The I-94 is your official Arrival/Departure record. The I-94 document proves a lawful admission to the U.S. in a specific visa status and any defined expiration of that status in the U.S. The I-94 number is issued/created as an online record for all nonimmigrants upon entry to the United States. You can retrieve the number/record online by visiting U.S. Customs and Border Protection. You will need your passport number. The "I-94 card" (as it is commonly referred to) is a very important document. Each time you depart and reenter the U.S. a new I-94 record is created.
For F-1 and J-1 and a few other types of nonimmigrant visa classifications the I-94 record will indicate "D/S" which stands for "Duration of Status". These I-94 records do not have a defined expiration date, and remain valid provided that all conditions of lawful status in the U.S. are met. F-1 and J-1 students should be issued an I-94 card indicating "D/S".
For many types of nonimmigrant visa classifications the I-94 card will be issued with a defined expiration. Individuals holding these types of I-94 cards must depart the U.S. or extend or change their status before the expiration on the I-94 card.
Applicants who enter the U.S without proper documents and are issued the I-515 paperwork, will also be issued a paper I-94 document. Form I-94 is a small white card which is normally stapled in or placed inside his or her passport. The "I-94 card" (as it is commonly referred to) is a very important document. When departing the U.S. an immigration official will often wish to confirm that an individual has maintained status, and will do so by referencing the I-94 card. It is important to note that loss or defacement of an I-94 card can be an expensive and lengthy replacement process. The replacement cost is $320. If your I-94 is lost or defaced, please contact the Center for International Programs (CIP) immediately.