Tips for Students Entering USA for the First Time

The first trip of any student to USA can be both exciting as well nervous. Most of the students are concerned about what to expect and what will happen during passport control and customs. Here are some important points to ensure the smooth experience of first-timers to USA. 


Check documents before entering to Airport of your home town. Students needs Original Passport, Air Ticket / Boarding Pass, Admission Letter [I-20], SEVIS Receipt, All Educational Documents including Certificates, Grade Cards & Transcripts. Students should also bring a set of copies of all these documents. For backup purpose, save all these documents on Google Drive or Email them to yourself. Keep all these documents [ Except Passport & Air Ticket ] in your cabin bag or hand bag. Always keep your original Passport and Boarding Pass with you [ in your hand ] till you reach your seat as you might require them to show to various authority persons many times.

Foreign Exchange

All students must bring sufficient money in USD to cover cost of Tuition Fees and Living Expense for first semester / year. The Officer can ask students while immigration check to show proof for the same. Students can show actual fund available in the form of Currency, Bankers Draft / Cheque, Bank Cards etc. Students can show Receipt of Tuition Fees issued by US Institutions if they have already paid it. Students should bring bill(s) for various Foreign Exchange specifically for Bank Cards.

Contact Information

Students must know address of the Institute which he / she will be joining as well as Name of Person and contact details including Phone Number & Email to whom the Immigration Officer can contact for any concern related to admission. Students should also be aware about their Accommodation after arrival in USA including address.

Get Ready for Interview

Now a days, most of students are passing through strict scrutiny at various airports during their first travel. So students should be ready with all possible questions and answers which they have prepared for their visa interview at US Consulate office. Answer all questions truthfully. Note that immigration officer is authorized to decline your entry to USA in case if he / she is not satisfied.

Don’t Carry Prohibited Items

Read the instructions at airport before boarding about which items you cannot carry in your hand bag. Make sure you do not carry any prohibited items such as food, spices, liquid, perfumes, razor etc. In case of mistake by you, speak truth to the staff of custom department or airline. Students must not carry any items or goods which is banned by Custom Department of USA either in hand bag or checked in bags.


Students should carry Black / Blue Ball Pen for filling out various forms for custom and immigration during their journey.

Time Planning

All travellers to USA need to go through immigration check before entering USA. This can be done generally at the first airport where you land or in some cases at overseas countries where respective airline has arrangement for the same. It will take about an hour or even more sometimes depends on rush of travellers. Moreover all travellers need to get their luggage checked at custom department. For students who will be going to other destinations through connecting flights, need to pick up their luggage and re check to respective airline. Considering your travel arrangement and destination city, you should allow enough time for smooth travel experience.

As long as you are prepared, organized, and honest, entering the United States for the First Time is simple. Keep all necessary documents and details handy.

Good Luck, and Happy Journey !