Your I-94 is your official arrival and departure record when it comes to U.S. immigration. Your I-94 is important because you will be asked, most likely, for your entry/exit record on various USCIS documents including your employee authorization form and green card application (not an exhaustive list).
However, there has been some confusion recently regarding the I-94. For one some immigration applicants are not knowing where to access there I-94 record. This is because the CBP— Customs and Border control does not issue manual I-94 cards anymore. It used to be the case that when you went through immigration (arriving at an airport in the U.S.) you would receive a card to be filled out and this was known as your I-94. However, today the process has been completely digitized. Meaning that you will need to know where to search online so you can have your I-94 information at the ready.
Ways to Access your I-94
The first step in accessing your I-94 is to go the following website: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home. From here, scroll down and see some of the options that are present. The first link you will see is for land border crossings only. This means that you are coming to the U.S. from either Canada or Mexico. Once you click “Land Only” under the first dropdown question, you will be prompted to complete more questions such as providing your name, DOB, passport number, and visa country of issuance. You will also present your traveller information such as the date you will be entering the U.S.
If you are already visiting the U.S. and have been properly admitted, then the top right link is for you. You can access your admission information via this link that you have the appropriate information for whatever USCIS form you are completing. This link provides proof of visitor status.
The bottom left link on the same page shows a history of your Arrivals and Departures to and from the U.S. Once you click on this link, you will be prompted to enter your Passport number and information so the CBP can track your entry/exit history. This resource might come in handy for applicants who are asked on various USCIS forms for any history of their entry/exit record into the U.S.
Finally the link on the bottom right of the same page is a tool for anyone who has been admitted properly into the U.S. to check and see when their current visa will expire. Please note that your visa validity period is not the same as your visa expiration. You might have a visa valid for multiple entries to the U.S., but will need to leave periodically. Your official I-94 will help you understand when this needs to happen.
In October of 2020, the CBP launched the CBP One, a mobile application that is currently available on the Apple (and Google) App stores.
This app comes in handy and serves as a single portal for a variety of CBP services. Through a series of guided questions, the app will direct each type of user to the appropriate services based on their needs.
One useful feature of this App is that it allows travellers to apply for a provisional I-94 before they have arrived at a land border crossing. This ultimately helps travellers receive an expedited entry into the country granted all of the information they have provided is accurate. Overall, the quick access to the CBP database and the ability to enter information quickly on your tablet or smartphone makes this app useful for frequent travellers and for non-citizens who want to have precise data on their Entry/Exit record.
For more information on CBP One, please see the following link: https://www.cbp.gov/about/mobile-apps-directory/cbpone