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Tips on Completing Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record

Individuals entering the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa are required to fill out a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record.

Completing Form I-94

Form I-94 must be completed upon arrival in the U.S. and is a white card with two perforated sections as follows:

Upper portion, Arrival Record, requests the following information:

• Family Name
• First Name
• Date of Birth
• Country of Citizenship
• Sex (Male or Female)
• Passport Number
• Airline and Flight Number (if applicable)
• Country Where You Live – Lawful Permanent Residence
• City Where You Boarded (if applicable)
• City Where Visa was Issued (if applicable)
• Date Issued (Day/Mo/Yr) (if applicable)
• Address While in the United States (Number and Street)
• City and State

Lower portion, Departure Record, requests the following information:

• Family Name
• First Name
• Date of Birth
• Country of Citizenship

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will stamp your Form I-94 and passport, noting the date of entry and period of admission. The CBP officer will retain the Arrival Record, i.e. the upper portion of the Form I-94, and return the Departure Record, i.e. the lower portion of the Form I-94, and passport to you.

Checking Accuracy of Form I-94

Please ensure that the CBP officer has entered the correct information on your Form I-94 particularly with respect to the period of admission, i.e. length of stay in U.S. should correspond to the date granted on your Form I-797, Approval Notice. If you are not granted a period of admission pursuant to your Form I-797, Approval Notice, please request that the CBP officer correct the error immediately to avoid future complications with your immigration status. However, please note that in some circumstances, the period of admission may be shortened if your passport is expiring before the dates of authorized stay. For those admitted as academic students or exchange visitors (F or J classifications), they are granted “duration of status” on Form I-94, which means they are authorized to stay in the U.S. as long as they are engaged in a course of study/work pursuant to the terms of their visa.

Retaining Form I-94 Departure Record

The bottom portion of Form I-94 is a departure record and should be kept in your passport until you depart the U.S. as it must be returned to U.S. officials upon exiting the U.S.:

• If departing by air or sea, please turn the I-94 into the transportation carrier prior to departure.
• If departing by land and you will not be returning to the U.S. within 30 days, please turn the I-94 into the Canadian authorities when crossing the Canadian border and to a U.S. Official when crossing the Mexican border.

Please note that if you have been admitted to the U.S. under certain visa classifications, you may take short trips (30 days or less) to Canada or Mexico and be readmitted on the same Form I-94 for the balance of time remaining on your I-94. Similarly, individuals in F or J status may take short trips (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, and the Adjacent Islands, and be readmitted on the same Form I-94 for the balance of the time required for them to complete their program.

As each traveler’s circumstances may vary with respect to their nationality, visa classification, destination, and immigration history, please consult with our office prior to your departure.