Complete Guide to Your I-94 Admissions Number

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • The I-94 Admissions Number is an 11-digit identification issued to non-U.S. citizens upon entry to the U.S.
  • It serves as proof of legal stay and is located on the I-94 document, a small white card with admission stamp.
  • Required for various government services, the number can be retrieved online.
  • It changes with each entry and exit from the country.

Traveling to the United States is exciting, but it can also be a confusing and stressful process. There are important documents that you have to understand. One of these is the I-94 Admissions record. The name does not give much information, so read on learn more about I-94 Admissions.

What is an I-94 Admissions Number?

When you enter the United States as a non-U.S. citizen and non-immigrant, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency issues you an 11-digit digit number.

This number is used to identify you to U.S. immigration authorities and to prove the legality of your stay in the country.

The I-94 Admissions Number is also used to identify you to other state and federal agencies. It allows you to apply for certain government services. For example, you can use your I-94 Admissions Number when applying for a driver’s license in the state you are staying in.

The Admission number is written on a small white card called an I-94 document. The main features of this I-94 document are the admission stamp and admission number. These features are explained in more detail below.

Duration of Status Explained

The admission stamp is issued by the passport inspector at the port of entry. The inspector will review your passport (and visa, where applicable) then issue a stamp. The stamp indicates how long your immigration status in the U.S. is valid.

The inspector will then write one of two things in the stamp: a date in the future or ‘D/S’.

D/S stands for ‘Duration of Stay’. This means that your I-94 Admissions record is valid for as long as you maintain the conditions for valid status associated with your visa.

For example, students on a study visa maintain their status for as long as they are registered for a course of study under the conditions of their visa, regardless of how long that is.

If the inspector writes a date in the stamp, that means your I-94 Admissions is only valid until the date that is shown.

Your Admission Number

Your Admissions Number is an 11-digit number issued to you on arrival. It is written next to the duration stamp.

You do not need to memorize your Admission Number, because it changes every time you enter and leave the country, even on the same visa.

However, you should keep the I-94 Admissions record (the small white card) in a safe place for the duration of your stay in the country.

How to Find Your I-94 Admissions Number

Finding your I-94 Admissions Number is very simple. When you enter the U.S. at a port of entry (such as an airport or land border), a passport inspector will review your passport or travel document.

If everything is in order, the inspector will give you a small white card with a stamp on it. This card is your I-94 Admissions record.

You will need to use your I-94 Admissions Number if you want to apply for a driver’s license while you are in the United States. You also need this number when applying for other government services such as social security, where applicable.

In other words, your I-94 Admissions Number can serve as an identification number in some situations while you are in the country.

Tips for Locating Your Electronic I-94 Record

Along with the physical card, the CBP also creates an electronic version of your I-94 Admissions record. If you want to view this record, you can use the tool provided by the CBP online.

The steps listed below outline how to retrieve your I-94 Admission record online:

  1. Visit the Customs and Border Protection Agency’s I-94 web page
  2. On the information page, enter the required details
    • Your name
    • Your date of birth
    • The details on your passport such as your passport number
  3. Choose “Get Most Recent I-94”.

If retrieving the online version of your I-94 Admissions record doesn’t work, here are some tips to help you solve the problem.

Use the Name Stated on Your Travel Document

Make sure you enter your name on the web page exactly as it appears in your passport or travel document. The I-94 record is directly associated with your passport, so the details you give must match. If your name as given on your visa is spelled differently, try that variation.

Use Your First and Middle Name

Try entering both your first and middle names in the text box for your first name. Just make sure to separate them with a space. Try this even if your middle name doesn’t appear on your passport or visa.

Reverse the Order of Names if First and Middle Does Not Work

Try entering your middle name in the text box for the first name, and likewise for your first name (enter it into the text box for the middle name).

Also, try entering your names multiple times (in other words, first name in both text boxes). You can also try entering them without spaces. Try as many different variations of the order of your name, with and without spaces.

Check Multiple Passport Numbers if the First Does Not Work

If it’s available, check the passport number given in your DS-160 form. If that is different from the number in your passport, then try it. Do the same for your visa. Check the passport number given on your visa sticker. If that is different from the number on your passport’s photo page, try it.

Also, check if your passport number starts with the year of issue. For example, a passport issued in 2010 might start with ‘10’.

If your passport number is too long to fit in the text box for the passport number, try omitting digits that indicate the year that it was issued.

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Final Thoughts

An I-94 Admissions record is a small white card issued to you when you arrive in the United States as a non-citizen and non-immigrant. The I-94 record shows the duration of your valid immigration status on a stamp with either a date or the letters ‘D/S’. It also shows an Admissions Number, which is used to identify you to various government bodies.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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