I-94 Form (Arrival/Departure Record)

The I-94 card(s) are used to show your record of arrival to and departure from the United States. It is very important to fill out the I-94 arrival/departure card with your name as it appears in your passport. Also pay attention to the arrangement requested for your date of birth (DOB). The U.S. is the only country that requires your DOB to be shown by Month, Day, Year order. There is also a pre-printed number on the upper left-hand corner known as the I-94 number or sometimes referred to as the Admission number.

The top portion of the I-94 form you fill out is used to record your arrival to the U.S. and is very important to be legible and accurate, as it may affect your ability to get a social security number (SSN) if you have employment, or to obtain a driver’s license.

The second portion of the I-94 form is the departure section, which you will retain and is usually stapled to your passport. It should also be legible and accurate as this is used to record your departure from the U.S. This card must be turned in at the airport when leaving the U.S.

When entering the United States the Port of Entry (POE) official will stamp your visa, I-94 departure card and your I-20/DS-2019 with a red stamp which indicates your POE, Date you arrived, visa type and duration of stay (see Expiration Date information).

For more information on how to fill out the I-94 form, click here.

Expiration Date of the I-94

If you are an F-1/J-1 student, and you entered the U.S. with an I-20/DS-2019 form, it is very probable that you were given an I-94 at the port of entry with the expiration date of "D/S". D/S is an abbreviation that USCIS uses to indicate "duration of status." This means that you are admitted until the completion date indicated on your I-20 in item #5 and on your DS2019 in item #3. Because the actual date an F-1/J-1 you will complete your degree may vary, or you may continue on for a higher degree, the POE does not give an actual expiration date on the I-94. Whenever you are asked to fill in forms and list the expiration date of your I-94 and you are an F-1/J-1 student, the correct answer would be "D/S." You may want to add in parentheses the completion date from your I-20. That is the date within which the University has determined you should be able to complete your studies for the current degree you are pursuing. If you have not completed your studies by that date, you should contact the UFIC office for advice about extending your stay.

Failure to turn in the I-94 (or I-94W) form when leaving the U.S.

Failure to turn in your I-94 (or I-94W) when you leave the U.S. can create a serious problem. Without this record of your departure, you will be identified in our records as an "overstay." Being identified as an overstay means that you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. If you failed to turn in your I-94, please send it - along with any documentation that proves you left the U.S. to:

DHS - CBP SBU
1084 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

Do not mail your Form I-94 Departure Record or supporting information to any U.S. Consulate or Embassy, to any other CBP Office in the United States, or to any address other than the one above. Only at this location are we able to make the necessary corrections to CBP records to prevent inconvenience to you in the future. The London, Kentucky office does not answer correspondence, so please do not ask for confirmation that your record has been updated.
Documentation to prove your departure can include the boarding pass from your flight. If you exited the country by a land border it is much harder to verify that you did- in fact - leave the country on the date you claim. If you have any documentation of your arrival in your home country (i.e. passport stamp), then you should send a copy of that. If the above office does not have any supporting documents to substantiate your claim to have left the U.S. on a certain date, there is no guarantee that you will be entered into the record as having done so. We strongly urge you to keep a copy of what you send to DHS - CBP SBU and to carry it with you the next time you come to the U.S. in case the CBP officer has any questions about your eligibility to enter.

Lost I-94 Card

If you lose your I-94 card you should replace it by filling out form I-102 and paying the fee. The I-94 card is required to:

  • Record your departure from the U.S.
  • Apply for a driver’s license
  • Apply for an SSN if employed
  • Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

For information about how to replace an I-94, click here.