Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ask The Attorney

Question:
I was a visitor to the U.S. and forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S. What should I do?

Answer:
The I-94 is the small card (usually white) that is stapled into the passport of most non-immigrants coming temporarily to the U.S. It is the principal means by which DHS can track the people who enter and leave the U.S. If you failed to surrender that card when you left the U.S. , it means your departure was not properly recorded and DHS thinks you are still in this country. That can have dire consequences, including the fact that DHS may prevent you from re-entering the U.S. in the future, under the mistaken belief that you have previously violated U.S. immigration laws by overstaying.

If you failed to submit the I-94 when you left, you should send it to the following address:

ACS-CBP SBU
1084 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

With the I-94, you should send proof of your timely departure from the U.S. This proof should include airline boarding passes, photocopies of passport stamps, and any relevant proof of your return to your home country -- including banking, school or employment records, credit card receipts, and other verifiable transactions. Your explanation should be written in English and you should keep copies of everything to show DHS officials when you return to the U.S.