Entering the U.S.

Documents to Carry With You

Upon arrival to the U.S., you will be asked by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer to show the following documents:

Remember to carry these documents with you. Do NOT pack them in your checked luggage, as you must show your documents at your first port of entry to the U.S. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer may ask similar questions to those asked during your visa interview. Be prepared to have your photo and index fingerprints digitally taken as part of the entry process.

If you do not have proper documentation upon your arrival to the United States, the CBP officer may either deny your entrance to the U.S. or grant you a temporary 30-day entry by issuing you a Form I-515A.

Please contact the ISSO immediately in case of any difficulties entering the United States or if you are issued a Form I-515A.

Duration of Status (D/S)

Duration of Status means that as long as you are maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status, you may legally remain in the U.S. until the end of your academic program as indicated on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.

Form I-94

At the port of entry to the U.S. a CBP Officer will inspect your documents and generate an electronic Form I-94. You may also receive an entry stamp in your passport which should show either "F-1 - D/S" or "J-1 - D/S". This stamp indicates that you have entered in F-1 or J-1 status and have been granted admission for duration of status ("D/S").

Your arrival/departure record, or your Form I-94, will be available for you to print out on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

You will be required to print your Form I-94 and submit it for the ISSO Online Check-In. You may also need it if you plan to apply for a Social Security Number or Driver's License.

If There is a Mistake on your Form I-94 or Passport Stamp

It is important to carefully review the Form I-94 (paper or electronic) and passport stamp that you receive at the airport. Your Form I-94 and passport stamp should indicate the date and location of your arrival to the U.S. as well as the visa status with which you entered the country.

If you notice a mistake on your Form I-94 (paper or electronic) or passport stamp, try to request a correction while you are still at the airport.

If you do not notice the mistake until after you depart the airport, please contact your ISSO Advisor as soon as possible so that they can advise you on how to request a correction. If you do not request a correction, your status may not be recorded properly and/or you may have difficulties with certain immigration benefit-related applications in the future.