3

I have had multiple changes of status / extensions of my H-1B since my last entry into the United States 6 years ago, all through filing Form I-129. This included two regular H-1B extensions and a few other filings related to changes to my hours and jobs. In total, since my last entry into the United States, I've had 6 I-129s filed, and correspondingly gotten 6 I-797A approval notices, each of which had a "USCIS Form I-94" on the bottom left that plays a similar role to the CBP Form I-94 in terms of conferring the legal right to continue residing in the United States. (Others may similarly receive "USCIS Form I-94" with the I-797A approval notice for a Form I-539 application for change of status or extension of stay).

I've heard that the "official" guidance regarding the USCIS Form I-94 used to be to cut it out of the I-797A and staple it to the passport, and then, when traveling out of the United States, to turn it in just like one would for a CBP Form I-94. But CBP moved to an electronic arrival/departure record card system several years ago, so even the CBP Form I-94 is no longer physically stapled to the passport, and doesn't need to be turned in when departing the United States. So I'm wondering what the current guidance is regarding what to do with the USCIS Form I-94s, including the ones that are already no longer applicable because they've been superseded by newer ones?

All else equal, I would rather keep them with the original I-797A notices rather than cut them out and staple them to the passport, to (a) conserve space in the passport for other stuff like visas, (b) reduce the risk of them falling out through use of the passport, (c) reduce the amount of staples on the passport, (d) make sure I have access to them even if I have to turn in the passport (e.g., for passport renewal, or to get a new visa).

Does anybody (in CBP, consular offices, or any other aspects of US government bureaucracy) care about the USCIS Form I-94 being attached to the passport?

4
  • 1
    Have you checked on the I-94 website if the data there matches the latest USCIS form you have?
    – littleadv
    Sep 21, 2023 at 3:53
  • 2
    @littleadv is there any reason to think that it would be? The site suggests that it wouldn't, but they're vague about it: "The following travel may not be reflected on the website: land border arrivals/departures, closed loop cruise arrivals/departures, air carrier reservation updates, and USCIS updates, changes of status, extensions of stay or adjustments of status."
    – phoog
    Sep 21, 2023 at 6:20
  • 1
    What I saw for myself on the CBP website is consistent with what the document says: I only see the CBP-issued Form I-94s and none of the USCIS Form I-94s.
    – Vipul Naik
    Sep 21, 2023 at 15:57
  • I don't know, common sense? I know, American bureaucracy, what am I thinking....
    – littleadv
    Sep 21, 2023 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

1

It says on the I 797A approval notice (issued in 2023) that the bottom right part (with I-94 number) of I 797A should be given to the CBP when leaving US. Keep the upper part and the bottom left part for your record. You do that at the airport.

Hope that helps!

Best, SK.

3
  • 1
    Are you sure that's actually necessary in practice?
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 3, 2023 at 21:55
  • My plan is to carry a cut-out of this bottom right part (for my most recent and currently active I-94) when traveling but only submit it if they ask for it ... and to not attach it to my passport.
    – Vipul Naik
    Jan 24 at 7:10
  • So I did this (cut out the bottom right part, but didn't actually hand it over to anybody as nobody asked). When I re-entered the US, the Field Operations guy interviewing me asked why I had cut it. I explained, and said that it's probably irrelevant in the era of digital I-94. He seemed to agree, and said most people left the Form I-94 in their I-797 (they didn't cut it out).
    – Vipul Naik
    Mar 17 at 2:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .