CBP Announces Implementation Schedule for Paperless Form I-94

by Morgan Lewis

Automation will occur over a four-week period across U.S. ports of entry.

On March 21, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a rule to implement a paperless Form I-94.[1] On April 2, the CBP announced that the Form I-94 automation will be introduced over a four-week period, beginning on April 30, at different U.S. ports of entry.[2] (日本語の要約はこちらをご覧ください >>>>>>

The implementation schedule is as follows:

  • During Week 1 (beginning April 30, 2013), implementation will begin at the following ports of entry: Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, Chicago O'Hare, and Miami International Airport.
  • During Week 2 (beginning May 7, 2013), implementation will be expanded to include ports of entries in the following regions and areas: New York/Newark, New Jersey; Northeast (Boston); Buffalo, New York; Baltimore, Maryland/Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Southeast (Atlanta); Tampa, Florida; Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands; Miami; Midwest (Chicago); New Orleans; and Houston.
  • During Week 3 (beginning May 14, 2013), implementation will be further expanded to include pre-clearance ports of entry and the following regions and areas: San Francisco (including Hawaii and Guam); Southwest (Tucson, Arizona); Northwest (Seattle, Washington); Portland, Oregon (including Alaska); Los Angeles; San Diego; El Paso, Texas; and Laredo, Texas.
  • During Week 4 (beginning May 21, 2013), implementation will be expanded to all remaining air and sea ports that support international arrivals.

When the electronic rollout begins on April 30, the CBP will no longer require nonimmigrant travelers to fill out a paper Form I-94. Rather, the agency will gather travelers' arrival/departure information from their electronic travel records. A CBP officer will stamp the travel document (passport) of each traveler, showing the date of admission, class of admission, and the date on which the authorized stay will expire. Travelers will also receive a flyer indicating that their Form I-94 admission record will be available online here.[3] Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, the CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

There will be no significant changes to the U.S. departure process, and travelers who have been issued a paper Form I-94 will surrender it to the commercial carrier or to the CBP upon departure. For those who do not receive a paper Form I-94, their departure data will be captured electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by the CBP.

[1]. For more information on the CBP's new rule, see our March 26, 2013, Immigration Alert, "CBP Announces Rule Implementing Paperless Form I-94," available here.

[2]. View the CBP announcement regarding implementation of the new rule here.

[3]. The new Form I-94 website will not be accessible until the end of April 2013.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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