Paperless I-94 Processing: Some Bumps Along the Road

Since U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) began its paperless I-94 processing for air and sea travelers several months ago, foreign nationals have reported some problems with the new system.  Because it is a major change with many other federal and state agencies used to seeing a paper I-94 for their own purposes, it is advisable for foreign nationals to examine and print out a copy of their electronic I-94 upon admission.  It is available at the CBP website.  A number of foreign nationals’ have reported being unable to locate their electronic I-94, which alone is discomforting.  Other foreign nationals have found that their name has been misspelled, or the incorrect class of admission or length of admission have been recorded, issues which would otherwise go undetected but for a direct examination of their electronic I-94 record.  Printing out a copy is beneficial even if everything is correct for one’s own records.

Should there be an issue requiring correction, a foreign national can take the I-94 printout and other documentation to the nearest CBP Deferred Inspection office for  resolution.  Finally, despite CBP’s efforts to advise all state departments of motor vehicles of the paperless I-94 process, some offices still expect to see an I-94 as part of issuance of a state drivers license to a foreign national traveler.



Stewart Rabinowitz practices United States immigration and nationality law. He is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. is an immigration law firm representing businesses, families, and individuals.