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If you have obtained US Student Visa and worried, how can you make your arrangements to travel to US, then this travel guide will help you.

First of all, you need to confirm your airline tickets for the intended date so as to reach your university at the absolute time as given by your university. Being a student, it is obvious that you will look for the cheap tickets. So contact your nearest travel agencies for the cheapest air tickets. Once, you confirm your ticket; purchase all necessary clothes, accessories and other materials according to your requirement that will be useful for you in US. Keep in mind that most of the things in US is relatively expensive than the outer world, so carry as much clothes, accessories and other materials as you are allowed by your airlines. It is important to check in advance with your airline about the luggage requirements as it varies from airline to airline. Most of the airlines allow students to carry extra luggage than the allowed limit for other passengers. In general, passengers are allowed two pieces of baggage to be checked in, each of which may be up to 70 lbs (32 Kg) and also subject to certain dimensional restrictions. Passengers are also allowed to carry one piece of hand luggage on board.

It is highly recommended to you to have a spare set of clothes in carry-on baggage, in case the checked-in baggage is delayed or lost upon arrival. Always keep valuables like cash, traveler's checks, passport, visa documents, airplane tickets, International Driving Permit, Original Educational Certificates - in the carry-on baggage. Do not put them in the checked-in baggage. It is also advisable to keep a copy of all the documents at home before leaving for the U.S.

Before your departure to US, you must inform your university about your flight schedule so that they can make necessary arrangements for airport pickups. You may also get detail information about the directions to the campus, and where to check-in upon arrival from your university if you inform them at time. You must check all the below listed items thoroughly before you depart:

  • Your Visa Stamped Passport
  • Your Airline Ticket
  • University Papers
  • Your I-20/I-94 Form
  • Evidence of Financial Resources
  • Original Certificates and Mark Sheets
  • Medical Records
  • Driving Permits
  • Address and Direction to the University.
  • University Contact Information
  • Traveler's Checks and US Dollars
  • Dress and Casual Clothes for All Seasons: Warm Clothing for Cold weather and Light clothing for Warm Weather.
  • Business Clothes: Dark Suits, Button Down Shirts, and Ties for Men, and Pants Suits, Skirts and Blouses for women.
  • Outerwear such as Coats, Hats, Gloves, and Scarves.
  • Plenty of Undergarments and Socks.
  • Toiletries, such as Soap, Antiperspirant, Shampoo, Conditioner, a Toothbrush, and Toothpaste.
  • Personal Entertainment Items, such as books or i-pod.

It is advisable to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight departure time.

Once you enter the territory of US, before landing, you are requested to fill out the “Customs Declaration Form 6059B” and “The Arrival Departure Record Form (I-94)” which is distributed on the plane. In “Customs Declaration Form”, it is not necessary for you to list all the items brought to the US for personal use, such as clothing or toiletries. This form is used for the valuation of any gifts or business items that passengers have brought with them to the US. Jewelry or similar articles of personal adornment valued at $300 or less are passed free of duty under the personal customs exemption and cannot be sold within three years unless duty is paid. If duty is not paid before the sale is completed, the articles will become subject to seizure.

In “The Arrival Departure Record Form”, you must fill where you are going to accommodate during your stay in US not the address of the school or program. Upon the arrival at the airport, you will be shown the inspection area by the airline personnel. You need to queue up in an inspection line and then speak with an Immigration Inspector. You being a non-citizen must use the lanes marked for non-citizens.

The Immigration Inspectors will determine the reason for coming to the US. They will verify the documents and check how long you should be allowed to initially stay in the US. They usually take few minutes to take the decision. If you are allowed to proceed, the Inspector will stamp your passport and issue a completed I-94 form. A completed form will show your immigration classification and the last date of authorized stay for you in the US. You will then be permitted to proceed to Customs.

The date on the I-94 is very important. Usually, this will be same date as the visa validity date, but the date on the I-94 supersedes the visa date on the visa. You are allowed to stay only for the period mentioned on the I-94. It is your responsibility to check the date and make sure it is correct, any human errors can be corrected within minutes by the same immigration officer and it takes more time to get the correction after leaving the airport, so be very careful on that time.

You must keep your university contact details and address of accommodation handy. Sometimes, it is possible that you may need to land the nearest international airport rather than the airport closest to your university, because port of entry for international passengers is not available in all the airports. You must be prepared to answer any questions like change of flights or the person who will be picking you up from the airport. Clear, simple, and correct answers will be enough. If you are asked to go through a secondary inspection, you should not panic. The Immigration Inspector will verify documents and check about enrollment with the university. Due to very strict security checks, secondary inspections are very common.

In a secondary inspection, the Immigration Inspector will first attempt to verify your status by using SEVIS. In the event that the Immigration Inspector needs to verify information with your university, you should have the necessary contact information available. Failure to comply with US government entry-exit procedures may result in being denied entry to the US Under certain circumstances, the Immigration Inspector may issue a Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor Form (I-515A), which authorizes temporary admission into the US.

Once the Immigration and Customs checking is completed, you can now proceed to the way to your university. When you’ll be out of the airport, there’ll be some one to pick you if your university has committed to pick you. In some cases, some university many not give you airport pickup services. Instead, they will provide you with detail sitemap to reach to the university. If you are entitled to travel by yourself, you can catch a taxi cab to reach your university. Sometimes, the university with which you are enrolled may be far from the airport where you landed. In such cases, if the distance between airport and the university is more than 50 miles, you should take alternate transport service instead taxi. Local trains or bus may be available as a better option in a reliable transportation cost.

After completing your journey to your university, you must straightly visit to “International Student Office” of your university. They will provide full guidance and make arrangements for your comfortable stay and study in their university.

Other Resources
» Top 10 Course options in USA
» Understanding the US Education System
» US Student Visa FAQs
» US Student Visa FAQs for Indian Students
» Reasons to Study in USA
» Student Travel Arrangement Information
» University Transfer Procedure

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