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

Entry to the U.S. is granted by a CBP officer who will inspect your travel documents at or soon before reaching a US Port of Entry. 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.

What is an I-94 Record?

Every nonimmigrant entering the US on a sponsored visa will have a form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record created by the Department of Homeland Security. This record confirms that you have been legally admitted to the U.S. in a specific visa status, and for a duration of time. For F visa holders, the amount of time is indicated by the notation “D/S,” which means you can be in the U.S. for the “Duration of Status” of your academic program. 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.

How to Get an I-94 Record? 

  • A new I-94 record is created (except in some cases when re-entering from an adjacent country) each time you enter the U.S.
  • The I-94 record is now electronic and created online; no document is issued on the spot.
  •  It is your responsibility to look up your I-94 record after entering the U.S. As soon as you have returned from international travel and have access to a computer, look up your I-94 record to make sure there are no errors. 
  • Download and Print your I-94 record here

NOTE: Remember to download and print a new I-94 record each time you exit and return to the U.S. Keep the most current printed I-94 record with your passport for your own records. State and federal government agencies will ask to see the I-94 record (for driver’s license, social security number, etc). The I-94 record is your only evidence that you are in the U.S. legally, so it is important to keep a printout with your passport at all times.

If you have any doubts about your I-94 please contact the 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 to get it corrected.