Immigration and firm news

CBP Announces I-94 Historical Data Available Online

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today that starting May 1, 2014, non US citizens will be able to access up to five years of I-94 arrival information online. Last year, CBP transitioned to paperless I-94s. However, initially they said that if travelers did not download their I-94 before departing the USA, the data would be lost. The availability of five years of data should be much more helpful to individuals who may have forgotten to download their I-94s in the last year. In addition, the historical data is really important for individuals wanting to change or extend nonimmigrant status, to prove they are eligible to adjust status in the US to permanent residence, and for determining whether a person accumulated unauthorized presence that would trigger the three or ten-year bars to admissibility.

In addition, departure history will also be available. Although only five years of history may not be enough information in some cases, for those people with only recent US trip histories, it will alleviate the need to file more time consuming Freedom of Information Act requests. However, FOIA requests will still be needed in those cases where older trip history is needed or other information is needed about CBP encounters, interviews, and other data besides trip history to assess an individual’s eligibility for future visas, green cards or relief from removal or inadmissibility.

Note, that if an individual arrived as a nonimmigrant and changed status without leaving the US, the CBP website will not have information about the new status granted by USCIS as evidenced by the I94 tear-off at the bottom of the form I797 approval notice. Don’t forget: The date on the I94, not the visa stamp, controls the amount of time a nonimmigrant has to stay in the USA based on the last date of entry.