Port of Entry/Airport

What To Expect at the Airport/Port of Entry

You may be refused entry into the United States if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form.

For up-to-date arrival information, consult Arriving at a U.S. Port of Entry…What a Student Can Expect.

Highlights of what to expect upon arrival:

  • Expect Immigration and Customs inspection at the U.S. Port of Entry to take some time. Give the Customs and Border Protection Inspector your passport, I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Be prepared to state the reason you wish to enter the United States; tell the CBP Inspector that you will be a student (or exchange student if appropriate) at SJSU.
  • If you have recently attended another U.S. school, your SJSU I-20 may read “transfer pending from” with the name of your previous school in item #3. If you are questioned about the “transfer pending” notation, #inform the CBP Inspector that SJSU has advised you that your transfer will be completed after you arrive on campus and register for courses.
  • Answer all questions politely and briefly. Do not offer any information that has not been asked for by the CBP Inspector.
  • The CBP Inspector will stamp your passport and return your documents back to you. Please check that all original documents are returned to you and that the passport is stamped and marked “F-1” (or “J-1”) and “D/S”.
  • Some airports may require all international students to go to secondary inspection for additional questioning and background checks.  This may cause delays, so please plan accordingly.  If you are taken to secondary inspection, make sure that you answer all questions politely and honestly.