International: Prepare For Your Journey

Office of Global Engagement
Home > Immigration and Visas > Preparing for your Journey

Purchasing Tickets

Once the F-1/J-1 visa has been granted and issued please be advised to purchase your travel tickets as soon as possible to cut down on the cost of the tickets and allow you ample time to prepare for your time in the U.S.

Note: Before boarding the plane to the U.S. please make sure you have ALL necessary documents handy:

  • Valid Passport (with expiration date of 6 or more from the projected departure date)
  • Form I-20/DS-2019 endorsed by the Office of Global Engagement within the last year
  • Valid F-1/J-1 Visa
  • Receipt of payment of SEVIS fee
  • Financial Document(s) listed on Form I-20/DS-2019 (strongly recommended)

Before landing in the United States port of entry flight attendants will distribute customs and immigration forms to be completed by all non-immigrants arriving to the United States. Please remember to fill out the distributed forms diligently and correctly. If you find yourself needing help please ask a flight attendant for assistance.

On the airplane

  • Complete the Custom Declaration.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) no longer require air and sea visitors to the U.S. to fill out paper Customs and Border Protection  Form I-94.  Your arrival/departure information will be captured automatically from your electronic travel records. Please print out your I-94 after arrival.

*If you arrive by land, you might be issue a paper I-94, for complete information, please click here

At Arrival

Everyone arriving at the port of entry to the United States will be inspected by the CBP officers. They will inspect your immigration documents as well as your customs and agriculture claims.

The Customs and Border Protection officer will ask you several questions like:

  • What is the purpose of your trip
  • How long will you be staying in the U.S. and where
  • What is your residence abroad (citizen/non-citizen, etc.)

Keep your answers clear, honest and to the point. All non-immigrant visitors are fingerprinted and photographed at the Customs.

After processing your documents the CBP will stamp your passport with your visa type, arrival date and the latest date you are allowed to be in the U.S. For F and J visa visitors, the amount of time is written as "D/S" which means you are allowed to stay in  the U.S. for the "Duration of Status" of your academic program.

Proceed to your baggage claim area.

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