Clearing Immigration Inspection

Clearing Immigration Inspection


Upon arrival in the United States, you will be required to undergo immigration and customs inspection. You should be prepared to present the following:

  • Your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
  • A valid F-1 or J-1 visa
  • An unexpired passport valid at least 6 months into the future
  • Your TC admission letter and financial documents
  • You should indicate to the immigration inspector that you are coming to the United States to pursue a full-time program of study at Teachers College, Columbia University. The immigration inspector should review your documents and:
  • Place a 'red' immigration stamp in your passport indicating F-1 or J-1

By stamping your passport, the immigration inspector is indicating that you have been permitted to enter the United States as an F-1 or J-1 student for "duration of status," i.e., for the duration of time you are a full-time student, as indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019.

Prior to departing the airport, be sure that you have all of your original documents in your possession, including your passport, your original I-20 or DS-2019, and your admission letter and financial documents.

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