Port of Entry Procedures for International Students

Port of Entry

Below is what you should expect at the port of entry.

1. Inspection

The immigration inspector will be checking the documents for authenticity and to be sure you are the same person who qualified for the visa. For initial entry, the school of the F-1 visa must match the school on the I-20. A student who attends a school other than the one authorized on the visa, will be violating visa status and would have to apply for reinstatement.

Be prepared for the inspection by having in hand your:

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • F-1 visa (Canadian students excepted)
  • I-20 (may be sealed in envelope by the consulate - do not open)
  • Financial documentation
  • Proof of SEVIS fee payment

2. U.S. Visit Procedures

You will have your photograph taken and your two index fingerprints scanned.

3. Issuance of I-94:

After your admittance is approved, the inspector will stamp the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, the I-20 and your passport page with a stamp noting the date, place of entry, status as F-1 and period of admission which should be D/S for Duration of Status. These documents will be returned to you and should be brought to our office for copying. You should safeguard these documents since they show proof of your legal status.

For more information visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.