Arrival for New Students

Date of Entry to the United States

When making travel plans, please be aware that new international students may not enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days prior to the expected reporting date to the school (indicated in your I-20).

Students who are transferring from another U.S. school to Cerritos College and who have a "Transfer Pending" I-20 are not subject to the 30-day-arrival limit. Transfer students may travel and re-enter the U.S. any time between school programs, so long as the I-20 is properly endorsed by the Designated School Official. However, transfer students must re-enter the U.S. with their Cerritos College I-20 and not the previous school's document.


I-94 Arrival/Departure Document

When you are on the airplane or at the port of entry, you will be given an I-94 Arrival/Departure document to complete along with customs declarations. Please be sure to use the I-94 on white paper (the green I-94 is for visa waiver tourists only). When completing the form, write your name and other information exactly the same as it appears on your I-20 and passport. Inconsistency in your name and information can cause serious problems and delays after your arrival.


Port of Entry Inspection

At the Port of Entry immigration inspection, be prepared to present the following documents:

  • Passport 
  • Valid F-1 visa
  • I-20
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt
  • Proof of admission to Cerritos College
  • Financial support documents

Be sure to carry them with you on the plane. Do not put them in your check-in luggage, as you will not be able to access your luggage until after the immigration inspection. An immigration officer will stamp the passport with the notation "F-1 D/S" and your arrival date in the United States. In addition the officer will enter your arrival/departure record electronically. If the officer does not do this, politely ask the officer to check it before you leave the inspection station. It is the proof of your legal entry into the U.S. 

If you have any problems with your entry, please notify the Office of International Student Services as soon as you arrive on campus.