Requisites for Travel
- Valid passport (within six months of expiration)
- Valid visa
- Valid F-1 (you should keep all copies with you)
- Current SEVIS I-20 with a valid signature (see I-20, page 3).
- I-94 Card (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html)
- Proof of financial support–letter from donor or bank statements.
- Transcript showing full-time enrollment and good academic standing.
Arriving in the United States
You may arrive in the United States up to 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your Form I-20 (see Section 5) and no later than the start date. If you attempt to enter the U.S. after this start date, you may be denied entry.
Arrive at the U.S. Port of Entry
At the U.S. port of entry, you will need to present the following documents to the inspections officer (do not pack these items in your checked luggage):
- Passport with F-1
- Form I-20 issued by Concordia Theological Seminary
- Admission Letter
- Evidence of Financial Resources
The inspections officer will use the US-VISIT system and take a digital photograph of you and scan your fingerprints.
The Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record is a critical record. It shows that you have been admitted legally to the United States, the class of admission and the authorized period of stay. It is very important that the information on the record is correct. Inconsistencies between the information on the Form I-94 and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) records can reduce the chances of a successful systems interface. In particular, this can cause issues with status verification for Social Security numbers.
When arrive your I-94 Form will be generated automatically for you by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. CBP will provide you with an admission stamp on your passport that is annotated with date of admission, class of admission and admitted-until date. The electronic arrival/departure record can be obtained at www.cbp.gov/I94.
If you arrive at the U.S. border without all the necessary paperwork, CBP officials may issue you a Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor“.