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Foreign Nationals Must Maintain Valid Passports and Monitor I-94 Admission Records Foreign Nationals Must Maintain Valid Passports and Monitor I-94 Admission Records

Foreign Nationals Must Maintain Valid Passports and Monitor I-94 Admission Records

Foreign nationals inside the U.S. are required to maintain a valid passport at all times. Due to potential delays in passport renewals during the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign nationals should seek to renew expiring passports as early as possible. Valid passports are required for a variety of immigration benefits such as temporary status renewals, green card applications, driver’s license renewals, and international travel.

While it is permissible to travel internationally on a soon-to-expire passport, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the port-of-entry have the authority and discretion to shorten the I-94 admission record to match the traveler’s passport expiration. Upon each re-entry to the U.S., all foreign nationals must check and verify their I-94 record here. The I-94 record, and not the visa stamp, passport, or I-797 approval notice, dictates the authorized validity period inside the U.S. If an individual’s I-94 is truncated due to a soon-to-expire passport, simply renewing the passport does not extend the I-94 admission period. Status can only be extended by timely seeking an extension of stay with U.S. Immigration or by departing the U.S. and reentering on the new passport with a valid visa and I-797 approval notice. Failure to take note of the expiration date listed on the I-94 record can result in unknowingly overstaying the lawful period of admission, which can result in severe immigration consequences including a three (3) year, ten (10) year, or permanent bar to admission.

If you have questions regarding passport validity or a shortened I-94 record upon reentry to the U.S., please contact Jenifer BrownChristl Glier, Kristin Kelley, or any other member of Ice Miller’s Immigration Team.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
 
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