USA: Abolition of entry stamps in passports

Entry stamps at airports are becoming increasingly rare

Are you traveling to the USA and wondering why some airports do not stamp entry stamps in passports? The USA is also developing in the context of digitalization when it comes to entry.

In the meantime, entry stamps are becoming increasingly rare. These are being replaced by digitization. The new “entry stamp” is then the I-94 document, which travelers can view themselves on the official site ( . The I-94 document was introduced back in 2014 and has been under continuous development by the U.S. authorities ever since. The I-94 document represents the status with which the concerned traveler is in the US. This status has a higher importance for the stay for the USA than the visa itself. The visa or ESTA only allows entry at the borders.

What are the advantages of this development?

A major advantage for travelers is faster processing time at each border. The advantage for US officials is that any US official can check travelers’ data. Travelers themselves can use the I-94 document to see under which status they are allowed to stay in the USA. Furthermore, it is noted how long this status is valid. To access this information, travelers must log on to the I-94 website by clicking on the “Get Most Recent I-94” button and entering their passport information. Further, travelers can use the “View Travel History” button to view all trips the traveler has made to the U.S. in the past.

However, digitization also brings disadvantages:

In the regular entry stamp, it was/is directly apparent upon entry under which status the traveler is in the USA and how long he/she is allowed to stay in the USA. If now the status is not correctly indicated (e.g. traveler enters with ESTA and in the entry stamp is noted B-1), then the correction could / can be made directly at the border control. If now no classical entry stamp is stamped in the passport, the I-94 serves as entry stamp. However, if errors occur here, the correction is associated with a higher effort. The individual must then contact one of CBP’s 70 Deferred Inspection Sites in the U.S. and request the correction. It is important that the correct status is filed. Otherwise, the person would be in the U.S. illegally. In the event of an inspection, this could have serious consequences. In this case, a correction may have to be made in person with a pre-arranged appointment at one of the locations.

The traveler should be aware that the most current entry in the I-94 is not immediately filed. This can usually take up to 48 hours after entry. We recommend that each traveler look at the I-94 document and check for accuracy. We are happy to check this as well.


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