F-1 students & F-2 dependents may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before I-20 program starting date. You may be refused entering the United States if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the program starting date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form.
Documents to bring with you for any international travel
Please always hand-carry your documents, do not put them in your checked in luggage. If your luggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to present the documents at the port of entry. As a result, you might not be able to enter the United States.
The following documents should be hand-carried with you when arriving to the U.S.:
1. Passport with valid visa
2. SEVIS Form I-20.
3. Affidavit of support; bank statement, sponsoring letter, etc.
4. Evidence of student status, such as recent tuition receipts, transcripts and acceptance lettter.
5. Receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797
6. Name and contact information for your "Designated School Official", including a 24-hour emergency contact number at the school.
Flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival Departure Record Forms (I-94). These forms must be completed prior to landing.
AS YOU ARRIVE AT THE PORT OF ENTRY
Please have the following documents available for presentation: your passport; SEVIS Form (I-20); Arrival-Departure Record Form (I-94); and Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059). The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside, not the address of the school or program.
All visitors entering the United States must state their reason for wishing to enter the country. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school program where you will enroll/participate.
Once your inspection is successfully completed, the inspecting officer will:
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status ("D/S") for F visa holders
- Stamp the Arrival-Departure Record Form (I-94) and staple it in the passport
FOLLOWING ADMISSION INTO THE UNITED STATES
Students should report to their school within 30 days of the date that appears on the SEVIS I-20 form to register for courses or to validate their intended participation. Failure to do so may result in serious consequences.