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Form I-94 Information Guide

The purpose of Form I-94/I-94W is to record the arrival and departure information of all visitors to the United States. Most visitors to the United States need to apply for a visa before entering the U.S., unless if the person is a citizen of one of the 35 visa waiver countries and has a machine-readable passport. Citizens of visa waiver countries can enter the U.S. for up to 90-day visa-free. Regardless of whether the visitor is entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, or if he/she has a visa, all visitors must complete either Form I-94 (white) or Form I-94W (green).

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What’s included

  • Form I-94/I-94W general information
  • Arrival and departure procedures to and from the United States
  • How to replace a lost or stolen Form I-94/I-94W while in the United States
  • How to return Form I-94/I-94W if you departed the United States and it is still in your possession
  • Information about what to do if you lost your I-94/I-94W and have already left the United States
  • List of all USCIS (formerly INS) offices nationwide
  • List of United States Embassies and Consulates
  • Information on how to obtain the latest United States immigration forms

Download Form I-94 Information Guide for more information

What is the difference between Form I-94 and Form I-94W?

  1. Form I-94 (white): It is issued to visitors who hold a valid U.S. visa, such as B-1B-2F-1H-1B, etc.
  2. Form I-94W (green): Is issued to visitors who enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. The “W” stands for “Waiver”. This means that you waive your rights to review or appeal any decision regarding admissibility in the United States, and prevent you (in most cases) from extending your stay in the United States or changing immigration status. Normally this is not a problem, but it is important to be aware of in case on possibly changing status after you enter the United States.

Did you lose your Form I-94 while in the United State? A problem occurs if you lose your departure record or forget to turn it in when departing the United States. Your file will then remain open and once you have exceeded the amount of days you were legally admitted to stay in the United States, you will be classified as an
overstay. This may lead to a serious problem next time you try to enter the United States including denial of
and/or cancellation of any United States visa you may have.

It is the visitor’s responsibility to proof that he or she departed the United States within the amount of days indicated he or she was admitted to stay. There are specific procedures to follow whether you lost or misplaced your Form I-94/I-94W departure record while in the United States, or you forgot to turn it in before departing the United States.

Form I-94 and Form I-94W consist of two parts:

  1. Arrival Record: The top part of the form is kept by the immigration officer upon arrival
  2. Departure Record: The bottom part is your departure record which must be returned upon departure

The following the scenarios (and solutions) are described in the Form I-94/I-94W Information Guide:

  • Lost I-94/I-94W departure record while in the United States
  • Mutilated I-94/I-94W departure record while in the United States
  • Stolen I-94/I-94W departure record while in the United States
  • Departure from the U.S. with the I-94/I-94W departure record still in your possession
  • Departure from the U.S. without the I-94/I-94W departure record

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