US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recently announced that it is eliminating the process of issuing entry stamps on foreign national passports when entering the US. This new procedure has already been implemented at certain airports and will gradually phase into other ports of entry.
Passport entry stamps are physical impressions made in ink. CBP officers stamp these into travelers’ passports each time they enter the US. This stamp would reflect the entry point, the date of entry, the class of an individual’s access, and the duration for which they may remain in the US. Due to this wealth of information, a passport entry stamp could serve as a valuable reference for foreign nationals in tracking and proving their immigration status and expiration date.
This information also appears on an individual’s Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), which is crucial for demonstrating employment eligibility. However, foreign nationals will no longer receive Form I-94s at ports of entry. Instead, they can access it online and print it when they need a physical copy.
By eliminating the passport entry stamp, the CBP aims to streamline the process for entering the US. This streamlining means that Form I-94 will prove more crucial, as it will become the only proof foreign nationals will have of their official immigration status. This record will provide a vital reference for demonstrating a foreign national’s immigration status and duration, which is critical for establishing work authorization.
In many instances, Form I-94 plays a crucial role in completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) by showing proof of work authorization. As such, the accuracy of this document is vital. Otherwise, ensuring the accuracy of an individual’s immigration record will prove more challenging. For example, previously, a passport entry stamp would allow a foreign national to see their record at entry and work out any mistakes with a CBP officer on the spot. However, foreign nationals must now inspect their record online after entry and contact the CBP to correct any errors.
As a result, foreign nationals must access Form I-94 online after entry to review it for accuracy and make any corrections. Employers should also be aware of these changes when completing Form I-9 to work out any confusion concerning the status and duration of employment eligibility with their employees.
As these and other constant fluctuations in the Form I-9 process show, it can be difficult to remain abreast of the latest changes. Investing in an electronic I-9 management tool is the best way to ensure compliance. This tool can provide step-by-step guidance to ensure uniform and consistent completion of forms, secure storage, and reminders when action is necessary to ensure compliance.
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