Until a few years ago, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued paper I-94s that would be stapled to passports. This way, people would notice any errors in I-94 expiration immediately. Today, when entering the United States on a Visa, you no longer have to complete a paper Form I-94. CBP has gone paperless and now draws information from electronic travel records, so visitors will not be provided a copy of their I-94; however, you may access your I-94 record online at www.cbp.gov/I-94. Often, travelers forget to review their I-94 details and any errors do not get noticed until much later. Common issues we are seeing on H-1B and L-1 include: I-94 expiration coinciding with visa expiration or I-94 expiration being tied to an earlier petition approval. These errors can be caused by a failure to provide an I-797A approval notice or through a mistake by CBP. It is imperative that the “admit until date” on your I-94 matches the end date on your latest I-797A approval notice rather than the date of Visa expiration. Failure to notice such errors can result in accruing unlawful presence, which can lead to being barred from entering the US. These errors should be caught as early as possible, as if they are caught too late, you may have to leave the US for an extended period of time. CBP is unlikely to grant extended stay even if the mistake was on their end—CBP officers used to be amenable to making changes but these days they are not cooperative. In fact, GLF has had three instances in the past few months where CBP in Atlanta has refused to make any changes to the I-94. So, to avoid any issues, GLF highly advises all travelers, but particularly H-1B and L-1 returning employees, to print your I-94 immediately after arrival in the US and verify all details. If you notice any errors contact our Office immediately. It is easier to fix these errors if they are noticed sooner rather than later and acted upon immediately.

GLF will continue to follow further developments in this matter and we will provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available.

GLF receives numerous emails and phone calls every day asking for comment on various proposed bills and media reports that are often inaccurate. It is our job to separate fact from fiction and advice clients on important updates that are relevant. The best way to receive accurate information is through GLF Newsletters. We encourage you (and your employees) to sign up for GLF Newsletter. If you are not already signed up to receive our Newsletters, please do so by visiting www.gokarelaw.com and signing up under the Newsletter Tab. All we need is your name and email address and it takes very little time to sign up. You can also review all of our earlier GLF Newsletters on our website.

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