Arriving in the United States should be a smooth experience if you have all of your documents with you. You cannot arrive more than 30 days before your program start date. When traveling, always hand-carry all of your documents (such as your passport, Form I-20 and Form I-94). Do not pack any documents in your checked baggage. Once you arrive, remember to contact your designated school official as soon as possible.
Everyone arriving in the United States passes through an inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP).
Before you leave your home country, take time to double-check that you have gathered all the documents listed below for your travel to the United States.
To learn more about required U.S. entry documents, especially if you are on an F-1 or M-1 visa.
- Certificate of eligibility
Confirm you have the I-20 or DS-2019 issued by the university you will be attending. Check that this document has been signed by the Designated School Official (DSO), that your name is spelled the same as it is in your passport, and that your birthdate is correct.
- Passport and nonimmigrant visa
Ensure that your passport is current before travel. Note that citizens of some countries are required to have at least six months validity remaining on their passport before their entry into the United States. Hand-carry your passport and certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) with you at all times during your travel.
Have the name and phone number of your campus contact, in case you need to call him/her upon arrival in the United States. Have phone numbers on hand to contact family or friends at home if you become stuck in transit, etc. When arriving in the United States, calling cards can be purchased at most convenience stores and are recommended for new students who may not have a mobile phone or other means of communication for the first few days.
- Birth certificate and marriage certificate
Be sure to obtain notarized translations of these certificates if they are not in English if you are traveling with your spouse or child. Note that your spouse and child must also have their own student or exchange visa and certificate of eligibility.
Pre-Departure Packing List
Section 1: For (Pakistani/Indians/Bangladeshi) only:
The following kitchen items can be found in Desi (Pakistani/Indian) stores but they are a bit expensive and also depends if those stories are nearby home.
Please note you will find everything from USA but the items would be expensive including ready-made Bread (Roti).
Kitchen Items for Desi People:
- Rolling Pin (Baylan)
- Cooker (If you need to make something on it – otherwise its not required)
- Spices (Masalas)
- Tea (Chai)
Section 2: General Guidelines for Everyone
For initial days:
· 2 plates,
· 2 spoon,
· 2 knife,
· 1 cup,
· 1 fry pan
· 1 sauce pan
· 2 glass
· Sweaters: 2 Don’t take too much stuff, as you have to throw all stuff in the USA.
· Local Jackets: Zero Don’t take Jackets from home country – buy “Down-filled” jacket (light) from USA (for extreme winters) – Good brands are North-face, Mountain Hardware, Columbia etc. Its a one time investment but its worth buying light weight jacket that can protect you from extreme cold weather.
· Jeans: 2
· Formal Suits: 2
· Towel: 1
· Bed sheets: 1/2
· Good Formal Shirts: 4/5
· Casual shirts: 4/5 Don’t take too many shirts as you would get good quality clothes in USA on cheap prices.
· Local dresses (Shalwar Kameez): 2 Don’t take too much of Desi clothes its useless.
· Joggers/Sneakers: 1 (Comfortable ones – if you already have one, then its fine otherwise buy it from USA) – as you have to walk a lot in USA.
· Formal Shoes: 1
· Casual Shoes (Comfortable): 1
· Light Slippers/Flip Flops: 1
· Socks: As per your need
· Don’t take any electronics, as voltage is different – just take the mobile and laptop.
· Do take the converter for mobile and laptop chargers that will fit in to USA small pins electrical socket.
· Shopping Tip:
You should look out for nice brands at TJ MAX at a very affordable prices and also clothes at reasonable prices at Kohls, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall, Walmart, H&M etc. Also look out for deal/sales on Black Friday, Xmas Season and Summer Sale.
· Important Tips:
Don’t take many clothing items from home country as you would regret when you see the quality of American Products at a very reasonable prices and you would need to throw many of your local products in the end.
Don’t take Jackets made in your home country. They are heavy and they are not for effective in USA extreme cold. Buy a nice jacket on sale either online or from the stores mentioned above and use one reasonable jacket for 2-5 years down the road for extreme winters (-30 c).
You can also get household items like lamp, table, micro etc. from other students who are leaving the dorms or apartments. Please stay in touch with Student Association (SA) of your schools.
Important Travel Notice
SPECIAL NOTICE while travelling: US & UK Rules on carrying electronics on airplanes
Passengers headed to the United States and the United Kingdom from certain Middle Eastern countries have been barred from carrying electronic devices larger than a smart phone under new flight restrictions announced on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.K. Department of Transport. These devices must be placed in checked luggage.
Which airports are affected?
· For travel to the US:
· Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
· Amman, Jordan: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
· Cairo, Egypt: Cairo International Airport (CAI)
· Casablanca, Morocco: Mohammed V Airport (CMN)
· Doha, Qatar: Hamad International Airport (DOH)
· Dubai, United Arab Emirates: International Airport (DXB)
· Istanbul, Turkey: Ataturk International Airport (IST)
· Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
· Kuwait City, Kuwait: Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
· Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: King Khalid International Airport (RUH)
· For travel to the UK:
· All flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.
· What devices are included in the ban?
Examples of large electronic devices that will not be allowed in the cabin on affected flights include, but aren’t limited to:
· Portable DVD players
· Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
· Travel printers/scanners
· Necessary medical devices will be allowed to remain in a passenger’s possession after they are screened