A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.
After you present your passport, visa, and Form I-20 at the port-of-entry, a CBP official will make this decision. Once you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
When to Arrive
You may enter the U.S. in initial F-1 or J-1 status (meaning you are a new international student, not a SEVIS transfer student) up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20.
Questions when you go through US customs at the airport
Q1: May I see your passport?
A1: Here you go (Show your document (Your Form I-20 or DS-2019, Your passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of admission, A valid F-1/J-1 visa in your passport, Copy of SEVIS fee receipt)
Q2: What is your final destination?
A2: I will stay in Miami Beach.
Q3: How long will you stay?
A3: For 1 month (The period you are staying). / I will stay here for 1 month (The period you are staying) and I will go back to my country.
Q4: What is the purpose of your visit?
A4: I’m here to study English /I am here to travel./ I am here for a vacation. / I am here to visit my family and friends. / I am here for a business trip.
Q5: Where will you be staying?
A5: I will stay at homestay./ in XXX Hotel. / I will stay at my friend’s place in XXX.
Q6: How much currency/cash are you carrying?
A6: I have USD 2,000 with me.
Q7: Do you come alone or with any companions?
A7: I am travelling alone. / I am travelling with my family and friends.
Q8: Have you confirmed your return ticket?
A8: Yes, I’m leaving on 31st March. / I have not confirmed the ticket yet, but I will leave before 31st March.
Q9: What is your occupation?
A9: I am a student / teacher / banker / designer/ nurse …
Q10: Do you have any family or relatives living here?
A10: Yes, my auntie / uncle / cousin / grandparents / mother / father / sister / brother is / are living here. / No.
Q11: What school are you planning to study at?
A11: I am going to study at JUST GO LANGUAGE in Miami Beach.
Q12: How are you paying for your education?
A12: I am paying for myself/ My parents are paying for it./ My sponsor (my aunt) is paying for it.
Normally, the questions lasts anywhere from under 5 minutes to a maximum of 10 minutes.
Welcome to the United States of America!