CBP Begins Elimination of Entry Stamps to Travelers Upon Arrival

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

In a continued effort to streamline the entry process for travelers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun to eliminate the issuance of entry stamps in the passports of foreign nationals upon arrival in the United States at certain airports. CBP will be rolling out this program to additional airports over time.

As CBP has already previously eliminated paper I-94 forms (record of admission), it is now even more critical that all foreign nationals promptly access their electronic I-94 each time they enter the United States to confirm that they have been admitted in the correct immigration status with the correct expiration date. Travelers should obtain a printout of their electronic I-94 via the CBP One™ mobile app or the CBP I-94 website at the following link: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home. This may be their only proof of lawful admission.

As a reminder, foreign nationals must never stay in the United States beyond the “admit until” date listed on their current I-94. The I-94 — not the I-797 approval notice nor the visa — governs a person’s status and expiration date in the United States. Accordingly, it is critical that they always download their I-94 upon each entry to the United States and review it. A record of admission printed from the CBP website constitutes a lawful record of admission. Government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Motor Vehicles, require a copy of the CBP website printout showing the immigration status and expiration date. We understand that some SSA offices have not been made aware of the elimination of the admission stamp at certain airports. The Form I-94 may also be used for presentation to an employer to complete the employment eligibility verification form (Form I-9).

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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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