Arrival in the United States
U.S. Port of Entry
Be prepared to present the following documents at the Port of Entry:
- U.S. visa
- I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
- I-901 SEVIS fee receipt
It is very important that you keep these documents in a secure location while traveling, such as your purse or travel bag. Do not place any personal documents in your luggage, as they may be lost during travel.
I-94 Arrival/Departure Card
You will be asked to complete form I-94 either upon or shortly before your arrival into the United States. This document establishes your lawful immigration status and verifies that you made a valid entry into the United States. An immigration officer will keep the top portion of the form and stamp and return the bottom portion to you. The bottom portion of the form should have an ink stamp with your visa status and the letters "D/S". The stamp should match the one marked on the top portion of your I-20 or DS-2019.
Review your immigration documents and those for your dependents before you leave the arrival station. If you notice any errors, notify an immigration officer immediately. Once you leave the Port of Entry, it is very difficult to correct errors on your documents. Immigration officers review thousands of documents a day, so mistakes are sometimes made.
- Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) - Instructions for Completing Form I-94
- Sample I-94 Arrival/Departure Form