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Arrival/Departure Record (I-94)
The I-94 is the Arrival and Departure Record, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to foreign visitors entering the United States.
When you enter the country, a CBP officer will examine your passport and visa and give you either an annotated stamp in your passport or a small white card called the Form I-94. If you arrive by air or sea, arrival and departure records are created electronically and you will be provided with the passport stamp. If you arrive by land from Canada or Mexico, you will receive the paper card. In this case, there will not be an electronic record.
The passport admission stamp or paper I-94 card indicates how long you are allowed to stay in the United States (the “Admit Until” date) and proves that you entered the country legally. As the holder of a student visa, your “Admit Until” date will be listed as “D/S,” which means “Duration of Status.” You may remain in the country as long as your F-1 status is maintained—that is, as long as you are enrolled full-time in your studies and your I-20 is not expired.
You must keep your passport stamp or I-94 card for the duration of your stay in the United States, so make sure it doesn’t get lost.
If you are already in the United States and are applying as a transfer student or under a change of status, we will download a copy of your electronic Arrival and Departure Record from the Department of Homeland Security website as part of the admissions process. If you are entering the country from outside the United States, we will download a copy of your record after your arrival.
Until April 2013, visitors to the United States were required to fill out a paper I-94 form. For more information on the I-94 and the new automated process, please see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94 Fact Sheet.