Posted in General Immigration Issues on Aug 15th, 2012
Customers and Border Protection (CBP) will be eliminating the I-94 card as part of its efforts to save money and streamline its systems, AILA’s committee that liaises with the CBP announced this week. Instead, CBP will stamp your passport and write in your approved period of stay, similar to what is done for Canadian or visa waiver entrants.
CBP will phase in the elimination imminently, starting with air and sea borders. Entrants at land borders will continue to receive the I-94 as well as certain classes of people, such as refugees.
Other government agencies, including USCIS, the Social Security Administration and state motor vehicle bureaus where you obtain your driver’s license, which use the I-94 information for its records, still have to determine how they will revise their procedures to handle the lack of an I-94. Because the government is still sorting out the effect of the elimination of the I-94, we expect practices and procedures, including preparing H-1B applications, to be in a state of flux as part of the adaptation process.
So, next time you enter the United States, if you are not given an I-94, don’t be concerned. That is the new norm. At the same time, expect the rules for how to handle the lack of an I-94 to change from one day to the next as each government agency develops its new practices and procedures. In other words, be patient with the ever-changing processes and expect some glitches with getting social security cards, drivers’ license, and even filing your immigration cases.