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USA Arrival-Departure Record

Not Applicable to Canadian Citizens

Canadians who travel to the United States as tourists or on business generally do not need a Form I-94.

This page is included for the benefit of visitors from elsewhere who are traveling to both the U.S. and Canada.

General Information

A non-immigrant temporarily enters the United States for a specific purpose such as business, study, or pleasure. When you enter the country as a non-immigrant, a U.S. immigration inspector should have examined your passport and visa and then given you a Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record). This record should tell you the date before which you must leave the U.S. You can prove you did not violate U.S. laws by turning in your Form I-94 to the proper authorities when you leave the country.

Proof that you are willing to obey U.S. immigration laws will be important if you want to travel to the United States as an immigrant or non-immigrant in the future. If you break immigration laws, you may also become subject to removal (deportation).

When you leave the U.S, you should give the Form I-94 to your airline representative. If you arrive in Canada by land then you may give your I-94 to a Canadian Immigration inspector. However, you may have difficulty finding one willing to accept it. In this case, you are advised to follow the instructions below.

What To Do If No One Takes Your I-94 Form Upon Departure

Failure to turn in your I-94 (or I-94W) when you leave the U.S. can create a serious problem. Without this record of your departure, you will be identified in our records as an "overstay." Being identified as an overstay means that you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. If you failed to turn in your I-94, please send it -- along with any documentation that proves you left the U.S. -- to:

DHS – CBP ACS INC.
1084 South Laurel Road
London, KY
40744

Documentation to prove your departure can include the boarding pass from your flight. If you exited the country by a land border it is much harder to verify that you did, in fact, leave the country on the date you claim. If you have any documentation of your arrival in your home country (i.e. passport stamp), then you should send a copy of that. If the above office does not have any supporting documents to substantiate your claim to have left the U.S. on a certain date, there is no guarantee that you will be entered into the record as having done so. We strongly urge you to keep a copy of what you send to ACS Inc. and to carry it with you the next time you come to the U.S. in case the CBP officer has any questions about your eligibility to enter.

If you want to confirm that your I-94 was received by ACS, please give them 4 months to process the paperwork. Then you can write the following address to determine whether or not your departure was recorded. If you turned in the I-94 when you left the U.S. as required, please do NOT request confirmation that it is on file. This process is only for people who did not turn in the I-94 when they exited the U.S.

You will need to provide your name, date of birth, passport number, and date of departure, in addition to asking whether or not your departure was recorded. Please mail your confirmation request to:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Air Sea Passenger Operations
Room 5.4D
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington D.C.
20229

In addition, the next time you enter the U.S. it is recommended that you carry with you evidence of your previous timely departure.

What To Do If You Lose Your I-94

If you lose your I-94 while still in the U.S., you should contact the nearest office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Explain the situation and be prepared to present any supporting evidence (such as a police report if you lost your passport.) That office can issue either a replacement I-94 or an I-797 Notice of Action, to cover the lost form.

If you lose the I-94 while outside the U.S., you will receive a new one upon the next application for admission. You may be asked to explain what happened to the previous form.

Circumstances in Which You Should Keep the I-94

The purpose of the I-94 is only to show that you did depart the U.S. within the time allowed. If your I-94 is for A, G, H, F or J visa status, the airlines will often advise you to retain the I-94 and re-use it after your brief stay abroad. This is not a cause for concern and it is fairly common for persons in those categories to be advised to retain their original I-94s.

Revalidation of an Expired U.S. Visa

One other set of circumstances in which you should retain your Form I-94 is:

  • if your U.S. visa has expired; and
  • if you are traveling to Canada or Mexico for a temporary purpose of less than 30 days, and;
  • if you want to automatically revalidate your visa without applying for a new visa.

If each of those conditions is met, then you must keep your I-94.

Note: Travelers from Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Syria and Sudan cannot avail themselves of automatic revalidation if their visas have expired. Also prohibited is anyone who applied for a new visa and the application is still pending a decision, or if the application for a new visa was denied.

More Information

For more information about the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94), please visit CBP.gov.

26 April 2013: CBP to Begin Rollout of Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced that the automation of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is now effective which will 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.

    Read More!