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Form I-94 Online for Visitors to the United States by Land

Travelers entering the United States by land can apply for a provisional form I-94 online. Only the I-94 record may be used as proof of lawful entry.



Do I need an I-94 form to travel to the US?

All travelers to the United States need an I-94 form, with the following exceptions:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Resident aliens returning to the U.S.
  • Aliens holding immigrant visas
  • Most Canadian citizens, whether visiting the U.S. or in transit

What is the I-94 form?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issues the I-94 form as the official record of arrival or departure for aliens entering the United States, whose status has changed while in the United States, or who are extending their stay in the United States, among other reasons. This form is usually attached to the (non-immigrant) visitor’s passport by a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer upon entry to the United States. The visitor is required to depart the USA by the date stamped on the form.

The CBP has automated the I-94 form for travelers entering the country, in order to streamline the admission process, improve efficiency, and lower operating costs. Rather than a paper form, travelers will receive an electronic I-94, except in special circumstances. These travelers will also receive an admission stamp from the CBP on their travel document.


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When should I submit my I-94 online application?

If you plan to enter the United States by land, you can expedite the process by applying and paying for your Form I-94 online. If you will be entering the US by air or sea, you will not need to apply for a Form I-94.

Please note that the I-94 form you receive via online application is provisional only, and is the first step of the I-94 application process. You must complete the remaining steps in the application process at the port of entry, in order to receive the final document allowing lawful entry into the United States.

What do I need for my online I-94 application?

In order to apply, you will need the following information, as it appears on your travel documents used to enter the United States:

  • Your passport country of issuance, which is your country of citizenship listed on your passport. This is the authority that issued your passport, regardless of where you physically obtained your passport.
  • Your passport number, exactly as it is listed on the biographical page. This number may include numbers and/or letters, so you will need to pay close attention. Characters that are often mistaken for one another include 0 (zero) and the letter “O,” and 1 (one) and the letter “I”.
  • Your family name/last name/surname as it is listed in the “Last Name” or “Surname” field on your U.S. travel document. If aren’t sure about which name to use, refer to the “Machine Readable Zone” on your passport, as this is usually the name used.
  • Your first name/given name as it is listed in the “First Name” or “Given Name” field on your U.S. travel document. No other names should be included, such as titles, nicknames, or middle names.
  • You birth date, including the month, day, and year you were born.

If the name format is ambiguous on a passport or visa, reference the Machine Readable Zone at the bottom of the document/card. These will always follow the ISO standard convention.

If you are applying online for a new I-94, you will additionally need:

  • Visa Country of Issuance: The country that issued your visa. For I-94 purposes, this field will always be the United States.
  • Visa or Border Crossing Card (BCC) Number: The visa number is the red number on the lower right hand corner of your visa above the Machine Readable Zone.
  • Visa Date of Issuance: The day, month, and year your Visa was issued to you.

If I apply and pay for an I-94 online, do I have to appear at the port of entry?

Yes. You will still need to appear at the port of entry to complete the process and receive your paper form. You will only receive a provisional I-94 from the online application. Paying online helps expedite the process at the port of entry.

If I apply for an I-94 online, can I be denied entry into the United States?

All admittance into the U.S. is determined by a CBP Officer at a port of entry during the application for admission or I-94 permit. As a traveler, be prepared to show purpose and intent of your travel and evidence of employment and residency during the interview. If admission is denied, CBP will provide information about your available options. There are no refunds, transfers, or exchanges of the I-94 fee. If you are denied entry or removed from the U.S. for any reason, this fee will not be returned.

After applying online do I receive a provisional/temporary paper form?

No, but you will receive a receipt which you should print and save for your records. At the port of entry a CBP officer will be able to look up your provisional I-94 in the CBP system using your passport.

After finishing the online application for a provisional I-94, what do I need to bring to the port of entry to complete the application process?

To complete your application, you will need to:

  • Appear at a port of entry within seven days. If you do not appear within seven days or are not issued an I-94 for any reason, there are no refunds.
  • At the port of entry, submit your biometrics (if required) and complete an interview.
  • Be prepared to show evidence of your residence, employment and/or travel plans, if asked by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer.
  • Once your application is approved, CBP will issue a paper form I-94 documenting your class of admission and admitted until date. Retain this form for travel and present to any government official, law enforcement officer, organization, institution or employer that requests evidence of lawful admission.



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