After an EB-5 Investor receives an I-526 Petition approval, they will either file a Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, or apply for an immigrant visa abroad. EB-5 Investors who receive an immigrant visa abroad will enter the U.S. to activate their conditional permanent residency. Once an overseas EB-5 investor enters the U.S., they will receive a printout from a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer with instruction on how to retrieve their Form I-94. The Form I-94 is the arrival/departure record issue to foreign nationals who are admitted to the U.S. Since April 2013, Form I-94 is not distributed in paper copy by CBP officers; instead, a foreign national will be given instructions to retrieve their electronic Form I-94 by visiting www.cbp.gov/I94.
In order to obtain an electronic Form I-94 from the CBP website, EB-5 investors will be required to input their full name as it is reflected on their passport, birth date, passport number and the country that issued their passport. The CBP maintains a frequently asked questions website regarding the Form I-94 here. Form I-94s are important for EB-5 investors because they are typically required to provide a copy of their Form I-94 to their employers, state agencies (e.g. a Form I-94 is typically required to register a vehicle or obtain a drivers license), the Social Security Administration, universities, schools, and other governmental agencies such as USCIS.
If you are having trouble retrieving your Form I-94 from the CBP website, CBP has some useful tips to use before contacting the nearest CBP deferred inspection site. If you are unable to retrieve your I-94 from the CBP website, here are six recommended troubleshooting options:
- Check that your first and last name is entered as it appears on your passport, without dashes or titles and you have properly entered the passport number that appears on the right hand side of the passport.
- Enter the country of citizenship and not your country of residence (if they differ).
- Under the Class Admission entry, enter the visa classification that is detailed on your US visa (for EB-5 Investors this will most likely be “I-52”).
- If on your first attempt you entered your first and middle name, try one or the other or try to enter both the first and middle name into the first name box.
- Try your original date of entry into the US in lieu of your most recent date of entry.
If these trouble shooting steps do not help to locate the missing Form I-94 in the online system, individuals should contact their nearest Customs and Border Protection Deferred Inspection Site. A list of CBP Deferred Inspection Sites can be found here. Upon entering the site, you will find an alphabetical list of Deferred Inspection site locations throughout the United States. At a Deferred Inspection Site and upon contacting a Deferred Inspection Site, CBP has officers who can assist individuals in locating their Form I-94 in the online system. If a Form I-94 was filled out incorrectly, contains inaccurate information or has other errors, individuals are also advised to contact their nearest CBP Deferred Inspection Site.