Customs to Do Away with Paper I-94 Form

On March 26, DHS issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) in the Federal Register (see below) which will change current regulations to allow CBP to automate the I-94 form required of many foreign visitors entering the United States. The IFR becomes effective April 26.

The automation means that these foreign visitors will no longer have to complete a paper form when arriving in the US by air or sea. Automating the I-94 form will streamline the arrival process for foreign visitors and save CBP and the airlines time and money. CBP estimates that it will save $15.5 million per year from automating the I-94 form. (You may recall that CBP has already automated the I-94W form used by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) passengers). 

Comments on the IFR are due April 26.  ACI-NA will file comments in support of the IFR as it has long encouraged CBP to eliminate/reduce its paper forms where possible in light of the significant amount of information that CBP already obtains electronically through the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS), Passenger Name Record, and, in the case of VWP passengers, Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The APIS information will be used to automatically populate an electronic I-94 form for the foreign visitor. The CBP Officer will still have to collect information on telephone # in US and e-mail address. (In some cases, the address in the US may be updated at inspection).

CBP will still provide I-94 paper forms to refugees, asylees and parolees and others as requested or as CBP determines appropriate. CBP had to work with a number of federal and state/local government agencies which rely on the I-94 data to lay the groundwork for automating the I-94 paper form.

Federal Register Notice on Interim Final Rule Automating I-94 Form

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-27/pdf/2013-06974.pdf

 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Christopher R. Bidwell, Vice President, Security and Facilitation at (202) 861-8081 or Diane Peterson, Senior Advisor, International Affairs at (202) 861-8085.