on record, and it will be revalidated. You will be provided with another stamp in the passport, and the I-94 will just be revalidated electronically.  Previously the requirement was that the traveler had to have the I-94 in her or his possession, but because it will be an electronic record, CBP will have the record, and there will be no need to present a paper I-94. So nothing will change with that process except that a paper I-94 will no longer be needed for revalidation. Those who fly back to the U.S. will receive a new passport stamp, and those who drive in will be processed according to the land border port of entry process and receive an I-94A.

Q:  Would someone granted automatic revalidation retain the same I-94 number?

A:  Yes, it will remain the same.

Q:  Do you know what the specific content of the passport stamp will be?

A:   It's just a CBP admission stamp, the one they already use currently. Guidance will require officers to actually write on the stamp. They'll have to write the class of admission, and the "admit to" date or D/S. If it's a date-specific admission, the date must be written out.  If it's a D/S admission, then officers will continue to write out "D/S" as they currently do.

Q:  One of the things you may be already hearing from school officials, a key concern I'm hearing from them, is that sometimes students may have more than one SEVIS record (for example, may be admitted to two universities, get I-20s from two universities, go to a consulate with the form from the university they prefer, or the one that admitted them more recently, get a visa for that school, make an entry to go to that school) and sometimes the port of entry data gets connected with the wrong SEVIS record. School officials have figured this out and tried to get it fixed (through the SEVIS help desk and other means) by looking at the I-20 stamp or the SEVIS number on the I-94.  Now that the I-20 is no longer stamped, and when they won't be able to see a SEVIS number notated on the I-94 (in most cases the SEVIS number was written by the inspector at the POE), they worry about how they will figure out which SEVIS record should be the "active" one. This will be a key concern that you will hear from NAFSAns: how are they going to figure out which SEVIS record should be connected with the entry, and how will DHS be able to fix errors. I would urge you to consider this issues as you move forward.

A:  I'm not sure how that backend process works. Many officers do write the SEVIS number on the I-94, but it's not required by CBP that they do that, so I'm not sure how reliable that is, even today. Thanks for this feedback

Q:  There are similar issues regarding border commuter students, so addressing SEVIS/I-94 automation interface questions applicable to them, and just general SEVIS-automated I-94 issues will be very important.

A:  We will. Thank you.

Q:  Thanks you for joining our recent (NAFSA ISSRP) Travel Subcommittee liaison call with CBP. You've provided some very useful information already. I'm sure we'll follow up with you in the future, and we'll also continue to discuss the SEVIS record/POE data issue with CBP and SEVP.  We will also follow up with you about participating in our annual conference.

A:  SEVP:  We look forward to discussing this with NAFSA and our CBP colleagues. CBP: We do, too.  SEVP:  Please be aware that CBP has been dutifully communicating with us and keeping us up to date concerning the automation of the I-94, and SEVP plans to conduct extensive outreach and communication about this once the rule-making process is completed.

Q :  Great.  Thanks. This is essential. There is much concern that problems at other agencies, such as DMVs, will result from the disappearance of the paper I-94. It will also be important to sensitize all DHS bureaus about the change. For example, USCIS just issued the new form I-9, which references heavily the combination of passport with I-94 and describes this in the M-274 handbook for employers.  And this is just one of the key uses of the I-94 in DHS processes. So DHS bureaus will also need to be informed about the change and be able to accommodate it.

A:  That's very useful feedback. Thanks.