Most travelers get an electronic Form I-94 issued. Therefore, their departure is properly recorded based on the manifest provided by the carrier (airline, ship, etc.).
However, if you were issued a paper Form I-94 for any reason and you didn’t surrender it at the time of departure from the U.S., it is possible that your departure was not recorded accurately.
If this happens, the next time you apply to enter the United States, your visa may be subject to cancellation, or you may be denied entry into the United States. In particular, visitors who remained beyond their permitted stay in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program cannot re-enter the U.S. in the future without obtaining a visa. If this occurs, and you arrive at a U.S. port of entry seeking admission under the Visa Waiver Program without a visa, United States immigration officials may deny you entry into the U.S. Visitors must ensure that they surrender the I-94 or I-94W stub to the transport carrier before they depart the United States.
Under U.S. law, all travelers to the United States must return the I-94 or I-94W departure record cards to the appropriate USCIS authorities before departing the United States. A traveler who fails to do so may be recorded as making an untimely departure from the United States. Without an accurate record that you departed the United States within the time set when you entered the country, the USCIS may conclude that you overstayed the period of time granted on admission.
If you are still in possession of the I-94 or I-94W, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is surrendered to the appropriate authorities so that your record is corrected, and you do not experience any problems with future travel to the United States.
You are required to complete the back of the card, listing the port of departure, date of departure from the United States, and the carrier/flight information. The I-94 or I-94W together with a letter of explanation and evidence of your departure from the U.S. should be sent to one of the following addresses.
From November 1, 2014, onward, the address is:
|Coleman Data Solutions|
Akron, OH 44306
Attn: NIDPS (I-94)
(If using U.S. Postal Service)
|OR||Coleman Data Solutions|
3043 Sanitarium Road, Suite 2
Akron, OH 44312
Attn: NIDPS (I-94)
(If using FedEx or UPS)
Do not mail the I-94 or I-94W to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy, as the DHS (Immigration) office does not have the authority to update records.
You also need to provide evidence of your departure from the United States. The evidence can come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:
- Original boarding passes you used to depart the United States;
- Photocopies of entry or departure stamps in your passport to indicate you entered another country after you departed the United States (please copy all passport pages 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 you 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 when possible. If you send original materials, always retain a copy for your records; the originals will not be returned to you. It will assist the USCIS if you include an explanation letter in English. Your statement will not be acceptable without supporting evidence, as noted above.
It is strongly recommended that you keep a copy of everything you send to CBP and carry it with you the next time you come to the United States, in case the CBP officer has any questions about your eligibility to enter.
If you are taking short trips of 30 days or less to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands during your visit to the U.S., hold onto your I-94 or I-94W. You should return it only when you leave the U.S. to return home.
Delays beyond the traveler’s control, such as cancelled or delayed flights, medical emergencies requiring a doctor’s care, etc., are not considered unauthorized overstays. However, you will need to bring proof of the cause of your overstay the next time you travel to the U.S. in order for it to be forgiven. For airline delays, ask the airline for a letter affirming the delay or a copy of your cancelled boarding pass.
If the I-94 or I-94W departure card is not in your possession, you should write an explanation to the address listed above. Include the following in your explanation:
- Date and place of birth;
- Country of citizenship;
- Date of arrival in the U.S.;
- Date of departure from the U.S.;
- Airline or carrier departed on;
- Flight number or name of vessel.
- If departure was via a land border, please enter “land” instead of carrier information.
You must also include evidence of your departure as noted above.
If you believe that you are having problems entering the United States due to incorrect information in USCIS’s computer systems, it may be possible to amend the records. In order for them to do so, it is necessary for you to submit evidence of your departure from the United States. This evidence can come from a variety of sources, as listed above.
Please send legible copies or the original material when possible. If you send original materials, always retain a copy for your records; the originals will not be returned to you.
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