Admission to the U.S. - Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Entry to the U.S. is granted by CBP, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. A CBP officer will inspect your travel documents at or soon before reaching a US Port of Entry (POE). They will determine which immigration status and for how long you should be admitted to the U.S. This information will then be noted on an I-94 Arrival-Departure Record.

The I-94 Record:

  • Serves as the only evidence of your proper, lawful admission to the U.S.
  • Lists your immigration category, port of entry, date of entry, expiration of stay, and a unique 11-digit identifying number on top.

F Status Holders

  • F status holders should have the notation of D/S (Duration of Status) on their I-94, meaning that they can remain in the U.S. as long as they comply with the terms and conditions of their immigration status.
  • New F-1 students and their dependents may enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date indicated on the I-20. 

Automated I-94 Process

In April 2013 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) transitioned to an automated I-94 process for those who enter the U.S. by air or sea ports. The intent is to streamline the inspection process and reduce wait times at passenger processing. An Entry Stamp will be placed in your passport in lieu of the paper I-94 (which is still in use if entering U.S. by land).

How can I access my electronic I-94?

  • Visit the following web page:
  • Click: Get Most Recent I-94
  • Enter the following personal information:
    • First (Given) Name
    • Last (Family) Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Passport Number
    • Passport Country of Issuance
  • Click 'Next' to access the I-94 and print the page.

Improper Notation on Form I-94

Occasionally Customers and Border Protection (CBP) officers will make mistakes when admitting an individual to the U.S. 

  • F Status: your I-94 should be date-stamped and noted F-1 D/S or F-2 D/S.
  • Anyone with doubts about what is written or not written on his or her forms should consult the International Student Office (ISO).
  • If there is indeed a problem, a P/DSO will instruct you to take the documents to the CBP office at the nearest port of entry.

Government Resources (including I-94 samples)