CBP Plans to Eliminate Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record for Arriving Foreign Nationals
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 27, 2012 – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will eliminate the I-94 form, the Arrival-Departure Record issued to foreign nationals admitted to the United States in non-immigrant status.
“Conceptually, one less document issued, such as a Form I-94, is one less document to lose, and a benefit to both the agency and to the foreign national nonimmigrant,” said Dallas immigration attorney Stewart Rabinowitz.
“But we have created a domino-like chain where a single document, such as Form I-94, has significance to state motor vehicle bureaus, to universities receiving foreign students, to the Social Security Administration and to employers, all of whom have diligently been trained to expect to see, and use this document for their own purposes. Creating this reliance took time to institutionalize. It will take even longer for all interested agencies to learn to work without it. And foreign nationals following the rules will suffer.”
The change was announced as an efficiency measure, since the elimination of the form would save time and money. The agency already collects the information contained in the I-94 form in other ways. The information is submitted at U.S. consulates when individuals apply for nonimmigrant visas, and CBP also receives the information from the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS).
In announcing the shift, CBP said that it had studied the budgetary impact of producing, distributing, gathering and storing the forms, and had concluded that the use of the form costs approximately $19 million annually. This is in addition to $17 million that is paid each year to a private contractor to enter departure data, when the forms are collected at the end of the non-immigrant's stay in the U.S.
Previously, CBP planned to gradually eliminate the forms in a few airports starting this year, but current plans call for eliminating the I-94 system-wide quickly. No date as to when this change will occur has been announced, and as of August 29, 2012, CBP has yet to pilot the program.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
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