Immigration Q & A: I-94W departure card query
“Pursuant to the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA) and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002 (EBSA), the collection of the traveler’s passport data is mandatory for law enforcement and national security purposes,” he said.
“The purpose of the collection is to screen passengers and crew members arriving from foreign travel points and departing the U.S. to identify those passengers who may pose a risk to border, aviation or public security, may be a terrorist or suspected terrorist, inadmissible, or may otherwise be engaged in activity in violation of U.S. law. APIS also allows CBP to facilitate effectively and efficiently the entry and departure of legitimate travelers into and from the U.S.”
(APIS, or Advance Passenger Information System, is an electronic mechanism created by CBP for airlines to provide immediate passenger information to the agency.)
If you did not overstay your visa waiver you should not have a problem returning to the U.S. And, it has to be said, overstays have also returned because of the aforementioned lack of a virtually foolproof system to record departure information.
CBP allows for those who did not submit the I-94 when leaving to do so via mail if they choose. Because of space restrictions we’ll explain more about this process next week.