Understanding Your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
The I-94: Your Proof of Legal Entry into the U.S.
When you enter the U.S. as a non-immigrant, the Customs Border Protection (CBP) officer examines your passport and visa and then issues either a passport admission stamp or a small white card, called the Form I-94. The passport admission stamp or paper I-94 card indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the U.S. and proves you arrived in the country legally.
Non-immigrants who arrive in the U.S. by air or sea, should be issued a passport admission stamp while those who cross a border by land will continue to receive the paper I-94 card. If you have received a passport admission stamp, you will also have an electronic I-94 record. To access this record, visit: www.cbp.gov/I94. If you were issued a paper I-94 card, you will not have an electronic I-94 record.
Duration of Status (D/S)
On the passport admission stamp or the paper I-94 card, the inspector writes either a date or "D/S" (duration of status). If you are a student, "duration of status" means that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled full-time and your I-20 (F-1) or DS 2019 (J-1) has not expired. You are required to keep the passport entry stamp or I-94 card for the duration of your visit, so make sure to keep it in a safe place so it doesn't get lost.
The Admission Number
Every I-94 record has an eleven-digit admission number. You may need to use this number for Department of Motor Vehicles and employment purposes, but it is not a number you need to memorize. In fact, you will received a new I-94 number each time you re-enter the U.S.
Departure from the U.S.
As you prepare to board your flight to depart the U.S., you will be asked to surrender the paper I-94 card, if issued one, to the airline representative who will in turn deliver it to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). For those issued a passport admission stamp, CBP will record the date of your departure for future reference.
For more information on the new I-94 automation process and passport admission stamps, please review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Fact Sheet.
Paper Form I-94
Passport Admission Stamp
Electronic Form I-94