Paper Customs and Border Protection Forms I-94 Arrival/Departure Record and I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record are no longer required for visitors arriving to the U.S. by air or sea. Arrival and departure information is now handled automatically via electronic travel records for those ports of entry, but the paper Form I-94 is still issued at land border ports of entry.
This streamlining of the entry process is geared toward improving security and reducing federal program costs, with an estimated savings to CBP of $15.5 million annually.
Under the new electronic system, a CBP officer stamps each arriving non-immigrant traveler's travel document with the admission date, admission class, and end of the valid stay period. A paper Form I-94 can be requested during the inspection process, but will be accommodated in a secondary setting.
Upon departure from the U.S., travelers holding a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP to prevent recording the departure electronically via CPB or carrier manifest information.
Proof of legal-visitor status to employers, schools, universities, or government agencies can be furnished by accessing the online CBP arrival/departure record information. However, if Form I-94 information is required to verify immigration status or employment authorization, CBP encourages travelers to apply for an I-94 Number.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is committed to improving the traveler experience upon arrival into the United States, increasing tourism, and fostering economic growth while ensuring the highest level of security.
The CBP enhancements to international travelers' arrivals process was mandated on May 22, 2014, via a Presidential Memorandum issued to the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security. It called for them to jointly establish a national goal and airport-specific action plans for streamlined arrivals processes at the largest American airports.
The Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce then prepared a report, titled, “Supporting Travel and Tourism to Grow Our Economy and Create More Jobs: a National Goal on the International Arrivals Process and Airport-Specific Action Plans”. The report defined a national goal developed through extensive consultation with airport authorities, leaders from the airline industry, state and local governments, and leaders in the customer experience industry:
“The United States will provide a best-in-class arrival experience, as compared to our global competitors, to an ever-increasing number of international visitors while maintaining the highest standards of national security.”
CBP has backed its commitment to grow the United States economy while reducing wait times for international travelers, alongside its partners in private industry and local government. CBP has renewed its commitment to establishing the metrics and processes necessary to reach the President’s goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors by 2021, with an estimated economic impact of $250 billion.
While travelers are not restricted in the amounts of money they may import or remove from the United States, by hand or by mail, amounts over $10,000 must be reported to CBP via the Currency Reporting Form (FinCen 105) or they may face severe penalties for non-compliance.
When moving money in or out of the United States, "money" refers to multiple monetary instruments: U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers' checks in any form, money orders, negotiable instruments, or investment securities in bearer form.
Depending on the region or country where you commence your trip, you may be permitted to carry food such as fruit, meat, or other agricultural products into the United States. Any food must be located in passenger baggage and for personal use only. Food shipped to the U.S. through the mail, courier services, or other means is governed by other regulations. When restrictions are placed on importing food products in luggage, it is to protect community health, preserve the environment, and curtail the spread of devastating plant and animal diseases which could affect United States domestic agriculture. As such, regulations around carrying food into the US vary by the country or origin and the type of product. Any and all food products must be declared. Failure to declare food products while traveling to the United States can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties.
As the general admissibility of a fruit or vegetable into the United States is highly dependent on its country of origin, it is advised that travelers consult APHIS's FAVIR database to ascertain which fruits and vegetables they may travel with. Travelers should select the type of fruit or vegetable in the Approved Name field and the country of origin in the Country/Region field. A result of "0 Entries Found" indicates the item is not permitted to carry into the United States. If the search returns entries, clicking on the CIR link at the left of the entry will list the fruit or vegetable as:
Subject to Inspection. The fruit or vegetable is allowed into the United States pending inspection at the port of entry.
Condition of Entry Treatment. The fruit or vegetable is not permitted into the United States in passenger baggage.
All fruits or vegetables must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or Officer and presented for inspection no matter what their admissibility status. Fresh fruits and vegetables on the admissible list are still required to be clean, insect-free, and disease-free. Meat, egg, poultry, milk, and their products or products made with them are either prohibited or restricted from entry to the United States, dependent on the animal diseases which occur in the traveler's country of origin.
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