Entering the US is under close scrutiny nowadays due to the recent terror related incidents in US. For your personal safety it is imperative that your arrival and departure from US are thoroughly recorded in the USA. For this reason, you need to fill and submit an I-94 Form.
I-94 Form or Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document
When you enter the US, as an immigrant, you have to fill and submit I-94 Form to a stationed CBP officer, at the port of entry. It is only after your I-94 Form receives the stamp of consent from the presiding CBP officer, you can enter the US for the specified time as mentioned in your form. It is very vital that the same form is submitted at the time of departure as well, in order to keep track of your entry and exit in US.
This I-94 Form is the Arrival-Departure Record of foreign nationals, who enter US with a non-immigrant visa, maintained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This record, more importantly departure date of an individual, if not mentioned properly, can lead to problems when you try to come to US again. Since your file will not bear any closing date, it will remain open giving an impression of your overstaying in US.
Situations like this can lead to some grave issues about your entry into US next time or even rejection or cancellation of any of your existing US visas. In such circumstances, when you do not have an I-94 Form with you, it becomes critical that you obtain a replacement of the said form, by filing Form I-102, which is the Application to Replace Arrival/Departure Record.
It is not needed to submit an I-94 Form, if an immigrant is leaving US for Canada or Mexico, for a tour of less than 30 days. If a migrant damages or loses this I-94 Form during his stay in US, he/she has to seek for a replacement from USCIS by filling Form I-102.
Form I-102, Application to Replace Arrival / Departure Record
Form I-102 is a vital form, which can help you acquire a replacement of your lost or stolen Arrival and Departure Record. The time taken to process the form to replace I-94 or I-95 forms may vary ranging from 2 months to 5 months. You need to fill up the five separate parts of Form I-102, which consists of:
- Part 1, your personal information.
- Part 2, state the reason for your filing Form I-102.
- Part 3, seeks particulars of whether you are filing this petition along with any other application or if you are in the procedure of removal.
- Part 4 and Part 5 are concerning your signature.
Applicants belonging to the following categories are eligible to file Form I-102:
- Individuals who are seeking replacements for stolen or lost I-94 or I-94W forms
- Individuals who are filing Form I-102 along with their initial I-94 Form as a request for extending their stay or changing their status
- Candidates who are trying to get a replacement of a damaged Form I-95
- Candidates attempting to correct an erroneous Form I-94 or I-95 have to submit their form at the local office under whose jurisdiction they fall.
Essential Documents Required for Form I-102
The form must be completed and submitted by the applicants with the required documents like a photocopy of the page in your passport that bears the stamp of USCIS on arrival to the US, copy of the I-94 card if available, or copy of your personal details page from the passport must be attached with the properly signed application, if the I-94 Form was stolen or lost. In case you do not have these documents, a written statement along with a duplicate of the police report is necessary.
You will have to file the application at the local USCIS office, depending on where you reside. In addition to the documents, a fee of $320 must be attached to Form I-102 while filing it, which is non-refundable. After receiving the form, USCIS will check whether the form is complete or not. If you are found eligible, you will receive the replacement. The entire process generally takes about 2-3 months.