Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Foreign passenger arrival/departure info goes online at the end of the month
Many foreign visitors arriving in the U.S. who need to prove their legal-visitor status to employers, schools/universities or government agencies will be able to access their Customs and Border Protection arrival/departure record information online when the agency starts its records automation on April 30, 2013.
When the electronic rollout begins April 30, CBP said it won’t require international non-immigrant visitors who arrive in the U.S. by air or sea to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP said it would still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry, however.
The agency said it will gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records, streamlining the entry process for travelers, enhancing security and reducing costs. CBP said it anticipates the automated process will save it an estimated $15.5 million a year.
The Form I-94 automation will be phased in through April and May, said CBP and foreign visitors will continue to receive the paper Form I-94 until the automated process arrives at their port of entry.
With the new process, CBP said its officers will stamp the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler. The stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until. Travelers will also receive on arrival a flier alerting them to go to CBP.gov/I94 for their admission record information.
Travelers, said the agency, won’t need to do anything differently when leaving the U.S. Travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 would surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure, it said. If travelers didn’t receive a paper Form I-94, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.
CBP said implementation will begin on April 30 at five pilot ports of entry and will continue to the remaining ports of entry over a total of four weeks. The initial five ports include:
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Orlando International Airport
- Las Vegas Airport
- Chicago O’Hare
- Miami International Airport
The week of May 7 includes major air and sea ports within the following field offices:
- New York
- Puerto Rico
- New Orleans
The week of May 14 includes major air and sea ports within the following field offices:
- San Francisco (includes Hawaii and Guam)
- El Paso
- Portland (includes Alaska)
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
The week of May 21 includes all remaining airports and seaports.