Arrival to U.S.

Careful planning and preparation by international students should ensure a smooth entry into the U.S. at a port of entry.

Points to Remember

1. Plan your arrival

As an international student in F-1 status or J-1 status, you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. Before leaving your home country make sure that your passport and entry visa are valid for entry into the U.S. A best practice is that you should keep your passport valid for at least six months into the future at all times.

2. Keep the following documents in your carry-on bag (do not pack in a suitcase):

  • Your passport with F-1/J-1 visa
  • Printed Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from Babson College

In addition, it is strongly recommended that you also carry:

  • Receipt of SEVIS fee payment
  • Proof of financial support
  • Evidence of student status (letter of acceptance, recent tuition receipts, verification of enrollment letter, transcript)
  • Name of your International Student Advisor and a 24-hour emergency contact number of Babson College's Public Safety office: 781-239-5555.

3. At the U.S. port of entry, present the following:

  • Your passport with F-1 or J-1 entry visa
  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from Babson College
  • Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059) (available on the airplane and/or at the land border)
    You will also be asked your purpose for entering the U.S. and to provide information about your final destination. Explain that you will be studying at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
  • Once the inspection is completed, the officer will return your passport. Note: the stamping of passports is no longer done. All students should check their online electronic entry record, called the "I-94 record" to confirm their correct immigration status ("F-1" or "J-1") and "Duration of Status" notation. Take a screenshot upon each entry to keep this important information for your records.

4. Check in with Babson, the Glavin Office, and attend orientation sessions as communicated based on your program.

Additional Information

Secondary Information Requirements 

If the port of entry officer cannot initially verify your information or you do not have all of the required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as “secondary inspection.” Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify the information. In the event that the Officer needs to verify information with your school or program, we strongly advise that you have the telephone number of the Glavin Office (1.781.239.4565) and Public Safety (1.781.239.5555) on hand. In extreme situations, failure to provide proper documentation and to comply with entry/exit procedures is cause to refuse the exchange visitor admission into the United States.

Temporary Entrance/Form I-515A 

Under certain circumstances, if a scholar is mostly, but not fully in compliance, he/she may be issued a Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor.” This form authorizes temporary admission into the U.S. and requires the student/exchange visitor to take immediate action to submit proper documentation with the assistance of an international student advisor. If you receive a Form I-515A, please report to the Glavin Office in Hollister Hall as soon as possible after you enter the U.S. to speak with an International Student & Scholar Advisor about the procedure for getting your documents corrected.