CBP has announced the automation of the I-94 card; that is, they will no longer issue the traveler paper evidence of their admission. Instead, the admission and departure information will be stored electronically. The automated process will apply only at air and sea ports of entry; paper I-94 cards will continue to be issued at land border ports of entry. Also, there will not be any change to the I-94 cards attached to approval notices issued by the USCIS.
When a traveler applies for admission to the U.S. at an air or sea port of entry, an electronic I-94 card will be created. The information will be available to the various Department of Homeland Security agencies and systems such as USCIS, SEVIS, etc. The main difference is that a paper I-94 card will not be issued to the traveler at the port of entry. Rather, when the electronic record is created, the traveler will only receive an admission stamp in their passport. The admission stamp will bear the following information: date of entry, port of entry, class of entry, and “admitted until” date.
Information will be entered into the automated system by scanning the traveler’s visa stamp into the electronic system. If the traveler is exempt from the visa stamp requirement (such as most Canadian citizens; those traveling under the Visa Waiver program; or green card applicants holding a valid advance parole document), then the passport will be scanned instead. The CBP Officer will then stamp the passport and enter the admission date, port of entry, class of admission, and expiration date of admission.
CBP states that automation of the process will increase efficiency, streamline the admission process and save CBP $15.5 million a year.