As many of you have probably noticed, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, has implemented an electronic automated I-94 form for non immigrant visas entering the United States. Therefore, gone are the days when the small red, green and white little I-94 cards were used. This system is supposed to provide five years of history of your travel to the United States. However, there are few issues that need to be addressed including when the system says “NOT FOUND”. These are few tips which transpired as a result of meetings between the CBP and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Our law group is providing some of them to you. In order to make sure that you have an I-94 issue try the following:
1. Make sure you enter your name as stated in the passport, visa or the way you entered on the form DS 160
Although the system is supposed to go by passport name and passport number. We are still seeing cases where the name as entered on the visa and DS 160 form are being used for the system. As such the search will go by this data.
2. Try to type the first and middle name in the first name although not stated on the passport or application.
Most of us have several names including several middle names. So please enter them all.
3. Try switching the names around
In some countries the last name is not provided. Therefore, the first name can be the last name and vice versa.
4. Try entering the names without using any spaces in between them.
For example you can type ‘JohnDoe’ or ‘JaneDoe’ instead of John Doe and Jane Doe.
5. If you have had different passports, use different passport numbers.
People often have different passports or passport numbers. They could have applied on an old passport and system registered the new passport. So try all the numbers.
6. Try not entering the year of the passport if the passport number includes the year.
Some passport have a longer number than others because it include the year of issue. Try to remove the year so that the system can accept the number.
Additional information to consider.
Classification of the Visa.
- » The Visa stamped on your passport might have a different denomination than on the I-94. Please make sure you check.
- » If non of the above works, please call the Deferred Inspection office of the CBP. They might be able to help you over the phone. If not you might have to go to the field office.
This short article only covers some of the issues related to the I-94, as such you should take it for informational use only. We recommend you call us at 510 742 5887, should you have any questions on the matter or any immigration issues.