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I looked at my I-94 's travel history and was surprised to see that the day of arrival in the US (port of entry: LOS) was indicated as 2019-11-12, even though my plane landed on 2019-11-11 at 21:05 local time. I am sure I didn't pass the immigration after 2019-11-11 23:59:59 because I took another flight at on 2019-11-12 at 00:28 and have no recollection of rushing for it or waiting 3h to pass the pass the immigration. The US officer at LAX airport (= LOS port of entry) didn't stamp my passport. I used Global Entry and went through some additional luggage check as I declared I had some fruits.

This makes me wonder: How is the day of arrival indicated on the I-94 's traveling history decided? Is it supposed to reflect when one passed the US immigration or does it commonly have a few hours lag, and if so, why? Could it be the fruit check?


Flight route details (RGN->HKG->LAX->CLT):

  1. Cathay Dragon flight 275: Yangon RGN 17:20 on 2019-11-11 (local time) -> Hong Kong HKG 22:00 on 2019-11-11 (local time)
  2. Cathay Pacific flight 880: Hong Kong HKG 00:15 on 2019-11-12 (local time) - >Los Angeles LAX 21:05 on 2019-11-11 (local time)
  3. American Airlines flight 1871: Los Angeles LAX 00:28 on 2019-11-12 (local time) -> Charlotte CLT 08:05 on 2019-11-12 (local time)

This question is not a minutiae, e.g. ca. 1 million people (mirror) submit every year the N-400 Application for US Naturalization Form (mirror), and a common advice is to use the I-94 travel history to complete the N400 travel history section. It is preferable not to enter some incorrect information, as it may delay the naturalization process.

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    I’m voting to close this question because such minuate is not regulated by law and we are not border officials to be able to answer this. Most likely it's just clerical error anyways.
    – chx
    Sep 25 at 23:51
  • @chx there's likely some publicly disclosed policy on it. No need to be a border official to answer the question. Sep 25 at 23:52
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    Sounds like the web portal is showing entry times in Eastern Time. I imagine the dates are stores in UTC in the backend but they don’t give you access to raw data.
    – JonathanReez
    Sep 26 at 0:00
  • @JonathanReez oh that would explain, thanks. I can't check the web portal anymore as my I-94 stopped showing up there after I changed my passport. My I-94 that I looked at was saved as a PDF before I changed my passport, and the PDF doesn't mention the timezone. Could you please post your comment as an answer? (not at all a minutiae e.g. may screw an N400 if relying on I-94) Sep 26 at 0:02
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My latest I-94 was obtained prior to 9pm so it’s hard to confirm but I believe your answer is that the I-94 dates are stored in the backend in UTC time while the web portal is set to show everything in Eastern Time by default. So any entry past 9pm in LAX will show up as the next day if looked up online.

Overall I’d try to be cautious and make sure I follow the I-94 date online rather than trying to explain the time zone difference to an immigration officer later on.

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