DIVISION OF STUDENT SERVICES
International Student Services
At the port of entry
Arrival in the U.S. is a very important step of the immigration process. Here are some of the details you need to know about it. For those of you who have never flown before to the U.S. or have limited experience with flying intercontinental of long distance flights, visit our AirAdvice page for more information.
Students and scholars on F-1 and J-1 visas are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the beginning of their visa programs. Please let us know when you intend to arrive on the International Orientation form.
Keep in mind that Reed residence halls will not open to international students until the first day of International Orientation. Language scholars will be able to move into their rooms on the first day of Language Scholar Orientation. If you arrive in Portland before these dates you will need to make your own housing arrangements.
Before travelling to the U.S., you should familiarize yourself with the different kinds of documents you need to enter the country. It is always a good idea to carry your original documents at all times so do not put them in your checked baggage. It is also a good idea to make at least two sets of copies of these documents: one copy to leave with your family or friends before you depart and one copy to give to the ISS office. Here are the documents you should make sure to bring with you when traveling to the U.S.:
- Passports which contain your F-1 or J-1 visa
- I-20 or DS-2019 form
- Bank/financial statements used to obtain visa
- SEVIS I-901 Fee confirmation
Please keep in mind that your passport must be valid at all times during your stay in the U.S. and not be due to expire for at least six months from when you intend to travel. Many countries do not allow travel on a passport that will expire within six months.
I-94 Departure Card
As you enter the country, you will receive an I-94 Departure Card. Despite it’s unexceptional appearance, this small white card is extremely important. Most immigration officials will staple it to your passport, but whatever they do, please make sure to keep this document with you. If at any point you decide to travel outside of the U.S., you will need to turn in the I-94 card before departing.*
*Trips of less than 30 days to Mexico or Canada do not require students/scholars to turn in their I-94 cards.
Arriving in the U.S. is a very important step and you should be prepared for it. However, if you have all of the documents mentioned above ready and have been ahead, it should be a smooth experience. This following documents contain a lot of great information about what you should expect when arriving in the U.S.:
Immigration law states that you must report to Reed College by your program start date. We ask that you contact the Assistant Dean of Students for International Student Services immediately once you arrive at Reed or enter the country so that there is no question of your arrival. If you cannot enter the United States for the term listed on your Form I-20 or if you will be late by a few days immediately contact the ISS office so that they can accurately reflect this information in your SEVIS record.
Once students and scholars arrive at Reed, they’ll need to “check-in” with the ISS office. For language scholars, this will take place as part of Language Scholar Orientation. International students attending International Orientation will have their immigration check-in as part of that program. If you are a new student not attending International Orientation, you must arrange a check-in meeting time with the Assistant Dean of Students for International Students Services.