What To Do When Coming And Going…
WHEN entering the US, visitors and individuals with non-immigrant visas must fill out a white I-94 or green I-94W Arrival-Departure document and retain it during their stay. It must be returned to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the time you depart the US. It is important that the I-94 be returned to CBP because it is a record of when you entered and departed the US and verifies that you entered legally and did not overstay the period you were permitted to stay in the US. Being able to prove that you obeyed immigration laws is important when reentering the US in the future or when applying for immigration benefits such as a non-immigrant or immigrant visas.
Depending on the mode of transportation taken to depart the US, the I-94 should be turned in at the time of departure to the airline or ship representative or to the Canadian or Mexican immigration inspector at the land border. If you leave the US without turning in the I-94 to the appropriate authorities, you must take further action to ensure that your departure is properly recorded only if you departed the US by land, private ship, or private plane. You are not required to take any actions if you took a commercial airline or sea carrier because your departure can be independently verified. Travelers who take short trips to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean islands during their visit to the US can hold on to their I-94s until they depart for their home.
If you did not turn in your I-94 card at the time of departure and did not take a commercial airline or ship, the I-94 must be mailed to the CBP office in Kentucky with other documentation to prove that you left the US and an explanation written in English. Without taking these steps, CBP’s records may indicate that you are overstaying your authorized stay.
Supporting documents that can be submitted as proof of your departure from the US can include items such as original boarding passes that you used to depart another country such as Canada after you crossed the border, or photocopies of bank records, dated pay slips or vouchers from your employer, school records, or credit card receipts that indicate that you were in another country after you left the US Photocopies of entry or departure stamps in your passport that indicate that you entered another country after leaving the US can also be submitted. In such a case, a copy of all passport pages that are not blank should be submitted.
It is important that you also submit an explanation as to why your I-94 was not turned in. An explanation letter alone without supporting documents is not acceptable. Make sure that all copies are legible and that you keep a copy of the documents that you submit as they will not be returned to you.
Your I-94, supporting documentation, and explanation letter should be mailed to the following address:
DHS-CBP SBU, 1084 South Laurel Rd, London, KY 40744
This is the only address where you should send your I-94 and documents. This is the only address that can correct the records. The DHS-CBP office does not provide any confirmation regarding your submission.
The next time you travel to the US, bring a copy of the materials you submitted to DHS-CBP in case there are any questions or if your record has not yet been corrected. If you departed the US on a commercial air or ship and are not required to take the above actions, you should still keep on to your boarding pass and bring it with you the next time you enter the US as this may be helpful.
The above information is given for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss the particulars of your own case. Stephen Ure can be contacted at (619) 235-5400, (714) 368-1663 or (909) 574-0713 or email: email@example.com