Prepare for Arrival in the U.S.

You cannot enter the United States more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 form.

  • Do not check the following documents in your baggage. Always hand carry these items. (If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry and you may not be able to enter the United States):
  • your passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay)
  • your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019.
  • ISSS recommends carrying the following also:
  • evidence of financial resources
  • acceptance letter from Georgia State University
  • paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797
  • name and contact information for your Georgia State “Designated School Official” as listed on your I-20 or “Alternate Responsible Officer” as listed on your DS-2019.

If you experience problems at the port of entry outside of regular business hours, please contact the Georgia State Police at (404) 413-2100. For comprehensive information on procedures for traveling and arriving in the United States, visit educationUSA.

Complete Your Entry Paperwork

If Arriving By Air: Flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059).  These must be completed prior to landing.

If Arriving By Land or Sea: The CBP Officer at the port of entry will provide the necessary Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) to be filled out upon your arrival. Be sure to write your name clearly and exactly as it appears in your passport!

At the Port of Entry

  • Proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation:
  • your passport
  • SEVIS Form (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059). The Form should reflect the address where you will live, not a GSU address.

All visitors entering the United States must state their reason for wishing to enter the country. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school program where you will enroll/participate. Once your inspection is successfully completed, the inspecting officer will stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status (“D/S”).

What a Student Can Expect

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What an Exchange Visitor Can Expect

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