US Port of Entry Process, Requirements for F1 Visa Students

On many occasions we have seen that the F1 students think that after getting their visa stamped in their country they can complete their education completed in USA. But unfortunately we have seen the past deportation incidents to the students who failed to convince authorities at the port of entry. So we here we are posting a handful of common questions that used to be asked for the F1 visa students while entering US.

Visa does guarantee entry to USA ?

US Visa only allow you to come to the Port of Entry and then you will need permission of the authority to enter the USA. In the port of entry the the officials decide that weather you are eligible for the entry in USA or not. So it is the CBP officer who allow you to enter the USA and not your VISA.

Port of Entry, what is it ?

It is the international border check point at the airport or seaport from where one will enter the country. In case if you come for nearing countries to the us then the border will be your port of entry.

Introduce the CBP Officer and their role ?

CBP stands for Customs and Border Protection Officer is responsible for checking the documents, asking about you and your motive for the visit and then you are allowed to enter the US. They also have a guiding mannual for this.

Primary Inspection Booth, explanation ?

The place where the CBP officer interviewes the arriving people is called the Primary Inspection Booth. Here the arriving people stand in a queue where the people are directed to enter one of these open booths for the interview. the officer checks educational certificates, I-20, visa, passport and original country documents.

below is the basic set of questions to be asked :

Purpose for coming USA ?
School choosen to take admission ?
Finincial source to support your educational cost ?

After the answers if the CBP officer is convinced with you in all the manner the you will be allowed to proceed further. This interview takes around 5 to 10 minutes. But if the officer is not satisfied then you will be sent to the secondary inspection.

Secondary inspection, description !

Here an additional round of screening for the students who were not able to clear it in the first round takes place. This is very detailed where you can be asked several questions for an hour or so. Main purpose for all these screening is to verify your details without disturbing other passengers. There is nothing to worry if your documents are all OK and genuine.

The CBP officer also checks with your school’s designated officer regarding the most recent info on your program or school. So it is always advised to carry your school’s DSO’s contact informations. Ths entry officials may also reject your entry in US in such a case you get a temporarily entry for 30 days. In such a case you may also contact your DSO and sort your issues with them.

What are the essential documents to be carried at the entry counter ?

These are the following documents that need to be kept as part of your carry on and not in the check-in luggage. Because you will be allowed to access your check-in luggages not before the interview.

Passport with validity enough to stay in US.
I-20 form properly Signed by DSO.
Admission/ Acceptance from school.
Payment receipt I-901 SEVIS Fee.
Financial support documents.
Originals Education Certificates.
Transcripts copy sent to school.
Contact info of school’s DSO.
Address of stay in US.
Local buddy Contact info.
GRE, TOEFL score reports.

It is very important to be aware of all the above mentioned facts prior to go to US so that you don’t have any issue and you can avoid from being panic.