What is Form I-94?
Form I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record created for foreign visitors who are admitted to the U.S. by the Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) Officer at port of entry for participants arriving by air or sea. The CBP Officer will scan and generate the I-94 record online and stamp the non-immigrant visitor’s passport upon arrival in the U.S. The stamp indicates a.) Date of Admission, b.) Class of Admission, and c.) Admitted Until Date.
Sample I-94 Stamp
AFS-USA program participants must be admitted on Class J-1 and have an Admitted Until Date of D/S. D/S or Duration of Status means that the bearer of the passport may remain in the U.S. for as long as he/she remains on the AFS program. In the event the exchange visitor failed to present If there is a specific date entered in the Admitted Until Date field, usually 30 days from your arrival, please comply with the instruction on the I-515A form given to you. If you are admitted on a visa class other than J-1, please contact your Participant Support Specialist at (800) 237-4636.
The I-94 is important as it records the participant’s date of arrival and timely departure from the US at the end of program. This serves as proof of legal status in the U.S. and may need to be presented to border officials when traveling abroad.
A record of your arrival and departure history in the United States is required in the event that you decide to apply for a visa for higher studies, immigration, or work in the U.S. Violation of previous visa requirements can adversely affect future visa applications.
How To Get a Copy of the I-94 Record
It is important for all hosted participants to print out a copy of their I-94 record upon arrival in the U.S. Make sure your entry in the U.S. is properly recorded in the CBP database. The electronic arrival/departure record can be obtained here.
Be prepared to enter the following information in order to retrieve a copy of the I-94 record: Family Name, First (Given) Name, Birth Date, Passport Number, and Country of Issuance.
In order to retrieve the electronic I-94, use the "machine readable" passport number which can be found in the second data line at the lower left hand corner of the passport. Use the first 10 characters of the second line of data (omitting any special characters like < or >).
I-94 CARD version - Very Important Notice
An I-94 Card (may be issued to an exchange visitor for other reasons, e.g. if the visitor failed to present their original DS-2019 form upon entry. If so, your I-94 card will be one of the documents you will be required to submit to the SEVIS/I-515A Processing Office. Once the I-515A process is complete, you will receive your original documents back. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you make a copy of the card for safekeeping and for your records, and keep the original in a safe place, until it is time for you to surrender it upon your departure from the US.