First, there was the paperless visa interview.
 
Visa applicant no longer have to bring the printed DS 160 application form to the US Embassy after submitting it online.
 
Now visa holders may no longer need paper forms to present before an immigration officer at the US port of entry.
 
Tourist visa holders and other nonimmigrants coming to the United States are issued the I-94 Arrival/Departure document on the plane before arriving at a US port of entry.
 
The white multi-part form is presented to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. After verifying the nature and validity of the purpose for the visit, the Arrival part is taken, and the Departure portion is stapled to the visa holder’s passport.
 
The length of the visa holder’s legal stay in the US is indicated by the US CBP officer on the I-94 form, anywhere from weeks to 6 months.  Even if the holder has a 10-year multiple entry visa, the authorized stay is determined by the I-94, not the visa.
 
The I-94 must be presented and surrendered again to the US immigration officer (mostly through the carriers) when the visa holder departs.
 
On March 21, 2013, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service announced its intention to automate the admissions process. A proposed rule was submitted to the Federal Register. Later, the USCIS clarified that while full automation of the admission process is the goal, visa holders may still request for a paper copy.
 
CBP Announces Automation of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
Eliminates Paper Forms, Streamlines Admission Process

(Thursday, March 21, 2013)

Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced that it has submitted to the Federal Register a rule that will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States. Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization. The automation means that affected visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs. The change will go into effect 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.

“Automation of the I-94 will increase efficiency and streamline the admission process,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “Once fully implemented, the process will facilitate security and travel while saving CBP an estimated $15.5 million a year.”

Travelers wanting a hard copy or other evidence of admission will be directed to www.cbp.gov/I94* to print a copy of an I-94 based on the electronically submitted data, including the I-94 number from the form, to provide as necessary to benefits providers or as evidence of lawful admission. www.cbp.gov/I94 )

As part of CBP’s work to bring advances in technology and automation to the passenger processing environment, records of admission will now be generated using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means. This change should decrease paperwork for both the officer and the traveler and will allow CBP to better optimize its resources.

*The www.cbp.gov/i94 website will be live 30 days after the rule is published to the Federal Register. www.cbp.gov/I94 )

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Travel Update: Form I-94 Information for Foreign Visitors

(09/17/2012)Foreign visitors to the U.S. who need to prove their legal-visitor status—to employers, schools/universities or government agencies--during their first two months in the U.S. may need information in addition to the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record that they received from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP is experiencing a delay in processing foreign visitors’ travel information into the I-94 database. This does not affect the majority of foreign travelers visiting for business or leisure and will not affect any visitor’s record of departure.

To prove legal-visitor status within the first 30-60 days of a U.S. stay to obtain services from: Bring the following evidence of legal status
Employers

 

Motor vehicle registration of drivers' licensing agencies
The Social Security Administration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Universities and schools

Currently, CBP is exploring automating the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to allow for the collection of arrival/departure information electronically, which would streamline the arrival and inspection process for travelers. CBP is coordinating with other agency stakeholders and considering rulemaking.

CBP has successfully automated other paper forms familiar to the traveling public. For example, by automating the Form I-94W—the Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record— CBP has saved costs and reduced affected travelers’ average wait time.

CBP recognizes that using the Form I-94 has been a long-established and well-known practice for foreign visitors. As such, the agency is committed to providing updates regarding the Form I-94 process and any changes that may be implemented by CBP.

Click on this link for the official and updated announcement -http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/national/03212013.xml

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