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What really happens if my passport wasn’t stamped when I entered the US? I will have problems? How long will I be able to remain in the United States?


This blog will answer these and other questions on the subject. Additionally, you may find legal support in our Los Angeles immigration lawyers at Lluis Law which experts in the field. The firm has more than 40 years of experience helping national foreigners in all kinds of immigration matters.

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My Passport Wasn’t Stamped When I entered The US In 2022

It is less and less frequent to see a stamp in the passport to the United States, so it is more common to hear immigrants questioning it. Why didn’t they stamp my passport when I entered the United States? The reason is because everything is becoming more digitized and so many paper processes are no longer required. 

  • In regards to the entry into the United States, immigration agents will not always stamp the passport, but they do record entry into the country. 
  • In the case of departures (mainly on commercial planes or ships), the transport companies are in charge of passing on the departure information of the passengers. 

Therefore, a traveler shouldn’t have to worry if their passport is not stamped when entering or leaving the US, since everything is done digitally.

change of status from visitor visa to green card

This blog is focused on answering the query “My passport wasn’t stamped when I entered the US”. However, if you are already in the United States on a tourist visa, you may be interested in reading our blog “Change of status from visitor visa to Green Card”.

What Happens If The Passport Is Not Stamped?

What happens if the passport is not stamped has an easier answer than what it may seem. 

  • If travelers didn’t get their passport stamped at the US port of entry, they do not need to do anything. 
  • However, if you want to know the entry record, you can access Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record online.

Note: Form I-94 is proof of entry into the country and can be obtained through the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. This document contains the record of all entries and exits to the US territory for the last 5 years. 

Form I-94 Considerations

  • It is only available to foreigners;
  • Allows non-immigrants who are in the country to use it to calculate how long they can stay in the country;
  • It can be used by legal permanent residents to find out if they meet the minimum stay in the country to renew the Green Card or to become American citizens before USCIS.

In addition to these records, it is recommended that travelers keep airline tickets to be used as proof of travel dates. Travelers who entered by land from Mexico or Canada can use the exit stamp stamped by their country of origin. 

Do you want to become an American citizen? Do you already know how to dress for the citizenship interview? Also keep in mind that there are certain criminal bars to citizenship.

When Is It Necessary To Stamp The Passport?

US citizen passports are generally not stamped by CBP. However, officers may even stamp a US passport at the individual’s request or at their discretion. 

Regarding national foreigners, when they enter the US, a CBP officer issues them a passport admission stamp or an I-94 form after inspecting their documents. This stamp is evidence of legal entry into the United States.

united states passport stamps

How Long Did They Give Me To Remain In The United States?

To find out how and how long you were allowed to stay in the United States, you must follow these steps:

  1. Enter the official I-94 site;
  2. Choose “Get Most Recent I-94” option;
  3. Accept the conditions;
  4. Enter the following data: name, date of birth and passport number.

Once these steps have been completed, aliens will be able to see the length of stay in the United States that was assigned to them respectively. 

If you have doubts about how to verify the length of stay in the United States, consult an immigration attorney who can clear all your doubts. Our lawyers at Lluis Law have years of legal practice in this matter.

How To Check The Entrances And Exits Of The USA?

With everything recorded electronically, travelers can check their U.S. travel records for the past 5 years on the official I-94 site. This process is very simple. 

In addition, it is also possible to check their legal status in the country and the length of stay allowed. With all this, nowadays is still common to hear concerns about the passport not being stamped when they entered the US.

Why Are Passports No Longer Stamped?

Technology has made it possible to digitize the United States entry stamp and exit stamp process, so passport stamps are hardly needed anymore. In fact, perhaps in the future, passport stamps will only remain in our memory. 

Should My Passport Be Stamped When Leaving The United States?

Don’t expect them to. As we commented previously, nowadays the passport is hardly stamped when leaving the United States. Therefore, what happens if they don’t give me a departure date? This must be consulted through the I-94 form. 

How To Register My Entry And Exit From The United States?

Not all individuals entering the US must complete paper forms. We will explain it in detail below:

For Travel By Air Or Sea

Travelers entering the US by plane or ship will generally not be required to fill out the paper form. It is for this reason that airlines and cruise ships have stopped submitting these forms since 2013.

Once travelers enter the US, the CBP officer will review the passport and generate an electronic proof of entry. The CBP officer will tell travelers the date of admission, type of admission, and the date until which they can remain in the United States.

To obtain a copy of Form I-94 or I-94W to prove legal status, you must request it:

  • During the inspection process at the port of entry;
  • Through CBP electronic form I-94.

When leaving the US, travelers in possession of a paper copy of Form I-94 should give it to the carrier’s representative or CBP staff. If you do not have a form when leaving the country, CBP will use the departure data electronically registered by the personnel or the maritime or air transport company. 

I entered the United States and my passport was not stamped

For Ground Transportation

Entry to the US by land requires travelers to complete the electronic application for Form I-94 or I-94W. Once they leave the country, they must submit the paper form.

In the event that Form I-94 is lost, damaged, or stolen, travelers must complete and submit Form I-102, Application to Replace/Obtain Nonimmigrant Entry/Departure Document.

For detailed information on this, see USCIS Filing Addresses for Form I-102.

How To Consult The Entrances And Exits Of The United States?

Now that you know what happens if your passport is not stamped, it is important to know that if you are leaving the country by commercial plane or cruise ship, it is not necessary to go through immigration on departure. However, to verify that the exit was recorded correctly, you must:

  • Enter the official I-94 site;
  • Select the “View Travel History” option;
  • Accept the conditions;
  • Enter the requested data: name, date of birth and passport number. 

As we answered previously, on this same page you can also consult the registration of entry into the country.

Steps To Record Departure If I-94 Was Not Delivered When Departing The United States

The steps to check out in case of non-submission of the I-94 are as follows:

  • For travel by air or sea: Check-out can be verified through the carrier used. In these cases, national foreigners do not need to take any further action. However, it is recommended to keep the boarding pass as it can help you with your next visits to the US.
  • For travel by land, ship or private plane: These cases warrant actions to correct the departure record. This is because CBP can conclude that aliens remained in the country for longer than authorized. If this happens, the US authorities could cancel their visa or request that they not enter the US.

Required Documentation

Aliens who have an I-94 must send it with a letter explaining the situation. Said letter must be in English. Additionally, national foreigners can include any other documentation that proves their departure from the US. These documents can be:

  • Photocopies of passport entry or exit stamps indicating entry to another country after departure from the US;
  • Original boarding passes;
  • Photocopies of other documentation, such as:
    • Pay stubs from an employer showing that the alien worked in another country after leaving the US;
    • Bank records showing transactions made by the national foreigner while already in another country after leaving the US;
    • School records showing that the alien attended classes in another country after leaving the US;
    • Credit card receipts in the name of the national foreigner showing purchases made in another country after leaving the US.
how to check my us arrival and departure records

Addresses Where You must Send The Information

If information is sent using the US Postal Service (USPS), it should be sent to the following address:

Coleman Data Solutions

Box 7965

Akron, OH 4430

Attn: NIDPS (I-94)

USES

If shipping with FedEx or UPS:

Coleman Data Solutions

3043 Sanitarium Road, Suite

Akron, OH 44312

Attn: NIDPS (I-94)

How To Deliver A United States I-94 Permit?

As mentioned before, foreign nationals arriving by air or sea do not need to complete paper I-94 forms, as CBP automatically collects arrival/departure information.

At the land border, travelers receive I-94 electronically and will no longer receive a paper I-94. CBP encourages travelers who require I-94 to use the CBP One™ mobile app to request the form. 

When leaving the United States, travelers who have a paper I-94 permit must surrender it to the commercial carrier, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or the CBP office.

Note: For travelers who received an electronic I-94 upon arrival by air, sea, or land and are departing by land, their departure may not be accurately recorded. 

Documentation For Border Travel

If travelers are not residents of Canada or Mexico and receive an electronic I-94 when departing overland, when re-entering the US before the expiration date stamped on the passport, they may be required to provide evidence of their departure to Canada or Mexico.

Such evidence can be:

  • Transportation tickets;
  • Entry stamps in the passport;
  • Pay stubs and/or other receipts.

Travelers can request an entry stamp from the CBSA office when entering Canada or from the National Institute of Migration (INM) when entering Mexico. Otherwise, if they leave the country by air or sea, CBP will record the departure electronically through the information provided by the carrier or by CBP itself.

Are There Places Where They Stamp Your Passport?

There are places where they stamp the passport and places where they don’t. For example, in Hong Kong and Australia they do not stamp the passport at the arrival or departure. However, when entering the Schengen Area with a non-European passport, they only stamp at the entrances and exits of the community zone. 

An example of the latter is if you travel from Spain to the United Kingdom, they only stamp the passport at the arrival and not at the departure. However, if you travel to Morocco, then it is stamped when leaving and entering.

There are also certain countries that although they can stamp a passport at the entrance, they do not do so at the departure. These are Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries.

If a foreigner’s country has an agreement with other nations, they may only need to go through a biometric or electronic passport reading machine.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Passport Stamping Process

Will it affect my visa extension if my passport was not stamped when entering the USA?

No, if you arrived in the United States and your passport was not stamped, you should have no problem extending your visa (as long as you have an electronic I-94 record).

Can I-94 record be used to renew a visa?

Yes, the I-94 record can be used to renew a US visa. Additionally, non-immigrants can also use valid Form I-94 for automatic renewals.

For what reasons can I be denied entry to the US?

CBP can deny entry to the US to any foreign national, even if they have a valid visa. Reasons may be criminal history, improper documents, or failure to cooperate with airport officials. 

Will I be denied reentry into the United States if my passport was not stamped when I entered to the country?

If you entered the United States and did not have your passport stamped or did not have your passport stamped upon leaving the United States, CBP will not deny you re-entry for these reasons. The latest I-94 record will be the primary proof of your previous entry and stay in the US as it contains your history of entering and leaving the US.

How Can Lluis Law Help Me If My Passport Was Not Stamped Once I entered to the US?

Now that you know the answer to the main topic, you can travel safely with your tourist visa for the USA, a q visa or any other that is eligible to enter the US. Currently, the arrivals and departures of the USA don’t require a stamp in the passport anymore, since everything is digitized. 


If you have any doubts about how to check your arrivals and departures from the USA or how to check how long you were allowed to stay in the country, contact our firm. Through a personalized consultation, we can help you in all kinds of legal immigration matters.

LATINOS WITH OVER 50 YEARS EXPERIENCE

Tell Us Your Case