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Arriving in the USA

Published on 20-Jun-2021

When you arrive in the USA as a new international student in initial F-1 or J – 1 status, you should expose the documents indicated below:

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future)
  • Visa stamp (does not apply to Canadian citizens)
  • SEVIS Form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) for Chicago
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • Supporting financial documentation

SEVIS:  The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System which is the system of a web based that the US Department of Home Land Security – DHS - depends on to keep information concerning US Department of State – Designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsors.

When an F – 1/M – 1 SEVIS record is terminated, students cannot be employed in on – or off – campus employment allowance, and they cannot re enter the USA. ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers might conduct an interrogation to approve the students’ departures.

Upon your arrival, an officer will check the documents and handwriting ion your passport, the visa status and D/S (Duration of Status which means your stay will be valid in accordance with the status' duration.

An admission’s electronic record : 1 – 94 - will be established, a copy of which you can have  by visiting the CBP website, and international students are supposed to have this copy each time they enter the USA.

International students can contact the US Customs and Border Protection – CBP, if they are in need to correct an error with their 1 – 94 record  If entry status is not F-1 or J – 1, or if they cannot find their arrival record.

Be Careful!

Be always careful not to bring anything unlawful such as some kinds of food, animals, insects, plants... Learn more about restricted items on the travel page of yours.

After entering the USA, students should be sure to submit an online check–in form, and complete on-line international student orientation.

COVID -19 tests

International students are supposed to get COVID – 19 tests, in no more than three days before the date of the flight, and to offer a proof of negative results.

Internet and Phones

Any international student can visit any store, by bringing their documents that indicate they are international students, and then they can activate their phones with monthly payment. Foreign students can have 4G LTE World Devices and SIM–card – strong smart phones.

The largest mobile services providers in the USA are Verizon, AT&T, T – Mobile and Sprint. Nearly all recent phones have the 1900 MHz band.

Transportation system

Transportation system in the USA is vast and can cover the overall land, air, water, subways and railways. Large cities in the USA have multiple methods of public transportation like buses, taxes, trains, but in most cases students have to depend on their private cars as public transportation system is not always available; it is basically poor.    

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