The I-94 used to be issued as a paper card and inserted in the passport as proof of legal status in the U.S. It was then surrendered at the time of departure from the U.S. in order that the departure was recorded. I-94 automation means you will not receive a paper I-94 card. Instead you will have an electronic record. Before leave the port of entry you must make sure that your passport is stamped with your arrival date, admission status (F-1/J-1/H-1B, etc) and either "D/S" for duration of status if in F-1 of J-1 status or the end date that corresponds to your I-797 approval if in H-1B status. Dependent must make sure their passports are stamped with the correct dependent status and D/S/ or end date as the principal status holder. Please make sure that you can read the stamp before leaving port of entry. You will then want to print an I-94 for your records via the CBP website: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html
You will need your I-94 information if you will be employed. Be sure to print it out before applying for your Social Security Number or completing any employment paperwork.
For more information please see the I-94 Webpage
I-94 fact sheet
What if my I-94 is "not found" online?
First try these steps:
- Try entering your name exactly as it appears on your passport between the << >>.
- Try entering your name exactly as it appears on your visa stamp.
- Try entering the date the day before you actually entered the U.S.
- Try entering the date the day after you actually entered the U.S.
If you still unable to locate your I-94 or need to make corrections to the record, you will need to take your passport, visa, and I-20 / DS-2019/I-797 approval notice to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deferred Inspection Site to get your I-94 corrected.
In Chicago, the CBP Deferred Inspection Site is located at:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
536 S. Clark Street, Suite 1035
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm
For a list of locations outside of Chicago, visit http://www.cbp.gov/contact/deferred-inspection/overview-deferred-inspection. There is a link on the webpage to download the list of sites.