International Arrival/Departure Forms Go Digital

Upon landing at U.S. airports, foreign visitors to the United States will no longer have to fill out paper admission forms, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which announced last week that it has automated the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.

“Increasing efficiency and streamlining processes is a critical component of maximizing our resources at ports of entry,” says acting CBP Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski. “In addition to saving millions of dollars for both CBP and the travel and tourism industry, automating the I-94 and going paperless will save valuable time for both travelers and CBP officers.”

Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence that they have been lawfully admitted to the United States, which is required to verify alien registration, immigration status and employment authorization. Instead of requiring visitors to fill out a paper form when they’re arriving by land or sea, the United States will now digitally generate records of admission using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means.

The new, automated Form I-94 was put into use starting yesterday at select air and sea ports — including Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Miami International Airport and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport — and will continue nationwide rollout through May 21.

“We commend the announcement by CBP’s acting commissioner Thomas Winkowski to securely modernize a critical step in the international traveler admissions process,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. “Streamlining the I-94 form, alongside other helpful developments by the agency such as Global Entry and the OneStop program, proves that, when given the resources to do so, CBP is creative in improving the experience for international travelers. We applaud CBP for implementing this technology — and for saving travelers, the government and the travel industry time and resources.”

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