Prepare for Travel

If approved for a visa, you are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form. To enter the country, you will need to provide your passport (valid for at least six months from the date of entry), your F-1 visa, and the same I-20 form you used to apply for your visa. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you hand carry evidence of financial resources, evidence of student status (tuition receipts, acceptance letters, class schedule, etc.), and a paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797. For more detailed information on the documents necessary for entry into the U.S.A., download our handout.

Family members (other than your spouse and children) wishing to accompany you to the United States must apply for a B-2 "tourist" visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. You can learn more about this process by reviewing our recommendations.

When packing for the U.S., consider bringing these items with you:

Reminder: Most airlines only allow one check-in luggage item and one personal carry-on item. Check with your airline prior to deciding what to bring with you on the airplane.