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US Immigration Question. What Happens If...  
User currently offlineHighpeaklad From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 538 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9032 times:

When you travel to the US on the visa waiver scheme the immigration officer puts part of the green form in your passport. This is removed at check in on your return journey to record that you've left the country. When I went from the US to Mexico in Tijuana nobody checked my passport so I still had the departure record on me. What would've happened if I flew home from Mexico, how would the US authorities know I had left the country ? What would they say next time I flew to USA with no record of me ever having left?

Just thinking

Chris


Don't try to keep up with the Joneses - bring them down to your level !
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePanAmerican From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 384 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9012 times:

That would indeed cause a problem if you left to Mexico or Canada without any intention of coming back to the USA on the same visa waiver. In that case you naturally have to make sure the USCIS gets the green I-94W form when you leave the country.
If you do not do this they will never know you left and thus you'll be in trouble when entering the United States on your next visit. If you cannot prove that you left the USA before your next trip, then I'm sure you'd be refused entry.

See information from the US Embassy:
http://www.usembassy.org.uk/dhs/cbp/i94.html


Quoting www.USEmbassy.org.uk:


When a visitor departs the United States, the transportation carrier representative, usually at the check-in counter, should remove the I-94 or I-94W from the passport. Sometimes due to an oversight the card is not removed. If this occurs, the passenger's departure from the United States will not be registered with the CBP.

If this happens, the next time you apply to enter the United States, your visa may be subject to cancellation and/or you may be denied entry into the United States. In particular, visitors who remain beyond their permitted stay in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program cannot reenter the U.S. in the future without obtaining a visa. If this occurs and you arrive at a U.S. port of entry seeking admission under the Visa Waiver Program without a visa, United States immigration officials may deny you entry into the U.S. Therefore, visitors must ensure that they surrender the I-94 or I-94W stub to the transport carrier before they depart the United States.

I still have the I-94 or I-94W in my possession; what should I do?
If you have left the United States and are still in possession of the I-94 or I-94W it is in your best interest to forward it to the appropriate authorities so that your record is corrected and that you do not experience any problems on future travel to the United States as a result.

It is very important that you complete the back of the card listing the port of departure and date of departure from the United States and the carrier/flight information. The I-94 or I-94W together with a letter of explanation and evidence of your departure from the U.S. should be sent to:

ACS - USCIS, SBU, P.O Box 7125
London KY 40742-7125
USA

Do not mail the I-94/I-94W to the Embassy. Doing so will only delay the update of the departure information. The CBP office in London cannot update the arrival and departure system.



What evidence of my departure from the United States do you require?
The evidence can come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:

Original boarding passes you used to depart the United States;


Entry or departure stamps in your passport to indicate you entered another country after you departed the United States (please copy all passport pages that are not completely blank and include the biographic page containing your photograph);


Dated pay slips or vouchers from your employer to indicate that you worked in another country after you departed the United States;


Dated bank records showing transactions in your home country to indicate that you were in another country after your left the United States;


School records showing your attendance at a school outside the United States to indicate you were in another country after you left the United States;


Dated credit card receipts with the credit card number deleted for purchases you made after you departed the United States to indicate you were in another country after you left the United States.
Plase send legible copies or the original material where possible. If you send original materials please retain a copy for your records; the originals will not be returned to you. It will assist the CBP if you include an explanation letter.


Conclusion: Always make sure you return the I-94W form at the border.

  PA

[Edited 2005-06-12 19:56:24]


Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
User currently offlineTheredbaron From Mexico, joined Mar 2005, 2216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8958 times:

Yeah make it sure, if not yopu have to send the card to somewhere in middle america and attach it with a copy of a boarding pass and a short letter explaining what happened.

Do it ! this security nazis are awesome, if you try to enter the US againg they can delay you, interrogate you (with a nice uncalled for customs search) and maybe they deny you entering the US at all.

Me? I am skipping the US and flying to Canada!!



The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
User currently offlineSkySurfer From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8958 times:

It happened to me once, but in my case my visa had expired and i hadn't handed it in ( i'm a UK citizen residing in Canada, so i still need a visa for the states). The US official at detroit wasn't too impressed when he opened my passport to see my expired visa, but after i'd explained that i simply forgot to come accross earlier and hand it back, he let me get another one. Pretty soon the nearest border crossing to me (1000 islands) will get the new US-VISIT scheme, whereby all i have to do is have my index finger scanned and voila, all my info comes up. I've already had my mugshot done for that at YYz last xmas.
Just make sure you send your visa back pronto!

Cheers

ps, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure you have the gate agent take your visa out of your passport when you hand her the boarding card and your passport! It makes life easier.



In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5855 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8954 times:

when i left Seattle for Vancouver the exact same thing happend, i think they make you keep it because you can't just jump across the border to get another 3 month extension on your validity to remain in the USA, they probably think that because you entered Mexico from the USA, that you will fly home to the UK from the USA again, meaning that you have to re-enter the USA eventually, my passport stamp at Blaine, which is the border at YVR/SEA, was backdated to the date of my arrival in San Francisco which was 29 apr 2005, but i arrived at Blaine on 10 may 2005, the old stub from SFO was collected at Seattle airport on my way to YVR, then i filled out another for the 2nd crossing from YVR to SEA which i had to keep on me, i flew eventually from YVR to JFK but i didn't get a new I-94 departure record when i took that YVR-JFK flight, it came under the existing Blaine I-94 form i filled out, which came under the original SFO form i filled out on UA 870 from Sydney.

i eventually surrendered it when i flew from LAX-SYD last month. if your confused by all that, then you should be! cos i was too.



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineRojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8927 times:

Quoting Highpeaklad (Thread starter):
When you travel to the US on the visa waiver scheme the immigration officer puts part of the green form in your passport. This is removed at check in on your return journey to record that you've left the country. When I went from the US to Mexico in Tijuana nobody checked my passport so I still had the departure record on me. What would've happened if I flew home from Mexico, how would the US authorities know I had left the country ? What would they say next time I flew to USA with no record of me ever having left?

If you were to fly from MEX to your country and cross the border by land, the US authorities will know that you left the country when you hand your I94 / I94W to the US Homeland Security officer in the border. It is your responsibility to do it and it only takes a couple of minutes while crossing the bridge. When us, Mexicans, go shopping to San Antonio by car (for example), we have to fill the I94 form when crossing the bridge and on the way back we have to make shure we return the form.


User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5855 posts, RR: 39
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8914 times:

Quoting Rojo (Reply 5):
If you were to fly from MEX to your country and cross the border by land, the US authorities will know that you left the country when you hand your I94 / I94W to the US Homeland Security officer in the border. It is your responsibility to do it and it only takes a couple of minutes while crossing the bridge. When us, Mexicans, go shopping to San Antonio by car (for example), we have to fill the I94 form when crossing the bridge and on the way back we have to make shure we return the form.

they DON'T take them from the land borders because you are then given another I-94 for the return if you re-enter the USA, which then allows you to stay longer in the USA than originally allowed.

they DIDN'T take mine at the US/CA border, they actually stamped it, placed it back in my passport and i didn't release it until i flew home from LA to Sydney 10 days later.

it's left with the passenger for a reason, the Customs people are well aware that they leave it in your passport, or they wouldn't stamp the thing! they will more than likely take it if you state on your I-94 that your embarking on a flight from CA/ME to a point outside of Nrth America.



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8883 times:

There is so much misinformation on this thread (and on the internet in general) about US Immigration law that it is no wonder so many people get so confused.

I suggest anybody that intends to travel to the US under the VWP familiarize themselves with the "contiguous territory" rule that specifically includes Canada, Mexico and the Carribean islands as part of the territory to which travel is permitted during the 90 day VWP grant.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the passenger to surrender the I-94 or I-94W to a border official on final departure from contiguous territory.


User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8874 times:

When I left DTW, the check in agent forgot to take out the I-94. I took it up to the American Embassy in London and they dealt with it, wasn't a problem at all.

When I went to Tijuana (Mexico) for the day, the I-94 wasn't taken, but when we went back into the US a few hours later, the same I-94 was used, and no "immigration" questions were asked.


User currently offlineQANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5855 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8856 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 7):
Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the passenger to surrender the I-94 or I-94W to a border official on final departure from contiguous territory.

you can't cross the land border if your a foreigner without the departure slip in your passport, US customs stamp that with a backdated date that shows your original arrival date into the USA via air/ship etc. when you eventually leave the country to head home or where your next port is the checkin agent or boarding agent takes it.



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8832 times:

I had a similar situation going to Mexico last year...I was flying into Mexico to get on a cruise ship in Mazatlan, so I went through Mexican immigration in MEX, and got a tourist immigration card, which is supposed to be surrendered upon departure from Mexico. Of course, I was leaving Mexico via cruise ship, (the cruise finished in California) and thus would never have to encounter any Mexican authorities ever again, so they would seemingly never get their tourist card back, and the Mexican authorities would have no record of me leaving Mexico...needless to say, after I got on the ship in Mazatlan, someone somewhere along the line figured out the problem (it hadn't yet occured to me), and one of the ship's pursers came racing to our cabin to get it from me...problem solved!

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8758 times:

Quote:
US customs stamp that with a backdated date that shows your original arrival date into the USA via air/ship etc.

This is only applicable to I94Ws and not I94.


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