All international students need to be aware of a new process around the I-94, the white card often stapled into your passport that tracks your arrivals and departures to and from the US.
Starting April 30, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will no longer issue paper I-94 cards when you arrive in the US. Instead you will receive a passport entry stamp noting the date and place of entry, category of admission (F-1, J-1), and expiration of stay.
How to Get a Physical Copy of Your I-94
The passport stamp is all you need if all you are only entering and leaving the US. However, there are a number of instances when you might need a physical copy of your I-94, such as applying for a Driver’s License, Social Security Number or OPT.
Here is how you obtain it:
Looking to view and print your I-94 information? Go to CBP.gov/I94 to get your I-94. What do I do if there’s an error in my arrival info? Tell your International Student Advisor right away. You will be able to request a correction from the CBP.
How can I confirm that my departure has been properly recorded when I leave the US? If you received a paper Form I-94 when you arrived, give it to the travel carrier or to CBP when you leave the US. If your record was created electronically, CBP will record the departure using manifest information obtained from your travel carrier.
Will paper I-94 cards still be used? The CBP will be rolling out the automated process for US air and seaports starting on April 30.
Visitors to land border ports of entry will still be issued a paper I-94 card. In some cases paper I-94 cards will still be issued for individuals traveling to reinstate status, individuals who change status, or students who are issued an I-515 at the port of entry.
What are the benefits of the new process? Travelers can expect more efficient passenger processing at ports of entry and will have access to view the I-94 arrival information online and print off multiple copies (eliminating expensive replacement costs).
Please note that individuals who change status through USCIS will receive paper I-94 cards with the I-797 Approval Notice and will not be able to print their I-94 information online.