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I-94 Automation Makes Life Easy for Form I-9 Process

Last August, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officially announced it was automating the I-94 process, many of us were unsure of the impact on foreign nationals and on employers during the Form I-9 verification process. After months of anticipation, CBP has published the official details in the Federal Register. Part of I-94 automation enables CBP to pull and organize this data, and provide it to the foreign national electronically rather than via paper (a process that was duplicative and time/cost-consuming). One concern was the availability of the data to the foreign national in order to present to the employer during the Form I-9 process. It has been confirmed that foreign nationals arriving by air and sea, who enter at a port that has implemented I-94 automation, will have immediate access to their I-94 data. The data can be accessed on a secure website and printed out for presentation during the Form I-9 identity and employment verification process. CBP also clarified that the I-94 number available online to foreign nations who receive an electronic I-94 record will be the “true” I-94 number. In essence, they’ll only receive one number electronically rather than multiple numbers for that initial entry.

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