CBP Starts Rollout of Automated I-94 Form; ACI-NA Files Comments Supporting Automation of I-94 Form

1. CBP starts rollout of Automated I-94 form;  Rollout Schedule

The Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued by CBP on March 26 to automate the I-94 form required of many foreign visitors entering the United States became effective April 26.  The automation applies only to passengers arriving by air and sea. CBP started the rollout today to automate the I-94 form. Initial reports indicate that the first day of the rollout has been going well.

The foreign visitors will be given a tear sheet so that they will be informed that they can print a copy of their electronic I-94 form if they wish by going to:  https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html;jsessionid=QvhHRQRKJwyL9.  CBP will still provide I-94 paper forms to refugees, asylees and parolees and others as requested or as CBP determines appropriate.  

2. ACI-NA Comments

ACI-NA filed comments by the deadline in support of the IFR as it has long encouraged CBP to eliminate/reduce its paper forms where possible in light of the significant amount of information that CBP already obtains electronically. The I-94 automation will reduce processing time for foreign visitors to the benefit of all arriving passengers as well as reduce costs for CBP and air carriers. The ACI-NA comments can be found at:   http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USCBP-2013-0011-0020.

3.  Additional Information
On April 3, CBP briefed ACI-NA and its members on the I-94 form automation. Some of the questions/answers that were raised on the call and later were:

  • Q:  Is CBP planning to update its model ports video to reflect the automation of the I-94?
    A:  CBP will update the video, but there is no date for this yet due to funding issues.
  • Q   Could it take longer for CBP Officers in some cases to enter US address, US phone number and e-mail into their computer, particularly in dealing with non-English speakers?
    A:  Although Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) requires carriers to enter address information, it is not always accurate. There may be cases where an officer has to update the address information, but CBP does not anticipate any serious impact on time. Officers currently have to correct addresses on the form. Instead of writing this information, it will be typed. If after automation is complete and CBP determines address verification is impacting processing times, it will explore alternate ways to verify addresses. The phone number and email are not mandatory on the electronic form.

CBP Press Release on Rollout

CBP Fact Sheet on I-94 Automation