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CBP’s I-94 Website Gets a Makeover

May 03, 2014
Stephen Tarnoff

Five-Year Travel History Becomes Available

Foreign nationals can now access their I-94 arrival/departure history along with their latest arrival/departure record following changes made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to its website. Travelers can use CBP’s website to retrieve I-94 information.

The changes allow nonimmigrants to access their arrival/departure records going back five years from the request date. Visitors can click a button “Get Travel History” that will access the date and port of entry of their arrivals and departures over the five-year travel period.

Other changes to CBP’s revised I-94 website include travelers no longer having to input their most recent date of entry and nonimmigrant classification in order to obtain their travel information. Also new is a page added to the I-94 website in which visitors acknowledge they understand and agree to the stated purposes of accessing I-94 information. The page restricts information only to those seeking records about themselves or to authorized representatives or legal guardians of the individual whose records are sought. The page also states that improper use of any information or data accessed may result in civil and criminal penalties and that the Department of Homeland Security will monitor the site for administrative, law enforcement, or criminal investigative purposes.

The availability of travel history information is expected to significantly reduce Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filings by travelers requesting their arrival/departure history. Those who have already filed Freedom of Information Requests for this information will now be able to cancel the pending request after they’ve successfully obtained the travel information from the updated website. To do this, they will need to input their FOIA Requisition Number and click on the “Request FOIA Cancellation” button.

As CBP streamlines its I-94 website to make it more accessible to travelers, some have had problems downloading their I-94 travel records. Fortunately, the CBP has posted FAQs to help troubleshoot issues as well as access suggestions on how to address situations where they are unable to retrieve travel information and have received a “Not Found” response. Travelers can respond to the following questions and try entering the information again:

  1. Did you enter your first and last name the same way it appears on your passport? Please do not use dashes or titles.
  2. Did you enter the passport number that appears on the upper right hand side of your passport?
  3. Did you enter your country of citizenship (country that issued the passport, not where you currently live)?
  4. If you entered your first and middle name and it is not found, try one name or the other. Also try entering your first and middle name in the first name box.

Other possibilities include entering the name as stated in the visa or submitted Form DS-160, switching the order of the names, entering multiple first names or multiple last names without spaces, checking for multiple passport numbers, or not entering the year if included in the passport number.

CBP advises that if none of the above work, foreign nationals should contact the nearest CBP Deferred Inspection Office for assistance. Some CBP offices have been able to resolve I-94 problems over the phone, however some require an in-person visit. Deferred Inspection locations within the United States can be found on the CBP website.

CBP implemented the electronic I-94 in May 2013 replacing paper I-94s. The I-94 information can be retrieved at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html. Foreign nationals are encouraged to download their I-94 information each time they return to the U.S. after traveling abroad.

For more information on I-94s and retrieving I-94 information, contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

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