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What to Expect When You Arrive in the United States



You should expect to go through both immigration and customs inspections at the U.S. port of entry. You may also be required to go through a pre-inspection procedure at certain airports abroad.

Due to heightened security concerns, your carry-on and checked luggage may be thoroughly searched by airport personnel.

Whether you will be making your first entry into the United States or have entered the United States before, expect immigration and customs procedures at the various U.S. ports to result in some delays. You should present to the Immigration Inspector your passport with visa and the Form I-20.

If you have recently attended another U.S. school, your SUNY Cobleskill Form I-20 may read "transfer pending from" and the name of your previous school. If you are questioned about the "transfer pending" notation, inform the immigration officer that SUNY Cobleskill has advised you that your transfer will be completed once you arrive on campus and register for courses. 

Answer all questions politely and briefly. Do not offer any information that goes beyond the scope of the question asked you.

The Immigration Inspector will return your passport to you and place an arrival stamp on one of its pages. The officer will also stamp your Form I-20.

Special Note: Remember that if you are entering the U.S. with a new student visa that has never been used for U.S. entry before, the Form I-20 that you present to the Immigration Inspector must be for the school listed on the visa, and you must enroll at that school. The U.S. federal immigration authorities report all arrivals to the school listed on the student's SEVIS document and "no shows" must be reported by the school to the U.S. federal authorities.

Most new SUNY Cobleskill students will have few if any problems during their U.S. port of entry inspection. The most important thing to remember is to have all of your required visa documents with you. Do not put any visa documents such as your passport that you will need for immigration inspection in your check through luggage.