Articles Posted in I-94 compliance

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National Visa Center Blunders

On July 30th the National Visa Center sent out a notification confirming reports that applicants had been receiving letters or emails from the NVC on July 29, 2015. These letters and/or emails stated that applications would be terminated or that their applications were in the process of being terminated under INA 203(g) for failure to contact the NVC within a year of receiving a notification of the availability of a visa, even if the individual or their legal representative had been in contact with the NVC during the one-year period.

The NVC is taking action to resolve these issued and will send all affected applications a follow up email confirming that their applications are still in process.

Upcoming Congressional Topics on Immigration

On August 4, 2015 the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will be discussing challenges facing the federal prison system

On August 6, 2015 the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary will hold an Executive Business meeting on the Stop Sanctuary Cities Act and Transnational Drug Trafficking

DOL Power Outage

The Department of Labor Website will be experiencing a power outage from Friday 7/31/15 to Sunday 8/2/15 with service returning on 8/2/15.

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On May 01, 2014 U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched a revamped webpage which allows non-immigrant visitors entering the United States, to access their I-94 arrival/departure record and their arrival/departure history. Prior to April 2013, non-immigrant visitors could only access and retrieve their recent I-94 arrival/departure record.

The overwhelmingly positive response to the agency’s I-94 arrival/departure online retrieval tool was what prompted the agency to also offer online travel history retrievals on the website. With this new electronic tool, travelers can access both their I-94 arrival/departure record and their arrival/departure history up to five years back from the date of their request. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, non-immigrant travelers may no longer need to file a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) to obtain their arrival/departure history thanks to this new electronic tool.

Through the website’s new function, travelers will be able to retrieve their I-94 record number, as well as their five year travel history, by entering only their name, date of birth, and passport information. It is important to note that this travel information will not reflect any changes of status, extensions of stay, or adjustments of status granted by USCIS.

There have been recent changes to the way USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issue the Form I-94, the document that is used to show your valid stay in the U.S. CBP has fully implemented its program to automate Form I-94 at all air and sea ports pursuant to the agency’s interim final regulation. Outlined below are some details on how you can print and keep your I-94 for your stay in the U.S. and some points on any difficulties there might be in getting a copy.

Q1: I found my I-94 on the CBP website, what do I do now?
A: You should print the I-94 every time you enter the U.S. Next, you should verify that the information on the Form I-94 is correct. The Form I-94 may be needed for I-9 compliance in future immigration petitions or applications and/or to apply for other benefits, such as a social security card or a driver’s license.

Q2: What if I cannot locate the Form I-94 on the CBP website, and instead, I received a “Not Found” message? What should I do next?
A: It is possible that the Form I-94 does not exist because of a system error. However, it is more likely that the Form I-94 is in the CBP system, but the data is formatted differently than you entered it, so the I-94 is “hiding.” Here are some tips to assist you in obtaining the Form I-94 out of the CBP automation system.

First, Ensure data is entered correctly in all applicable fields.

a. Enter the name as stated in the passport, visa, or the submitted Form DS-160.

Although CBP has stated it would draw the name for the Form I-94 from the travel document (e.g., passport biographic page), that is not always the case. The instructions on CBP’s website state that the name is drawn from the visa, if any. Therefore, check the passport, visa, and a copy of the submitted Form DS-160 (if available) for name variations. Try entering the name as stated on each document.

b. Enter the first and middle name in the First Name field. In the first name field, type
the first and the middle name (if any) with a space in between. Do this even if the middle name is not stated on the passport or visa.

c. Switch the order of the names. Switch the last and first name when entering the
information on the website. Some countries state the name in the passport as first name, last name, rather than the more standard order of last name, first name. This may cause the name to be recorded incorrectly in the CBP system.

d. Enter multiple first names or multiple last names without spaces. If a person has
two first names or two last names, type the first names without a space between them or the last names without a space between them. Example: type the first names “Mary Jane” as “Maryjane”
e. Check for multiple passport numbers. Check the Form DS-160 (if available) for the passport number stated. If the passport number on the Form DS-160 is different than the passport number on which the person was admitted, type the passport number as stated on the submitted Form DS-160. Also, check the passport number stated on the visa. If the passport number is different than the current passport, enter the passport number stated on the visa.

f. Do not enter the year if included in the passport number. Some passport numbers
may begin with the year in which the passport was issued, causing the number to be too long for the relevant field in CBP’s automation system. If relevant, try entering the passport number without the year. For example, a Mexican passport that was issued in 2008 may have a passport number that starts with “08” followed by nine digits. Try entering the passport number without the “08.” This problem should not arise for newer Mexican passports, as those passports do not begin with the year.

g. Check the Classification. Check the classification designated on the visa and compare it
to the classification stated on the admission stamp in the passport, as there may be a slight variation. Be sure to try both designations. For example, the visa may state “E-3D” for an E-3 dependent, but the admission stamp may state only “E-3.” The automated I-94 could state the classification either way.

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