As of April 2022, the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency (“CBP”) implemented its “Simplified Arrival” program at all Ports of Entry inclusive of 238 airports, 34 seaports, and land ports. As part of that program, in August 2022 CBP implemented a pilot program called “Stampless Entry” to eliminate ink stamps in passports at the time of entry.
As of October 2022, CBP confirmed that this program is permanent and will be further expanded. While CBP officers may continue to stamp passports upon request, some ports are not complying with these requests. Nevertheless, foreign arrivals are strongly encouraged to always obtain their I-94 arrival/departure information from CBP’s online system. They are also advised to check their I-94 history each time they enter the United States and promptly take action to make any necessary corrections.
While the program aims to be more efficient, Stampless Entry will be more challenging for many foreign nationals as ink stamps for nonimmigrant visa holders can be critical proof for maintaining status, H and L recapture issues, or L-1 intermittent work, to name a few. Moreover, the CBP I-94 online system is not always accurate, and an accurate record of international travel can be helpful for tax purposes to show “residence” and other issues such as physical presence for naturalization and citizenship for children out of the United States. Additionally, the Social Security Agency and state Department of Motor Vehicles often asks to see the admission ink stamp to verify status. It remains to be seen how these agencies will shift to solely relying on the I-94 for proof of legal entry.
We strongly advise you to always visit the CBP website and download an electronic version of your I-94 card to check for incorrect information and also keep a copy, even digitally, of the card.
If you have any U.S. immigration questions, please contact us now at email@example.com and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila.
Copyright 2023. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Enterline Immigration only.