All international students should make arrangements to arrive in the United States no later than the date specified in Item 5 on their Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-20.
At the port of entry, a United States immigration officer will ask international students to present the following:
After seeing these documents, the immigration officer should stamp "with F-1 D/S" on a student's passport and return it to him or her.
The United States Customs and Border Protection no longer issues paper I-94 cards for air and sea entries. Once your passport and I-20 form have been taken care of, the officer will issue you a passport admission stamp. The passport admission stamp indicates you arrived legally and the length you are permitted to stay in the United States.
If you arrive in the U.S. by land, you will continue to receive the paper I-94 card. If you received the passport admission stamp, you will have an electronic I-94 record. To access this record, visit: www.cbp.gov/i94.
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