Paper I-94 Arrival/Departure Form to Disappear at Airports and Ports, Charlotte, O’Hare, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando First to Go Online
The ubiquitous I-94 Arrival/Departure Record form that visitors to the United States must complete is going paperless at the end of April. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency announced the rollout of electronic I-94 forms starting April 30, 2013.
Internatinoal non-immigrant visitors who arrive by air or sea won’t have to complete the paper form, although the CBP will still issue paper I-94 forms to those arriving at land border ports of entry.
Visitors who need to document their visitor status to employers, schools, or government agencies will be able to access the CBP arrival/departure record online.
The CBP is discontinuing the form because it is now able to receive a visitor’s arrival and departure information automatically from an eletronic travel record from the airline or other carrier. The move will make the entry process for visitors easier and the agency says it will save $15.5 million thanks to reduced costs.
When a visitor arrives, a CBP officer will stamp his travel document with information that includes the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that the traveler si admitted until.
Customs and Border Protection will phase in the electronic I-94 at five airports the first weekly, namely Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Las Vegas Airport, Miami International Airport, and Orlando International Airport.
The following week, 12 major air and sea ports in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Puerto Rico, and Tampa will go live with the new system.
In week three, eight ports will start to use the new system, namely El Paso, Laredo, Los Angeles, Portland (including Alaska), San Diego, San Francisco (including Hawaii and Guam), Seattle, and Tucson. CBP pre-clearance locations in Canada, the Carribean, and Ireland also will adopt the system in the third week.
All other air and sea ports will go live with the new I-94 paperless system in the week of May 21.
The paper I-94 form will continue to be used until the automated system goes into effect at a visitor’s port of entry.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)