An I-94 is an electronic document displaying a non-immigrant class of admission (visa type), date of admission to the United States (entry) and date of expiration of legal stay. It is an important document for legal status and work authorization, and enables holders to apply for a driver’s license, Social Security card or other government benefits. All foreign nationals, other than permanent residents, are advised to print and carry an I-94 document with their passport while in the United States.

Paper cards are no longer issued to foreign nationals who enter the U.S. by air or sea. Instead, non-immigrants receive a date, class, and duration of admission stamp in their passports, and a copy of instructions on how to print an I-94 from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. Foreign nationals should enter the information requested (name, birth date, passport number, and passport country) as it appears on the passport and/or visa. CBP provides a paper version to foreign nationals who enter at land ports of entry and to certain classes of foreign nationals, such as refugees, certain asylees, and parolees.

In some circumstances where the foreign national’s passport expires before his/her relevant approval notice, CBP may give an I-94 expiration date the same as the passport expiration date. In this case, the foreign national will need to do one of the following:

  1. Make another international trip and re-enter the United States with a new passport before the expiration date on the I-94. CBP should then issue an I-94 with an expiration date consistent with approval notice expiration; or
  2. If available, file for an extension of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the expiration date on the I-94.