Entering the United States / Arrival Information
Enter the U.S. within 30 days before the program starting date on I-20
DO NOT attempt to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the program starting date on your I-20! Although you may apply for an F-1 visa up to 120 days prior to the I-20 start date, F-1 visa holders are NOT permitted to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20. Also, entry to the U.S. after the first day of classes requires permission from University officials and may require the issuance of a new I-20 form.
Enter U.S. on an F1 visa only
DO NOT enter the United States on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa or F-2 dependent visa even if you have one in your passport. You will not be allowed to attend school on a B-1/B-2 or F-2 visa in the U.S. U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) would deny your application to change status from B-1/B-2 to F1 if you have evidence of intending to go school prior to your arrival, such as having applied for school or having requested a Form I-20.
Use CUI I-20 when entering the U.S.
DO NOT enter the United States with an I-20 issued by another school! If it is the first time you have attended school in the U.S., your F1 visa stamp should bear the CUI name. If you have already obtained a visa with another school's name listed on it, please contact [email protected] or by phone at (949) 214-3471.
Procedures at the Port of Entry
Upon arrival to the U.S., a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will review your immigration documents; I-20, valid passport, and F1 or J1 visa. The International Center highly recommends you also hand carry financial documents, admission letter, and I-901 receipt of the SEVIS fee.
Documents Needed at the Port of Entry
- Valid Passport
- Financial documents (Proof of sufficient funds to pay for tuition and fees)
- Admissions Letter from Concordia University Irvine
- I-901 receipt of SEVIS fee
- Proof of ties to Canada-Canadian citizens only
Traveling without all immigration documents needed to enter the U.S. might be sufficient reason to be denied entry. Entry to the U.S. is up to the discretion of the immigration officer at the P.O.E.