While Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it stopped issuing I-94 arrival/departure cards on May 21, 2013 (instead, the foreign passport is stamped and the entry is recorded electronically; the record can be accessed online), some land ports of entry still issue actual I-94 cards. Despite the new system, foreign nationals have reported being unable to find the I-94 electronic record online.
Given the issues with the new electronic I-94 system, employees should track each entry into the United States. Records should be kept of the following:
- Date of Admission
- Name of Port of Entry
- Date of Departure
Employees print their I-94 card as soon as they enter. If they cannot locate the electronic I-94, they should try following these tips:
- Switch the last name and first name in the online form, in case the names were reversed in the system. (Some countries, such as Indonesia, put first name, last name on the passport, rather than the more standard last name, first name, so the name might be recorded incorrectly in the system.)
- Check the name on the visa. If the name is different from the one on the passport, use the name on the visa.
- Check the passport number on the visa. If it is different from the current passport, use the one that is on the visa.
- Compare the visa class designation on the visa with the one written on the stamp. For example, if an E-3 beneficiary has “E-3D” on the visa and “E-3” written by the stamp, the system might have recorded one or the other. So, you may need to try both.
If the record is still not found within two weeks of admission, the employer’s HR representative or immigration counsel should be asked to assist in locating the record. Jackson Lewis has contacts at CBP who can help locate the missing I-94.