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Proving Your Temporary Stay With a Temporary Visa

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on August 03, 2010

For foreign visitors, overstaying a temporary visa during a visit to the United States can seriously jeopardize or impair their ability to return to this country.

Under the Visa Waiver Program, visitors who remain here beyond their permitted stay cannot re-enter the U.S. again without obtaining a visa from the U.S. Consulate, which involves a much greater level of scrutiny.

That is why it is so important to document a stay here properly, using the I-94 form for denoting arrival and departure times as required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“USCBP”).

When foreign visitors arrive in the U.S. or when they return to their home country, they must remember to complete Form I-94 and submit it to the proper border authority in order to have their time of stay recorded accurately.

Any foreign visitors who travel by land to Canada or Mexico after a passage through the U.S. should register their timely departures if their I-94 cards were not taken upon exiting this country.

If you fail to follow the prescribed procedures of the USCBP, and you later arrive at a U.S. port of entry having an erroneous record of previous overstay, USCBP officers could order your immediate return to a foreign point of origin.

Those who fail to turn in their I-94 departure records, may send their cards and any proof of timely departure to:

DHS – CBP SBU

1084 South Laurel Road

London, KY 40744

To validate your timely departure, USCBP will consider many items, such as the following:

  • original boarding passes for travel on a carrier;
  • photocopies of entry or departure stamps on your passport;
  • dated bank records showing you were in another country on certain dates; and
  • dated credit card receipts from a foreign country.

For more information about temporary visas and proper documentation, please check the rules of the USCBP at or call our office at (847) 564-0712. For more about pertinent U.S. visa programs visit our Website.