A Mistake in your I-94, are you a fugitive Now!!?

I am glad that your interest is hooked on my little story, and I hope it will help you or your friends if a police officer at one of the POEs (Port of Entry) made a mistake with your I-94. A month ago, I went to one of the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) offices in Wayne to take the knowledge/written test for a driver’s license. I waited for my number to be called and here we go! A problem came up: the person who checked my documents (6 points of ID) told me that my name on my I-94 does not match my name on the other documents. Guess what, a little letter that the officer in the airport put as my middle initial was the problem! Honestly, I don’t even have a middle name. They told me at the DMV office that they won’t issue my driver’s license until everything matches.

I was shocked and afraid at the same time, I mean nobody told me about it. Even when I was issued my social security card, they did not say anything. Some people said that to avoid any need for a correction request at a later time, it is always the best to double-check your personal information on the I-94 form. However, that was a kind of impossible thing with my 20-hours economy class flight coming from Syria.

I tried to call the airport but I couldn’t get through for some reason. The answering machine didn’t give me any option to speak with customer service that is responsible for correcting I-94 mistakes. So I stopped by the international student office in Stone Hall Room-215 and asked them about my problem. They told me that I have to go to the airport to fix my issue. The problem was that I entered the United States of America through JFK airport, not Newark which is closer. I thought, it is going cause some pain for me and cost me a round trip to the airport. Eventually, someone came like a charm and told me that you can do it from any POE. So I prepared myself on Friday, and took the important documents with me like my passport, I-20, bank account, my social, and other things just in case i needed them. Usually, it takes 25 minutes by car and about 1 hour and half by bus.

I reached their office at 2:30 pm but an unexpected thing happened, they told me that the CBP office hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 11:00 am, which was the only thing that I did not check it. Unfortunately, I had to go back and curse my day and my wasted time.

So my advise to you is:  as an international student, make sure that you always check the schedule to avoid the same mistake. Eventually, I was able to fix my I-94 form issue and it only required my passport and 10 minutes waiting in the office. Two hours later, the issue was solved on the website.

The officer said that in case your problem isn’t solved, you can call the number (973) 565-8000 and get it done without going back to the airport.  This was the most important information of all! For more information about CBP website you can visit http://www.cbp.gov/. Moreover, if you want to check your I-94 status and info or obtain a copy of it you can go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html.

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