CBP Stampless Entry ProgramApril 19, 2023
Stampless Entry is here to stay. At an AILA National-CBP Liaison Meeting, an officer from Customs and Border Protection confirmed that its Stampless Entry program will no longer be a pilot program, but will remain a permanent fixture at the U.S. border. The goal of this program is to streamline and digitize the legal entry process for non-U.S. citizens. While stamps are not being issued routinely, non-U.S. citizen travelers may request that their passport be stamped.
Clients crossing the border will need to be extra vigilant as a result of this change. We recommend that all clients request a stamp in their passport so that they will have a record of their official entry to the U.S. to cross-reference with their I-94. The I-94 travel record provided online is often incorrect and, in some cases, is not considered definitive evidence by the USCIS. If the online I-94 system does not display the client’s entry information adequately, the stamp will serve as strong evidence of the client’s entry date, expiration date, and status.
Having an entry stamp in a client’s passport can be helpful for the following reasons:
- I-94 correction – Clients with errors on their online I-94 may email their local CBP office and request that their I-94 be corrected. The CBP officer will need a copy of this stamp in order to correct the online I-94.
- Recapture time – Clients needing to prove recapture time for H and L visas will be strongly benefitted by having their passports stamped at every entry. They will need to provide these stamps in their visa petition to show the government that they were outside the U.S. for the stated period of recapture time.
- Naturalization – Clients applying for naturalization will need to prove that they had continuous residence and had been physically present in the U.S. for a certain amount of time in order to file their N-400 application. They will need to provide these stamps in their naturalization application to show the government that they meet the physical presence requirement.
- Taxes – Clients filing a U.S. tax return may need to show the dates that they entered the U.S. in order to show “residence” for tax purposes.
- Driver’s license and Social Security – Many entities, such as DMV offices and Social Security Administration offices, require that the applicant provide the passport stamp to show that the individual was lawfully admitted, rather than using the electronic I-94.
If you have questions about how this policy may affect your immigration case, please complete the Contact Us form on our website.