When can I enter the U.S.?
You have up to 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20 to enter the U.S.
Can I enter the U.S. after my I-20 start date?
If you travel to the U.S. after your I-20 start date, you will probably face problems at the Port of Entry, since it appears you failed to meet the requirement of reporting to the Kaplan Center by your start date. To prevent problems at the Port of Entry, you should contact Kaplan and ask that we postpone your start date if you are unable to arrive before this date. At that time, Kaplan will mail you a revised I-20 with a postponed start date.
What documents will I need to show at the Port of Entry?
In general, you must show the Port of Entry Officer the following documents. If these documents are missing or incomplete, you may be detained, questioned or denied entry altogether.
- A valid (non-expired) passport
- A valid (non-expired) F-1 visa with the name of the Kaplan Center you will be attending printed at the bottom
- All three pages of your I-20 issued by the Kaplan Center you will be attending (center name should match the name of the school listed on your visa.)
Please visit https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/getting-to-the-united-states for more information.
What happens at the Port of Entry?
Please visit http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/index.htm and review the document called “What a Student Can Expect.” This document discusses what you will need to do at the Port of Entry.
What is an I-94 and why is it important?
One important form is the Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record.” It shows the terms of your admission, including your legal status, length of time you may stay and expected departure date.
It is important to have a copy of your Form I-94 to prove your legal visa status in the United States. If you are admitted electronically and do not receive a paper form, or if you misplace your form and need a replacement, follow the steps below to retrieve a copy.
- Go to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Form I-94 Web page and agree to the terms listed.
- Once directed to the Form I-94 information page, enter your name, date of birth and passport information.
- Select “Get Most Recent I-94” or “Get Travel History.”
What is Form I-515A and what do I need to do with it if I am given one at the Port of Entry?
Form I-515A is a government form given to some travellers who are missing documentation required for entry to the U.S. If you are given this form by a Port of Entry Officer, you must ask what documentation you are missing. Once confirmed, you will be required to submit that documentation to the government within 30 days after entry. If you do not meet this deadline, you will fall out of legal status and will have to leave the U.S. immediately. If you are given this form, please speak to the DSO at your Kaplan center immediately after entry.
When do I need to start my studies?
You are required to arrive at the Kaplan center and begin full-time studies on or before the start date listed on your I-20. If you do not meet this requirement, your I-20 will be terminated, you will fall out of legal status and will have to leave the U.S. immediately. If you are outside the U.S. and unable to travel to the U.S before your start date contact Kaplan and we will update your I-20 by postponing the start date. If you have already entered the U.S. you will not be allowed to postpone your start date. There are no exceptions to this rule.