How to Enter the U.S. in F-1 Student Status

We are looking forward to your arrival at Champlain College! If you follow the instructions outlined below, you should be able to enter the United States without difficulty.

  1. IMPORTANT! DO NOT come earlier than 30 days before your program start date indicated on your Form I-20. You risk being denied entry or being admitted as another visa category (i.e. Visitor instead of a Student).
  2. DO NOT come later than the program start date without our permission.
  3. DO NOT pack your immigration documents in your suitcase.
  4. Take our phone number in case of emergency: +1-802-865-6485.
  5. All international students entering the U.S. by air or sea will receive a stamp in their passport - this stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission (F-1), and date that the student is admitted to ("D/S").  International students entering the U.S. by land borders (Canada and Mexico) will be issued a paper copy I-94A with a stamp showing date of admission, class of admission (F-1), and date that the student is admitted to ("D/S").
  6. Have your documents ready to show a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer. You will be asked to show your passport, F-1 student visa, Form I-20, Form I-94, and financial documents when you are going through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Inspection.
  7. Be prepared to explain why you are coming to the U.S. The CBP officer will ask a few questions about your purpose for coming to the U.S. Please be prepared to tell him or her why you are coming to study at Champlain College.
  8. Check that the CBP officer properly stamped your documents before you leave the inspection area. Before you leave the inspection site when you enter the United States, please make sure that the stamp in your passport (F students arriving by air or sea) or I-94A (for F students arriving by Canada or Mexico) clearly reads: "F-1 D/S". If your stamp or I-94A is missing any piece of this important handwritten notation, please walk back to the inspector at the port of entry and have them fix it immediately.
  9. If you do not have your I-20 and you are issued an I-515A, please e-mail Jessa Karki, jkarki@champlain.edu, as soon as possible so that she can work to fix your status. An I-515A only allows you to stay in the U.S. for 30 days.
  10. You may be asked to go to secondary inspections. This is normal - do not worry.
  11. Please report to the Office of International Education as soon as you arrive to Champlain College. Please bring with you the following documents for inspection:
  • Passport (s) with current F-1 Student Visa
  • Original Champlain College Form I-20
  • Original Forms I-20 from any other U.S. schools that you have attended
  • Your original I-94 stamp or I-94A card