Entering The US—What To Expect

When to Arrive

When making travel plans, please be aware that F-1 and J-1 visa holders entering the U.S. for a NEW program, may not enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the begin date of their I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) documents.

Students or visiting researchers/faculty who are either continuing an on-going program or transferring from another U.S. school to Florida Tech are not subject to the 30-day arrival limit.

When you travel, carry your documents with you; do not check them in your baggage! If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to show the documents and, as a result, may not be able to enter the United States.

Be prepared to present the following documents to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer:

  • Passport and nonimmigrant visa;
  • SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Visa exempt nationals (such as Canadians) presenting a SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 should have a Form I-797, Receipt Notice or Internet Receipt verifying SEVIS Fee payment.
  • Evidence of financial resources

I-94 Arrival/Departure Document

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. View more information about the automation of Form I-94.

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