The U.S. Government has undertaken a variety of efforts since September 11 to enhance border security and ensure that only individuals eligible to enter the United States are allowed entry. Effective April 1, 2002, aliens who have applied for and been refused visa issuance while outside the U.S. are prohibited from returning to the United States, even if they are in possession of a valid I-94 form. The revised regulation also prohibits aliens who are citizens of countries on the State Department's list of State Sponsors of Terrorism from re-entering the U.S. using solely an I-94 form if their visa has expired.
The previous regulation allowed individuals whose visas had expired but whose I-94 forms remained valid to re-enter the U.S. without obtaining a new visa. The previous regulation made limited distinctions among citizens of various nationalities, and aliens who applied for and were denied a new visa were nonetheless permitted to re-enter the United States. The changes we are now implementing enhance border security by requiring that aliens from state sponsors of terrorism obtain a new visa (and thus go through a new set of interviews, computer checks, etc.) before re-entering the United States, and by ensuring that people who were found by one of our overseas embassies or consulates to be ineligible for a visa cannot get around such a finding by re-entering the U.S. using solely their I-94 form.
The exclusion from re-entering the U.S. using solely an I-94 form, Arrival-Departure Record, if their visa has expired, will apply to aliens who attempt to re-enter the United States, regardless of whether their application for a visa was filed prior to that date.