When you enter the US temporarily for work or pleasure you are issued an I-94 record of admission. The I-94 is issued by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and is a record of lawful inspection and admission to the US. It is up to you to verify the terms of your admission on the I-94 and maintain your legal status in the US. We discuss the importance of CBP Form I-94 and your expiration date here.
What is Form I-94?
A Form I-94 record can be issued by CBP upon entry to the United States, or by USCIS when extending or changing your status while already in the United States. Traditionally Form I-94 issued by CBP was paper and stapled to a passport. CBP now issues electronic I-94 records. If the USCIS issues an I-94 card with an extension or change of status, it is attached at the bottom of your USCIS I-797 Approval Notice.
What is the difference between my I-94 expiration and my visa expiration?
Many times your visa expiration date and I-94 expiration date will not align. A visa is only for purposes of entering the US and does not indicate the amount of time you are allowed to remain in the US. Often times the I-94 date is shorter than the visa expiration date. Your I-94 will indicate your calls of admission and the amount of time you have been admitted. In some cases, your I-94 won’t have an expiration date, e.g., D/S or duration of status for a student.
What happens if I stay beyond my I-94 expiration date?
Your I-94 indicates how long you are legally allowed to remain in the US. Staying beyond the expiration of your I-94 can lead to significant immigration consequences. You should be aware of your I-94 expiration date and maintain your status while in the US.
What if there is an error on my I-94?
If you have been issued an I-94 you should verify its accuracy. Errors on your I-94 can cause serious immigration consequences. Even when CBP or USCIS makes an error it is your responsibility to identify and correct the error as soon as possible.
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