Recent TN issue when coming back from vacation in aruba

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Tracyj
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:57 pm

Recent TN issue when coming back from vacation in aruba

Post by Tracyj » Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:31 pm

Hey all. I had a very werid experience on the way back from aruba. The US border guy at the airport basically tore out our TN/TD visas and said we would have to get new paperwork. I told him that I had always been told that those papers were to be kept until I go back to canada or get reissued a new TN. He said that any time you leave the hemisphere, you needed a new stamp. So, he basically copied everything from the old one, including the expiry date, the number code and then give me a new bunch of stamps in my passport. He didn't have the multi entry stamp either and just said "everone knows it's a multi entry".

All of this sounded really suspect to me, but I had no choice. Can anyone shed some light? Was this guy accurate or just making up his own regulations? Is there going to be an issue with my visa crossing the cdn boarder since he didn't have a multi entry stamp and the main stamp is a different date from the expiry?

Thanks,
Tracy

nelsona
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Post by nelsona » Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:26 am

Although he was a little heavy-handed, he was correct.

If you leave N America-- One could argue that Aruba is 'kinda' in N America, but that's a stretch-- you are supposed to hand in your I-94s. trouble is, that for tN, the I-94 may be your only proof of status -- if you got TN at the border. It is good practice to carry a copy of your I-94, as the flight/cruise workers are instructed to remove I-94s upon departure. It was thet, not you, that didn't do their job -- which was lucky for you. Some even carry a small-sized version of their TN petition documents just to be safe


TN is by definition multiple entry, whether stamped or not.

Copy your I-94s, and keep that with you next time you travel -- even to Canada.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Happy Browsing :D

Tracyj
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:57 pm

Post by Tracyj » Wed Dec 27, 2006 2:09 pm

Thanks for the info. I will definitely make sure I do that from now on.

One other question. He didn't fill everything out on the I-94 form. I'd like to visit my family for the new year, but I am really nervous that with an incomplete form (although stamped) may pose real issues.
Am I being paranoid?

nelsona
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Post by nelsona » Wed Dec 27, 2006 2:43 pm

Your I-94 form has your name and citizenship on it, that's all plus the TN/TD stamp.

There doesn't need to be anything else on the front or back.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Happy Browsing :D

diane1
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:17 pm

Post by diane1 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:30 pm

I made my annual trip home last week. My 6th year of H1B expired while I was there and I had a brand new, never used, USCIS California service center issued I-94 to get back in. I had not even torn it off of the notice of action. After waiting in the cattle line of PFI, I got to an officer who told me that I was supposed to have turned in my I-94 when I left the US and that I needed to fill out another. I pointed out that the I-94 was not even valid when I left the US but, after reading for years that arguing seldom helps, I dragged my stuff back to the counters, found the only working pen and filled out an I-94. I got the same guy when I went back up and, as he continued to instruct me about the purpose and proper use of an I-94, he noticed that it was for one year, asked why and I told him that it was my 7th year extension. He asked how long I had been working in the US (since 98) and how many times I had crossed the border (at least 20). He was rather surprised that he was only the second officer to ever insist on a new I-94. Oddly though, he gave me the one I had presented initially back. The moral of the story...the rules are the rules but the practice varies widely.

nelsona
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Post by nelsona » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:52 pm

Almost universally, border agents (PFI or POE) will ask you to replace the Service center issued I-94 (flimsy I-797 paper) with a white cardboard one... and yes you do fill it out yourself.

Pretty hard to turn in something you never had, though.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Happy Browsing :D

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