New Obligations on Foreign National Employees
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently stopped issuing I-94s to foreign nationals who are entering the U.S. Instead, they are entering the information into a database, and then putting a rubber stamp in the person's passport. In theory, CBP should put the person's expiration date on that rubber stamp, however, this may not occur in practice. In the past, when a foreign national entered the U.S., the CBP inspector would issue to the foreign national a small white card - an I-94 Department Record. The I-94 would contain valuable information, including the person's date of entry and the required date of departure (as determined by the CBP inspector). The required date of departure was especially critical, since a foreign national who remains past the expiration date - even if inadvertently - can encounter grave problems in future dealings with visa status issues.
Nancy M. Lawrence (www.ofplaw.com/index.php/attorneys/nancy-lawrence), immigration attorney and of counsel at Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. has just returned from the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Conference, and the conference made very clear that foreign nationals MUST now go through the extra step of obtaining a printout of the I-94 admission record using an online form. This printout will be needed for further applications (extensions of stay, changes of status, adjustment of status applications, etc.). In any event, it is critical to review these printouts to make sure that the CBP has correctly entered the individual’s information into the database. Starting now, if a foreign national employee travels and would normally have been issued an I-94 upon returning to the U.S., the foreign national employee should go to the CBP's website - www.cbp.gov/I94 – upon returning to the U.S. in order to obtain more information and to request the form.
Also, all foreign national employees should carefully check the information that CBP stamped in the passport.