Entering the United States

Please review the following information to help prepare you for your arrival in the U.S. It is important to be familiar with the procedures you will go through after landing at the airport. If you are arriving before your campus housing is available, make sure you have arranged a place to stay beforehand. It is also important to become familiar with how to check in with OISA once you have arrived.

What to Expect at the Airport

When you arrive at a U.S. airport, you will go first to immigration inspection. Make it clear that you are a student on an F-1 visa. Present your I-20 along with your passport and F-1 visa. Pack these documents in your carry-on bag because you will not pick up your luggage until after this process. Please note that Canadian students will not have an F-1 visa. 

Upon entry into the United States, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will produce an electronic version of your I-94 admission record using your official passport and visa. You should access your I-94 record on the CBP’s website to ensure that you were admitted in the correct (F-1) status and for the correct period (typically, for the Duration of your Status or D/S). 

New border procedures require digital imaging of fingerprints, a photograph, and verification of your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the U.S. government student database.

If the immigration inspector cannot immediately find your record, he or she may ask you to go to a second station where the officer has a little more time to find your record. Do not panic – this does not mean there is a problem. If the officer still cannot access your records or needs other information, however, contact the Office of International Student Affairs at oisa@wesleyan.edu, or call the Public Safety Office at Wesleyan at (860-685-2345) and they will contact someone to help you.

Temporary Places to Stay

If you plan to arrive to the U.S. before your Wesleyan housing is available, you may wish to arrange for somewhere to stay temporarily before moving into your on-campus housing. Wesleyan’s Visitor’s Guide has information about lodging in the Middletown area as well as information about local restaurants, transportation and other Middletown attractions to help you to settle in.