I-94/Immigration Questions

Old Oct 23rd 2014, 10:47 am
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Default I-94/Immigration Questions

Hi there,

I was hoping somebody could clarify a couple of things for me prior to my visit to America in 4 weeks. I was in the United States from May 2013 – May 2014 on a year-long internship in Michigan, eventually leaving on May 23rd to return to the UK (via Norway). However, my I-94 card is still in my passport – I only realized once I was home – and, for whatever reason, I’m only just getting to sorting this out now. Is there anything I can do before my visit in 4 weeks, or should I just take it out and hand it to immigration when I land?



My other question is regarding border control. Since May (when I left the states), I’ve been working as a freelance content writer and travelling around Europe with my American girlfriend. As such, I don’t have any tangible ties to England, other than a desire to return there to spend the Christmas period with my family. I can work wherever I have an internet connection (since May I’ve lived in France, Croatia, Italy, and now Spain).


So anyway, I’m concerned by stories of people being turned away at border control because they have no ties to their home country and have a US partner. My trip is only for four weeks, just to visit friends, my partner’s family, and do some sightseeing. I won’t be doing any work whilst there, though I will be obviously be checking work emails. I then return to England before Christmas and my US girlfriend will also fly to the UK just before New Year, at which point we’ll continue our sojourn around Europe.


Can anybody offer any advice/insights as to whether I might experience any difficulty at border control?
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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

There is an address to mail your I-94 back. You can google that.

There's no way to predict how it will go down at the POE. It will be up to the officer on duty that day. Most people are not asked for evidence, but who knows if you will be our not.

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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Thanks for your reply. I do wonder how many people get turned away at US immigration - based on internet searches, it seems many more people get turned away at UK borders than US. Interesting.

Also, just to be clear, I absoluely can't work whilst in America, can I? Even though I'm freelance and my work would be for a UK company?
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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Originally Posted by heyseus View Post
Is there anything I can do before my visit in 4 weeks, or should I just take it out and hand it to immigration when I land?
Follow the instructions here. If possible, and in case the officer asks about it, bring proof that you were outside the US either on the day or before the day your I-94 expired. Most often, this comes in the form of a credit card statement for a purchase made outside the US on or very near to that date.


I’m concerned by stories of people being turned away at border control because they have no ties to their home country and have a US partner.
This is always the chance you take when you seek permission to enter the US. There's no way to know, in advance, what might happen.

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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Originally Posted by heyseus View Post
Also, just to be clear, I absoluely can't work whilst in America, can I? Even though I'm freelance and my work would be for a UK company?
That depends on what visa you are entering on.
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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Originally Posted by tht View Post
That depends on what visa you are entering on.
Just the VWP.
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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Originally Posted by heyseus View Post
Just the VWP.
Then what you can do is limited, you can read about what kind of activities are permitted here:

Visa Waiver Program

Work no, but some "business" activities are allowed.
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Old Oct 23rd 2014, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

And if you plan to do some business activities, you ate supposed to declare that at the POE, so you can be admitted as such. Basically whatever business activities are allowed on a B1 visa are allowed on the VWP, as long as you declare that at the POE.

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Old Oct 26th 2014, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Thanks for the information. It will be better if I just avoid doing any work altogether. It's unlikely I'll have any time for it anyway.

Is there anything I can bring by way of evidence to ease my immigration experience? As I said, I don't own property or anything like that in the UK, but I do live there (at my parents) when I'm not elsewhere in Europe. Though I think it'll be just fine (especially since the USC GF is leaving the US with me), I'd still prefer to be prepared to prove something that proofs I will be leaving.

Thank you.
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Old Oct 26th 2014, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Since we don't know what kind of evidence you might have to show ties outside the USA, it's hard for us to say what kind of evidence you can bring. Some popular items are, proof of home ownership or rental (which you don't have), proof that you need to return to a job (which you don't have), and proof that you need to return to university or school (something showing you are registered for the upcoming semester and when that date starts).

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Old Oct 26th 2014, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Ah, I have none of those things. Perhaps I might have my accommodation (somewhere in Europe) for January booked by then, but that's far from guaranteed. I suppose the job and lifestyle I've chosen will naturally work against me in some cases, this being one of them. Guess I'll just have to tell the truth and hope they believe me!
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Old Oct 27th 2014, 6:09 am
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

Just keep it simple at immigration. You absolutely have to tell the truth but you don't have to volunteer information until specifically asked. I wouldn't mention the girlfriend at all unless specifically asked. I would just say you are going to visit friends over the Christmas period (which is the truth as far as you've said here) when asked the purpose of your visit. If you start off volunteering information about visiting your girlfriend and her family for Christmas you could dig yourself a hole especially if you're nervous.
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Old Dec 11th 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: I-94/Immigration Questions

In the end: everything was fine. I removed my I-94 form pre-flight and had it in my wallet in case they asked. They didn't.

Our immigration experience was interesting. Both US and Non-US were in the same immigration line, so when they found our that my girlfriend and I were travelling together they told us to go to an official together "to be questioned". They asked how long we'd been together, if we lived together, and whether I had a job in England (I do, but I'm freelance, so I can work anywhere). They let us through no problem. We're here and it's been great!
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