I-94 electronic record of admission
Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova
For a very long time the record of inspection and admission, I-94 form was issued on paper, and was the only proof of alien’s legal admission into the U.S. The form looked like a card, the paper used for it was white, and soon enough many practitioners started to refer to it as the “white card.” Even though, the CBP, should maintain records of everybody who entered the country from a specific point in time, in practice, to restore someone’s I-94 if it got lost, is almost impossible if the information on form I-102 (form that is used to restore the lost I-94 card) does not match completely the CBP records and/or a copy of the admission stamp is not attached…
Recently, Department of Homeland Security decided to switch from paper to electronic record of all arrivals. Now, instead of paper I-94, a person’s information is recorded electronically. A person can (or should be able to ) retrieve information regarding his/her past travels from the CBP database using their website.
Unfortunately, sometimes the new system does not work. In this case, the website directs the person to go to the nearest CBP differed inspection office for help…
Here is the link to the website with questions and answers regarding the new I-94 process: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html
The bottom line that it is still a good practice to keep copies of your passport with travel admission stamps throughout your “immigration life” in the U.S. Store them both in paper form and electronically, and hold on to the old I-94 by all means!