Change in I-94 form
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will automate Form I-94 to streamline the admissions process for individuals visiting...
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will automate Form I-94 to streamline the admissions process for individuals visiting the US Travellers from India as well as other countries who land on US territory will soon notice a significant change in the arrival procedures being implemented by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at all ports of entries across the country. Beginning April 26, 2013, non-immigrant visa holders reaching any airport or seaport in America will not be asked to fill and submit the I-94 form to a CBP officer at the entry point. The CBP has announced on March 21 that it will "automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States." As a first requirement to effect this change of procedure across ports of entries in America, the CBP of the US Department of Homeland Security has published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register, the daily journal of the US Government (a publication similar to the Gazette of India�a public journal that prints official notices from GoI), on March 21, 2013. The "automation of I-94" rule will come into effect (after completion of the mandatory waiting period as stipulated by the Federal Register) from Friday, April 26, 2013. The procedure, so far, has been that a flight attendant will handover to each non-immigrant visitor an I-94 Form (along with the CBP's Customs Declaration Form�6059B) while they were about to touch down at a US airport. They have to fill up the form without any mistakes and submit it to the review of a CBP officer who interviews them at an Immigration counter before they were cleared for admission into America. As the I-94 is being "automated" from last week of this month, non-immigrant travelers need not fill up any paper-based I-94 form any longer as "records of admission will now be generated using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means." The CBP has stated that this change in the arrival and departure procedures will decrease paperwork not only to the CBP team working at several ports of entries in the US but also to the numerous non-immigrant visitors traveling to the country every day. As estimated, the automation of the I-94 form will save the US exchequer an estimated $15.5 million per year, a welcome relief in a sequester-hit economy ("sequester" was described by critics as an $85 billion dollar "austerity time bomb detonated against the U.S. economy." On March 01, 2013, President Obama proclaimed the order that brought the sequestration into effect�as mandated to him by the US Constitution�in the absence of a Congressional agreement to stop the $85 billion in across-the-board-cuts in the US budget). Even after the "automation," a CBP officer will give a paper copy of Form I-94 to some travelers like asylees, refugees, and parolees who are required to undergo a secondary inspection at a port of entry. Also, certain non-immigrant visitors to the United States continue to need a paper-proof of their I-94 Arrival and Departure Record Form to submit applications to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or other government agencies like Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) in various States as they request for certain benefits during their stay in America. And, non-immigrant visa holders who have been authorised to work in the United States might also be required to submit a paper copy of Form I-94 to their company/employer during the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process. The CBP clarified that such travelers who need a hard copy or other evidence of their admission will be directed to a website (www.cbp.gov/I94) where they can print a copy of an I-94 based on the electronically submitted travel information, including the I-94 number from the form). The website (www. cbp.gov/i94) will be live as soon as the "automation" of the first I-94 form has taken place at a US port of entry. Until then, those who browse this link will get a notification that "this webpage is not available." Happy "automation!"