International Student Services

Information on Entering the USA

You may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the start date indicated in section five of your I-20.

If you are entering the U.S. on an F or J type visa, here are some things you should do:

  • Before leaving your country, confirm that your passport and visa are still valid for entry into the U.S. The passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay.
  • Check to see that your visa accurately reflects your correct visa status (F or J).
  • When you receive your visa at the U.S. Consulate, the consular officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. Do not open the envelope. The Customs Office at the U.S. Port of Entry will open the envelope.
  • Some immigration documents should be carried on your person. Do not check them in your luggage. If your luggage is lost or delayed you will not be able to enter the U.S.
Documents you should carry on your person:
  • Passport (with attached envelope from Consul) and visa
  • SEVIS I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J visa)
  • Evidence of financial resources
  • Name and contact information of the International Student Services Coordinator at Lehman College
  • Writing instrument (pen)

If you are traveling by aircraft, the flight attendants will distribute CF-6059 Customs Declaration Form and I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Form for immigration. Before you land at your Port of Entry in the U.S. complete these forms while you are on the aircraft and submit them to the Customs and Border Protection Officer upon your arrival. If you need assistance with these forms, ask the flight attendant before you land.

Upon arrival at the U.S. Port of Entry, proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers for inspection at one of the Department of Homeland Security stations. As you approach the inspection station, have your passport, SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019, Form I-94, and CF-6059 available for presentation to the Customs Officer. The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will live (Not the address of the school).

You will be asked to state the reason you wish to enter the U.S. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the Customs Officer that you will be a student or research scholar. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school where you will enroll or participate.

Once your inspection is complete, the inspecting officer will:
  • Stamp your SEVIS I-20 for duration of status (D/S) for F and J visa holders.
  • Stamp the I-94 and staple it in your passport.

U.S. - Visit

Following entry into the U.S.:

Students and Exchange Visitors should report to The International Student Services Coordinator at Lehman College as soon as possible to register for courses or validate their intended research participation.

The International Student Services Coordinator is located in Shuster Hall, Room 210. The telephone number is 718-960-7274. Call for office hours.

Last modified: Jan 31, 2012

  • Division of Student Affairs
Text Only Version of Site | Make This Website Talk