Clearing U.S. Immigration

When you arrive in the U.S. you will go through immigration inspection. You will need to present the following items to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official:

  • a valid passport (including Canadian citizens)
  • a visa document (for example an I-20 for F-1 status or DS-2019 for J-1 status)
  • if you are an F or J visa holder you will need a receipt from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee
  • a valid U.S. visa stamp. (Canadian students do not need a visa stamp. However, you will need evidence of funding.)

(Information about obtaining these documents can be found in the immigration section of this Web site.)

I-94 Record

The CBP officer will enter your information into the on-line I-94 system. importantBefore you clear immigration, check to make sure your I-94 notes your correct status: F-1 or J-1 (or F-2 or J-2 for dependents) and D/S. Do not enter the U.S. on a B-1 or B-2 visa or under the Visa Waiver Program, as you cannot study or work in this status, and you will most likely have to leave the U.S. and reenter in the proper status before you can begin at Yale. Please complete the following steps upon arrival to ensure your legal status is correct:



Check Your Passport for an Entry Stamp

Passport Stamp

Look at your passport before you leave the immigration check point. Make sure you have the small ink entry stamp (see sample at right). If you do not have a stamp, request that the CPB officer give you a stamp. You may need to go to the Differed Inspection section of the airport.


Download & Print Your I-94

As soon as you have Internet access:


Bring Your I-94, Passport, & Visa Document to OISS Check-in

If you are a new student or scholar and need to check in with OISS, you must print a paper copy of your I-94 card and bring it with you (along with your passport and visa document) to OISS check-in.


For every new entry to the U.S.:

Remember to print a new I-94 record each time you exit and return to the U.S. Keep the most current printed I-94 with your passport for your own records.