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Prawninator

I-94? What do I do with it?

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I'm sure this topic has been asked and answered several times before, but I'm still confused.

I'll be taking my first trip out of the United States in a few weeks, back to where I'm from for my grandmother's birthday party (my mother fears it may be one of her last, and wants me there) since entering on the K-1 Visa. I have, of course, since been married and have since received my 2-year Green Card as per requirements of the Visa. As far as I understand it, I am able to re-enter on the Green Card.

However, no one explained what I should do with the I-94 upon exit and re-entry. I've read that they tear it out sometimes, and sometimes they don't. So what really happens? Do they take it, and I return with just my passport from my country of birth, and my Green Card? How do I prove that the last name on the Green Card is my married name, and that the name on my passport was my maiden name? Do I even *have* to?

And upon re-entry, do I need to fill out the I-94 (white, because I think the green is for the VWP) again?

Any help would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated. THANKS!

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I'm sure this topic has been asked and answered several times before, but I'm still confused.

I'll be taking my first trip out of the United States in a few weeks, back to where I'm from for my grandmother's birthday party (my mother fears it may be one of her last, and wants me there) since entering on the K-1 Visa. I have, of course, since been married and have since received my 2-year Green Card as per requirements of the Visa. As far as I understand it, I am able to re-enter on the Green Card.

However, no one explained what I should do with the I-94 upon exit and re-entry. I've read that they tear it out sometimes, and sometimes they don't. So what really happens? Do they take it, and I return with just my passport from my country of birth, and my Green Card? How do I prove that the last name on the Green Card is my married name, and that the name on my passport was my maiden name? Do I even *have* to?

And upon re-entry, do I need to fill out the I-94 (white, because I think the green is for the VWP) again?

Any help would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated. THANKS!

Just take the I-94 out of your passport and keep it as a memento.. it is not needed anymore as you are a resident... As for differences in your greencard name and your passport, carry a copy of you marriage certificate. You no longer need a I-94 to re-enter, you are a resident. I-94's are for non-residents


YMMV

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The I-94 says on the back that, when you leave the US by air, you hand it to an airline employee (typically the check-in reps or gate reps) when you leave the country. The airline will have a process that will get the I-94 back to the local USCIS section, who will enter it into their computer system, updating your record to show that you are now no longer in the country on a non-immigrant visa.

K-1 entrants who have an AOS interview typically give (or have taken from them) their I-94's at their AOS interview.

When a K-1 entrant who did not have an AOS interview (and therefore still has an I-94) goes to temporarily leave the US after receiving their green card, it is probably a good idea to follow the I-94 instructions and surrender the I-94 to the airline rep upon departure. If this does not happen, USCIS will continue to retain a computer record showing that you are still in the country. This may cause the CBP officer you encounter at the airport upon your return to become very confused, as his computer will be telling him you never left the US after your K-1 entrance, but you will be telling him you have left the US and wish to reenter with your green card.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is usually very unadvisable to take any course of action that is likely to confuse a government official :). Government officials, when confused, can start doing random, inconvenient things that generally make your life more interesting than you'd generally like :).


DON'T PANIC

"It says wonderful things about the two countries [Canada and the US] that neither one feels itself being inundated by each other's immigrants."

-Douglas Coupland

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To answer your other questions:

A ) Yes, you do reenter with just your foreign passport and US green card. You do not need any other documents.

B ) In the not-particularly-likely event that they even ask (the situation is quite common), many people carry a copy of their marriage certificate to document the transition from the maiden name in the passport to the married name on the green card. As I said, this situation is quite common, so as long as both the passport and green card pictures look like you, they probably won't even ask. Probably a good idea to bring a copy of the marriage certificate, just in case.

C ) No, you do not need to fill out an I-94 - just the Customs Declaration form. You get in the US citizens line, and just show your passport and green card to the immigration officer.


DON'T PANIC

"It says wonderful things about the two countries [Canada and the US] that neither one feels itself being inundated by each other's immigrants."

-Douglas Coupland

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Thanks, but see what I mean by conflicting responses? ;)

Either way, I think I'll go with what HeatDeath says, his/her argument makes sense, and to be perfectly honest, I don't need anymore inconvenience in my life, not now, not ever. Hehehe. But I guess I should've read the back too... didn't occur to me to flip it over. It says in red and bold to "Surrender this permit when you leave the U.S." so I should assume that it meant under every circumstance.

And great, my GC picture looks almost nothing like me, because I usually always wear glasses, and I was half-awake at the biometrics... :whistle:

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Thanks, but see what I mean by conflicting responses? ;)

Either way, I think I'll go with what HeatDeath says, his/her argument makes sense, and to be perfectly honest, I don't need anymore inconvenience in my life, not now, not ever. Hehehe. But I guess I should've read the back too... didn't occur to me to flip it over. It says in red and bold to "Surrender this permit when you leave the U.S." so I should assume that it meant under every circumstance.

And great, my GC picture looks almost nothing like me, because I usually always wear glasses, and I was half-awake at the biometrics... :whistle:

Do as you wish... we still have my wife and son's I-94 tucked away in the immigration file in our house... they both have departed and returned on there green cards and we have confused no one at the POE.


YMMV

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Do as you wish... we still have my wife and son's I-94 tucked away in the immigration file in our house... they both have departed and returned on there green cards and we have confused no one at the POE.

Still, in times like these, doesn't hurt to play it safe. :)

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