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I-94 And I-94W Forms

What is an I-94 or I-94W card?

Prior to the use of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for Visa Waiver Program travelers foreign visitors to the United States had to complete an I-94 (white in color), if they hold a valid visa, or an I-94W (green in color), if traveling visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

The card was obtained from the transportation carrier and must be surrendered to an inspector of the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry in the United States when applying for admission. The bottom part of the card would be attached to the passport; it notes the date of entry to the United States and authorized period the visitor may remain in the country. When a visitor departs the United States, the transportation carrier representative, usually at the check-in counter, should remove the I-94 or I-94W from the passport.

Sometimes due to an oversight the card is not removed. If this occurs, the passenger's departure from the United States will not be registered with the CBP.  If this happens, the next time you apply to enter the United States, your visa may be subject to cancellation and/or you may be denied entry into the United States.  Therefore, visitors must ensure that they surrender the I-94 or I-94W stub to the transport carrier before they depart the United States.

Can I still be issued an I-94 or I-94W card if ESTA is supposed to replace it?

Yes.  When crossing a land border such as from Canada or Mexico you may be subject to an I-94 Arrival/Departure card.  If you then depart from North America from a country other than the United States the I-94 card may not be removed.

If this happens then it is in your best interest to forward it to the appropriate authorities so that your record is corrected - see below.

I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S.; what should I do?

If you returned home with your Form I-94 (white) or Form I-94W (green) Departure Record in your passport, it is possible that your departure was not recorded properly.

If you departed by a commercial air or sea carrier (airlines or cruise ships), your departure from the U.S. can be independently verified, and it is not necessary to take any further action, although holding on to your outbound (from the U.S.) boarding pass - if you still have it - can help facilitate your reentry next time you come back to the United States.

If you departed by land, private vessel or private plane, you will need to take steps to correct the record. Under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), visitors who remain beyond their permitted stay in the United States cannot reenter the U.S. in the future without obtaining a visa from a U.S. Consulate. So if you are a Visa Waiver Program visitor who traveled by land to either Canada or Mexico for an onward flight, it is particularly important for you to register your timely departure if your green I-94W was not taken when you exited the U.S. If you are a VWP visitor and you left the U.S. by an air or sea carrier, you don't need to worry.

If you still have retained your I-94 Departure Record, please click here for information about sending the card to the U.S.

Do not mail your Form I-94 Departure Record or supporting information to any U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

I no longer have the card!  What should I do?

If you have not retained your I-94 Departure Card you should file a Travelers Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) request from the Department of Homeland Security.

Further information on this subject can be found on under ‘Questions/Complaints’ and type in “I Still Have My I-94”, in the search block.

I am experiencing problems when I enter the United States; what should I do ?

If you believe that you are having problems entering the United States due to incorrect arrival and departure information, you can request a review of the information by writing to the following office.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Office of Public Affairs
Customer Service Center, Room 3.4A
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20229

Tel: (703) 526-4200 (U.S.)
08:30 - 5:00 Eastern Time

It is necessary for you to submit evidence of your departure from the United States - see below.

What evidence of my departure from the United States do you require?

The evidence that can be considered can come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:

  • Original boarding passes you used to depart the United States;

  • Entry or departure stamps in your passport to indicate you entered another country after you departed the United States (please copy all passport ages that are not completely blank and include the biographic page containing your photograph);

  • Dated pay slips or vouchers from your employer to indicate that you worked in another country after you departed the United States;

  • Dated bank records showing transactions in your home country to indicate that you were in another country after your left the United States;

  • School records showing your attendance at a school outside the United States to indicate you were in another country after you left the United States;

  • Dated credit card receipts with the credit card number deleted for purchases you made after you departed the United States to indicate you were in another country after you left the United States.

Please send legible copies or the original material where possible. If you send original materials please retain a copy for your records; the originals will not be returned to you.