Possible Admission Issues for Canadian Visitors

All travelers are issued electronic I-94 cards when entering by air. At land ports of entry, an I-94 card is not typically issued. To determine the duration of the period of authorization, check the I-94 website. Recently, many Canadian visitors have not been aware that they were issued an I-94, or they assume that the automatic duration is six months. In these cases they might not check the I-94 website for verification.

What does this mean for Canadian visitors?

Canadians who frequently travel to the United States may unknowingly overstay, possibly only finding out upon a later attempt to reenter. There have been several cases where a Canadian citizen was issued a 6-month electronic I-94 at an airport, returned to Canada, and then later reentered the U.S. through a land port of entry during the original six-month I-94 validity period. In this case, it is common for Customs and Border Protection to "revalidate" the existing I-94 rather than create a new I-94 with a new period of admission. The Canadian citizen may assume the six months will start over at every re-entry. This hat has not been the case. As a result, these individuals may unknowingly overstay.

The lack of notice given to Canadian visitors is problematic. The practice of revalidation at land ports of entry appears to violate some regulations.

Customs and Border Protection is reviewing this practice. In the meantime, it is important to habitually check the I-94 website after admittance to the U.S. This is a sure way to avoid unintentional overstays.