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Arrival Departure Record Form I-94

Overview of the Application Process for Arrival Departure Record Form I-94

Procedure Name: Arrival Departure Record Form I-94 for non-immigrant visitors
Purpose: A completed Form I-94 is presented by the foreign citizen at the port of entry to the United States to a CBP Officer, who stamps the form and gives the final approval for admission of the alien into the United States in a specific nonimmigrant status for a specific authorized period.
Eligible Applicants: This program is only available for the non-U.S. citizens.
Additional Information: Aliens who are not U.S. permanent residents departing the United States are required to surrender their Form I-94 when leaving the United States, so that their departure can be properly recorded by the CBP Officers (typically to the airline or ship representative, or into a deposit box in the terminal).
 How to Apply: Order this guide to learn more details about the application process and to learn how to Print Electronic I-94, how to Return a Paper Format Form I-94 Arrival and Departure Record from the United States, or what to do if the form I-94 has been lost.

Types of U.S. visas

There are several types of visas depending on the purpose or type of travel. In general visas are divided in two main groups: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas are visas that allows you to travel to live permanently in the United States and are also known as “Green Card” or “Permanent Residence”, then the other type are the non-immigrant visas that are more commonly known just as visas in general. The non-immigrant visas don’t give you the right to stay permanently in the U.S., these visas are issued for the purpose of one or multiple temporary short trips to travel as a visitor to the United States, for example the B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa are classified in this group of non-immigrant United State visas.

What is the form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record?

An I-94 is a form denoting the Arrival-Departure Record of particular aliens used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses Form I-94 also.You must stay inside the U.S. only for the time allowed by the immigration officer at the point of entry as it was stamped in your passport and registered in your Form I-94. In the case of travelers entering the U.S. by air or water, travelling under the Visa Waiver Program, the I-94W is not longer in use, instead the ESTA system is keeping record of entry and exit.

It is important to understand the difference between the expiration time of the actual visa and the time allowed to stay inside the U.S. when traveling with the visa. Green Card holders are not subject to the form I-94 because they can stay in the U.S. indefinitely, as long as their resident status continue being valid. A visa gives you the right to travel to the U.S. but actually the immigration officer at the port of entry decides whether you would be admitted for entry in the United States, and for how long you are admitted to stay in the U.S. in such trip.

Travelers by air and sea no longer need a paper I-94, instead they will be using the Electronic I-94. If you travel under the Visa Waiver Program then your entry is registered using the ESTA travel system.

When traveling by land (from Mexico or Canada), the immigration officer will write the date you entered the country and the latest day when you have to depart from the U.S. in a white form called I-94 Paper format, this form is used when you travel with a visa, U.S. immigration officer will keep a portion of the form, and you should keep another portion with you and keep at all times during your trip with your passport.

Sample Images Form I-94 Paper Format, and Sample Form I-94W (only used when entering the U.S. by land from Mexico or Canada).


DISCLAIMER: U.S. Immigration forms are available free of charge at official government websites. We are not affiliated with the government, we are a private publisher. We don’t sell forms, we provide Information Packages with instructions and information about the US Immigration Process, providing help on how to complete and submit forms, and general immigration information.

The following are common questions about I-94 Arrival Departure Record Visa:

  • What is the form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record?
  • How to print an electronic I-94?
  • How do I know until what date I am allowed to stay inside the US.?
  • I forgot to return my I-94 Departure Record when exiting the U.S., how can I return the I-94 to the U.S. from out of the country?
  • How to find official forms and instructions?
  • How to avoid to have problems when entering the U.S. after a previous trip in which I forgot to return my I-94.
  • Immigration Requirements and instructions

Form I-94
Order this this guide to find out more information and the answer to visa questions how to Print Electronic I-94, How to Return a Paper Format Form I-94 Arrival and Departure Record from the United States, or What to do if the form I-94 has been lost.

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with the government, we are a private publisher of information guides. This product only includes instructions, it does not include filing fees, or any other charges to submit your application.