On March 27, 2013, CBP published an interim final rule (IFR) in the Federal Register (78 FR 18457) that allowed for the automation of the Form I-94 for travelers arriving in the United States by air or sea. The IFR had a 30-day public comment period and a 30-day delayed effective date. The IFR stated, however, that in the event that CBP received public comment that identified a credible basis for CBP to conclude that automation of the Form I-94 should be delayed, CBP may delay implementation for an additional 30 days. If CBP concluded that such extension was appropriate, an announcement would be posted on the website CBP.gov with the new implementation date.
At the close of the public comment period on April 26, 2013, CBP had received 18 comments on the IFR. Some commenters raised concerns about the rule and some offered various suggestions for improving the I-94 automation process. Although CBP concluded that it was not necessary to delay implementation of the automation, CBP has already made some changes in response to the concerns and the suggestions. First, on the new I-94 website, CBP has added several new FAQs to the "I-94 FAQs" tab. These new FAQs provide answers to many of the questions commenters raised. Also, in response to suggestions, CBP has added the following language to the I-94 retrieval page. This is the page that will be printed and presented when a paper Form I-94 is needed.
Effective April 26, 2013, DHS began automating the admission process. An alien lawfully admitted or paroled into the U.S. is no longer required to be in possession of a preprinted Form 1-94. A record of admission printed from the CBP website constitutes a lawful record of admission. See 8 CFR § 1.4(d).
CBP thanks all commenters for suggestions on improving the I-94 automation process. CBP is continuing to analyze the comments received and will respond to all relevant issues in a final rule to be published in the Federal Register.