CBP Begins Elimination of Entry Stamps to Travelers Upon Arrival

In a continued effort to streamline the entry process for travelers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) has begun to eliminate the issuance of entry stamps in the passports of foreign nationals upon
arrival in the U.S. in many airports across the U.S. CBP will be rolling out this program to additional
airports over time.

Traditional I-94 Record

Typically, each time a foreign national enters the U.S., CBP creates an online, electronic entry record to
record entries to the U.S. This is called an I-94 card. The I-94 card is the only official record of entry into
the U.S. so if proof of legal status as a visitor, or other lawful status is required, foreign nationals must
obtain their CBP arrival/departure record information online as CBP has already previously eliminated
paper I-94 forms (record of admission). It is now even more critical that all foreign nationals promptly
access their electronic I-94 each time they enter the U.S. to confirm that they have been admitted in the
correct immigration status with the correct expiration date. If a traveler wants a paper form I-94, they
should obtain a printout of their electronic I-94 via the CBP One™ mobile app or the CBP I-94 website at
the following link using “Get Most Recent I-94”. This may be their only proof of lawful admission.

As a reminder, upon exiting the U.S., foreign nationals who have been issued a paper I-94 should
surrender it to the commercial carrier, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), or to CBP upon
departure. Those who received an electronic I-94 card upon arrival by air, sea or land and depart via
land, the departure may not be recorded accurately, and the utmost attention should be taken to retain
evidence of entries and exits.

Land Border

Departures will only be recorded if you depart by land and re-enter the U.S. prior to the expiration date
stamped in your passport. If, however, you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an
electronic I-94 card and depart by land border but do not enter the U.S. prior to the expiration date
stamped in your passport, you should travel with evidence of your departure from the U.S. into Canada
or Mexico. Evidence may include passport entry stamps, transportation tickets, paystubs, or other
receipts. Entries are a bit different since you can request an entry stamp from CBSA when entering
Canada or from the Mexican border when entering Mexico.
Currently, Canada and the U.S. exchange biographic entry information on third-country nationals,
permanent residents of Canada and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. at land ports of entry. Entry
into one country serves as an exit record from the other. The only problem is that this is solely for land
border crossings at this time.

Air Borders

U.S. law requires that if a foreign national leaves the U.S. via air, CBP will record the departure
electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP. These statutory and regulatory
authorities require each air carrier operating passenger flights in foreign air transportation to, from, or
through the U.S. to provide CBP with electronic access to PNR data to the extent it is collected and
contained in the air carrier’s reservation and/or departure control systems.

This information is transmitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), CBP, with certain
passenger reservation information, called Passenger Name Record (PNR) data prior to departure and
used primarily for purposes of preventing, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting terrorist offenses
and related crimes and certain other crimes that are transnational in nature.

Importance to Verify Record of Admission

Foreign nationals must never stay in the U.S. beyond the “admit until” date listed on their current I-
94. Never use the end date of the I-797 approval notice or the visa as this does not govern a person’s
status and expiration date in the U.S. Accordingly, it is critical to review your I-94 upon each entry to the
U.S. A record of admission printed from the CBP website constitutes a lawful record of admission.
Government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Motor Vehicles, require a
copy of the CBP website printout showing the immigration status and expiration date. he Form I-94 may
also be used for presentation to an employer to complete the employment eligibility verification form
(Form I-9). With the elimination of entry stamps becoming a part of most airports in the U.S., it will take
time for government agencies to understand this making it even more important to keep a copy of your
record of admission at all times.