International Student Services

I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

What is an I-94 record?

Your travel in and out of the U.S. is recorded electronically by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. This important record lists your entry date, port of entry, and visa status in which you were admitted to the U.S. The I-94 record may be required as proof of status for F-1 or J-1 benefits applications, employment verification, and other official purposes.

When you travel through an air or sea port into the U.S. usually you will receive an F-1 or J-1 stamp in your passport. Your admission information will be recorded in your electronic I-94 record. Students who come through a land border crossing will receive a paper I-94 card. If you receive a paper I-94 card, keep the card stapled into your passport at all times.

How do I access my electronic I-94 record?

After you arrive in the U.S., you should print a paper copy of your electronic I-94 card record from the Customs and Border Protection website. It’s important to check that your electronic travel record is accurate and accessible. Keep the I-94 record paper copy with your other immigration documents.

What if there is a mistake on my electronic I-94 record?

Sometimes CBP officers make errors in students’ electronic I-94 records. Some errors, especially those regarding visa type or date of expiration, can be harmful to your immigration status. The Customs and Border Protection Deferred Inspection sites can make corrections if they determine the incorrect I-94 was a CBP error, not traveler error.

How to Correct Your I-94 Record:

You will need to try to prove that you presented the correct F-1 or J-1 documents at the U.S. border when you entered the U.S.

  1. Make scans or take digital photos of the following documents:
    –F-1 or J-1 visa (Canadians will not have an F-1 or J-1 visa)
    –If you have them, the entry stamps in your passport from date of entry (if they are correct)
  2. Email i94.correction.seattle@cbp.dhs.gov
    –Attach copies of the scanned documents described above
    –Explain that you are requesting a correction of your I-94 record
    –Include SEVIS ID number
  3. If you have questions about the process, contact your ISS adviser.

What happens to my I-94 record when I leave the country?

If you have a paper I-94 card, that card will be removed from your passport when you exit the country to go overseas, but not if you exit the country to go to Canada, Mexico, or most islands in the Caribbean. A new I-94 record will be issued when you reenter the country. If you have an electronic I-94 record, your departure information will be collected by the U.S. government from airline manifests; under these circumstances, nothing will be collected from you. If you have an electronic I-94 record, but leave the U.S. by a border crossing, Customs and Border Protection recommends that you take other proof of your exit with you.

How can I get more information on I-94 records?

If you have questions about your I-94 record, or want to share an experience you’ve had with the new electronic I-94 system, please feel free to contact ISS. If you want more information regarding the electronic I-94 system, please check the CBP website.