Receiving your I-94 Card

Foreign visitors to the United States must complete an I-94 card. The card is obtained from the transportation carrier (airline, ship, etc.) and must be surrendered to the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the port of entry into the United States when applying for admission.  If  someone gives you a “green” form politely return it and ask for a “white” form. When a visitor departs the United States, the transportation carrier representative, usually at the check-in counter, should remove the I-94 from the passport. 

I-94 Arrival Record (picture)

This larger card will request:

  1. Family name (the last name or surname)
  2. First (this is your personal or given name)
  3. Birth Date— please note that on the I-94 card it asks for the Day/Month/Year.  It is important to look carefully at each document you are completing and to write your birth information in the correct order as requested.  “Day” is usually spelled out but month is written as “Mo” and year is written as “Yr.”  So if your birthdate is July 15, 1980, you would list it on the I-94 as 15/07/80.  Please be aware, however, that in the United States, the birthdate is usually listed as the month, day of birth, and year of birth—example:  July 15th, 1980 would be listed as 07/15/80. 
  4. Country of Citizenship
  5. Sex (Male or Female)
  6. Passport Number
  7. Airline and Flight Number
  8. Country Where You Live—Lawful Permanent Residence
  9. City Where You Boarded
  10. City Where Visa was Issued
  11. Date Issued (Day/Mo/Yr)
  12. Address while in the United States (Number and Street)
  13. City and State

I-94 Departure Record (picture)

It is very important to complete the I-94 correctly or it can cause difficult problems later on. Your passport, visa, and I-94, and I-20 should all list your first, middle (if any), or last name(s) all the same way.  It is crucial to match your I-94 card to your passport name.  In the United States the “first” name is considered your personal or given name, and the “last name” or “surname” is your family name.  For example, if you have only one name, you should list it as the “first” name and also again as the “family/surname/last” name.  Or, if you have two “first” names, list one as the “first” name and one as the “family/surname/last” name, and then be consistent with all your documents.  If you have several names and are not sure how the names should be listed please contact us below.

You are to print legibly with pen in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.  Use English and do not write on the back of the form.

Here is an example of what information the I-94 card will request:

  1. Family Name (the last name)
  2. First (Given) Name
  3. Birth Date (Day/Mo/Yr)
  4. Country of Citizenship


We hope this information will assist you in completing your important travel documents appropriately.  You should carry this informational sheet with you (along with your passport) as you enter the United States.  If you are unclear as to how to complete the documentation, or have any other questions, please feel free to contact International Student Advisors