Like any new process, several issues have arisen with the I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, since the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated the form in May. In light of these issues, nonimmigrants, refugees, and parolees are advised to keep a printout of their I-94 record and carry it with them when traveling.
An individual’s I-94 record can be accessed and printed via the CBP website. Even though travelers are not required to carry a hard copy of their I-94 record, it is a good idea to do so for several reasons. First, the online I-94 may not always be accessible from the CBP website following a departure from the U.S., so a hard copy should be printed while it is available. Second, because the I-94 automation is a new system, traveling with a hard copy can help resolve any issues that arise at the port of entry. Reported issues thus far have included CBP’s inability to access automated records due to system failure and confusion or misunderstanding of the automatic visa revalidation provisions. Additionally, I-94 cards occasionally are issued with incorrect information on them, such as birth dates, name discrepancies, or incorrect eligible departure dates. Having a paper I-94 in hand when traveling can help resolve some of these issues and make traveling a much smoother process overall.
Another good reason to print and save a paper I-94 is that it may be needed later on for other purposes such as extension or change of status applications, driver license and Social Security number applications, or to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for those who are work authorized.