The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has prepared the following guide to ensure the quality of your experience. Through its "Student and Exchange Visitor Program" (SEVP), the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is committed to facilitating your stay in the U.S. as you enjoy our nation's academic, educational, and cultural offerings. Note that you may be refused entry into the U.S. if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the academic program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form.
Always carry your documents with you:
- Your passport, valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay
- Sealed nonimmigrant documents (When you receive your nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the Consular Officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. Do not open this envelope. The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. Port of Entry will open the envelope.)
- Your SEVIS Form I-20
We strongly recommended that you also carry the following additional documentation:
- Evidence of financial resources
- Evidence of student status, such as recent tuition receipts and transcripts
- A paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797
- Name and contact information for your "Designated School Official," including a 24-hour emergency contact number at the school
If you arrive by air (we suggest John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York City or Newark International Airport (EWR)), flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival Departure Record Forms (I-94). These must be completed prior to landing. If you arrive by land or sea, the CBP Officer at the port of entry will provide the necessary Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival-Departure Record Forms (I-94) to be filled out upon your arrival.
When you arrive at your point of entry, go directly to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation: your passport; SEVIS Form (I-20); Arrival-Departure Record Form (I-94); and Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059). The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside, not the address of your University or academic department.
You will be asked to state your reason for entering the U.S. 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, along with the name and address of the University in which you will enroll.
Once your inspection is successfully completed, the inspecting officer will do the following:
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status ("D/S") for F visa holders.
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for 30 days beyond program end date for M visa holders.
If the CBP officer at your port of entry cannot initially verify your information, or you lack some required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as "Secondary Inspection." This allows inspectors to conduct extra research to verify your information. First, the inspector will attempt to verify your status by using the Student and Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Sometimes a CBP Officer needs to verify information with a student's university or program. You should keep on hand the name and telephone number of your admissions counselor or the Coordinator of International Student Services at Lycoming College. In case you arrive during non-business hours (evening, weekends, holidays), have an emergency or non-business hour phone number available for the CBP officer.
Failure to comply with U.S. government entry-exit procedures may result in your being denied entry into the U.S. Under certain circumstances, the CBP officer may issue a “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor” Form (I-515A), which authorizes temporary admission. Work with your school to submit the proper documentation without delay.
Every nonimmigrant visitor holding a Visa, regardless of race, national origin, or religion, participates in the U.S.-VISIT program, a comprehensive registration system tracking entries to and exits from the United States.
Some nonimmigrant visitors with a Visa may be asked to give additional information under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). At your port of entry you can obtain a packet of information explaining the registration procedure.
Travel time from Williamsport:
- 1.5 hours
- 2.5 hours
- 2.75 hours
NEW YORK, NY
- 3 hours
- 3.5 hours
NIAGARA FALLS, NY
- 4 hours
- 5 hours