| Prior to traveling from your home country to the United States, it is important that you prepare for your inspection at the port of entry (first place of arrival in the United States).
Upon your arrival, an immigration official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will review a variety of your immigration documents before allowing you to officially enter the United States. This official must be satisfied that you intend to attend the school specified on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. The immigration official will inspect the documents you present to ensure their authenticity.
Visit the Customs and Border Protection website for a complete overview of what you can expect upon arriving at a U.S. port of entry.
Make sure that your passport is stamped at the port of entry, showing the date and place of entry, non-immigrant status (F-1 or J -1) and the 'admitted to' notation (D/S). This information is recorded electronically by CBP, but instead of being given a paper I-94 at the time of entry, you will later be able to print the form yourself by visiting the CBP website at i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94. Please make sure that your passport is stamped appropriately. You want to see "F-1 D/S" if you are an F-1 student, and "J-1 D/S" if you are a J-1 student. This is a necessary step to confirm your legal immigration status.
Remember to print your I-94 before coming to your immigration check-in appointment and each time after reentering the United States
Secondary Inspection Requirements
If the inspector cannot automatically verify your information or you do not have all of the required documentation, you may be escorted to an interview area known as "secondary inspection." Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify information. Verifications are done apart from the primary inspection lines so that an individual case will not cause delays for other arriving passengers.
In the case your admission/participation needs to be verified, we strongly advise that you have readily available the contact information of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at Ohio State. Immigration Coordinators at OIA may be reached Monday through Friday at 614-292-6101 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., (Eastern Standard Time), except during university holidays when our office is closed.
For more information about secondary inspection requirements, visit cbp.gov.
US-VISIT is a comprehensive entry-exit registration system in place at all international airports throughout the United States, pre-clearance inspection facilities and designated seaports servicing cruise ships. All nonimmigrant visitors holding visas (including students and exchange visitors) will participate in the program that involves obtaining a scan of two index fingerprints and a digital photograph. Race, national origin, and religion are not factors in the US-VISIT program, as it applies to all nonimmigrant visa holders. For more information, go to the US-VISIT website.