You need the I-94 Arrival/Departure card as proof of being inspected or you might not get your 485 approved. File for a replacement I-94 (Form I-102). If your interview comes before an answer, take a copy of your Form I-102 application with you to show the officer and at the interview, also point out the stamp and explain that you were inspected and admitted, and hope for the best. Hire a lawyer to go with you.
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It is best for file form I-102 to obtain a replacement.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
While it is best to file an I-102 to seek a replacement, USCIS does have the ability to look it up on demand and some offices will do so. However, the service center will typically not allow the case to proceed until the I-94 is issued. This will be even more confusing soon, as there are plans in place to transition away from the paper I-94 to an electronic I-94.
Alternatively, if you can provide enough evidence of entry, the I-94 can sometimes be waived. But as the others said, it is best to file the I-102. USCIS does prefer that you file it before filing the I-485, but sometimes you can file them simultaneously.
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