INFORMATION for INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS from the U.S. IMMIGRATION and CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Information You Need to Know and Do Before Arriving in the U.S.
- Confirm that your passport and visa are valid for entry to the U.S. Passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond date of expected stay in the U.S.
- The Customs & Border Protection Officer at the U.S. port of entry will be the only authorized person to open the sealed envelope containing your I-20 form/immigration document that you received from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
- While you are traveling, you should carry with you the following (do not check in these documents with your luggage):
- Your passport (including the attached envelope of immigration documents) with visa,
- SEVIS Form I-20 AB
- Copy of the financial support letter issued by the Kuwait Cultural Office to your school
- Name & contact information for your designated school official, pen and paper
- You will have to complete the CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms, which will be given to you on flight before you land at your initial point of entry in the U.S. It is important that you tell the Customs and Border Protection Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to provide the name and address of the school where you will enroll. Once the inspection is complete, the officer will stamp your passport with a date of entry stamp.
- Secondary Inspection Requirements – If your information cannot be automatically verified by the inspector or you do not have all of the required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as “secondary inspection”.
- We strongly suggest that you have the name and phone number of the foreign student advisor at your school, which can be found in your admission documents. If you arrive during non-business hours (evenings, weekends or holidays), you should have a phone number where this individual can be reached during non-business hours.
- Failure to provide proper documentation and comply with the entry/exit procedures is cause to refuse the student admission into the U.S.
- There are times when a student may not be in full compliance, the student may be issued a Form I-515A “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor”, which authorizes temporary admission into the U.S. and requires the student to take immediate action to submit proper documentation. Non-compliance with the directions contained on these forms can results in denied entry.
- US-VISIT – is a comprehensive entry-exit registration system that was implemented at all international airports throughout the U.S. Non-immigrant visitors holding visas will be participating in the program, which involves obtaining a scan of two index fingerprints and a digital photograph of an arriving visitor.
- National Security Entry-Exit Registration Systems (NSEERS)
- Some visitors will require additional scrutiny and will have to provide additional information under NSEERS. Anyone could be subject to additional scrutiny and should follow the directions of the Customs and Border Protection Officer if additional information regarding itinerary, length of stay or other security questions is required
- Admission to the U.S. – Students should report to their school IMMEDIATELY and register for courses.
- Continuing Students who are traveling outside of the U.S. must see their foreign student advisor at the school and obtain an endorsement from the designated school official. The endorsement will be made on page 3 of the Form I-20. When returning to the U.S., a continuing student must present a valid Form I-20 with the DSO signature that the student is active and in good standing with the school.
- If you are authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) by your school, make sure that the school has updated your records in SEVIS and issued your new I-20 Form showing OPT authorization on page 3 of the form.
For further information, please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website regarding International Students at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/index.htm