What is an I-94?
The Arrival and Departure Record is the I-94, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. After April 30, 2013, most Arrival and /or Departure records will be created electronically upon arrival. Instead of a paper form, the visitor will be provided with an annotated stamp in the foreign passport. If provided a paper form, the admitting CBP Officer generally attaches the I-94 to the visitor’s passport and stamps the departure date on the form.
In both circumstances, an electronic I-94 or paper I-94, the visitor must exit the U.S. on or before that date stamped on the form or in the passport.
If a visitor departs by a commercial air or sea carrier (airlines or cruise ships), their departure from the U.S. can be independently verified and it is not necessary to take any further action, although holding on to the outbound (from the U.S.) boarding pass – if they still have it – can help facilitate reentry when coming back to the United States.
I-94 automation process
If a visitor departs by land and has a paper form I-94, the I-94 must be turned in to a CBP Officer at a land border when exiting the U.S. on or before the date stamped on the form. The visitor may retain the I-94 and use it for multiple entries through the duration of the period of admission indicated on the form.
However, if it is not turned in to a CBP Officer at the land border by the end of the admission period, the visitor will be considered an “overstay” and they may be denied entry when they attempt to reenter the United States in the future.
For more information on the I-94 automation process, visit CBP.gov.