U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will soon begin to not issue paper I-94 to persons arriving by land or sea. This is a big change in how the ports of entry operate. CBP says it already collects the information electronically, via the Advanced Passenger Information System and Department of State consular processing, making the I-94 redundant to the agency’s tracking purposes. CBP says the current system costs the agency over $1 million per month to operate.
For now, land port of entries will continue to operate as usual, and issue I-94s as need be. Most Canadian arrivals are not issued this card, unless they are entering in a category other than a Visitor for Business or Pleasure.
The agency has provided a website for persons who arrive to print I-94s, for presentation to other government agencies, as need be the case. The website is www.cbp.gov/I94. We would advise anyone who recently arrives to print their I-94, just to double check to make sure that the information entered by the CBP agent at time of entry is in fact accurate.
Here is the agency announcement:
CBP Announces Automation of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
Eliminates Paper Forms, Streamlines Admission Process
(Thursday, March 21, 2013)
Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced that it has submitted to the Federal Register a rule that will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States. Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization. The automation means that affected visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs. The change will go into effect 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.
“Automation of the I-94 will increase efficiency and streamline the admission process,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “Once fully implemented, the process will facilitate security and travel while saving CBP an estimated $15.5 million a year.”
Travelers wanting a hard copy or other evidence of admission will be directed to www.cbp.gov/I94* to print a copy of an I-94 based on the electronically submitted data, including the I-94 number from the form, to provide as necessary to benefits providers or as evidence of lawful admission. ( www.cbp.gov/I94 )
As part of CBP’s work to bring advances in technology and automation to the passenger processing environment, records of admission will now be generated using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means. This change should decrease paperwork for both the officer and the traveler and will allow CBP to better optimize its resources.
*The www.cbp.gov/i94 website will be live 30 days after the rule is published to the Federal Register. ( www.cbp.gov/I94 ) :