What you Need to Know
I have a visa interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate but I don’t have my I-20/DS-2019 yet. What should I do? Will I still get the visa?
You can travel into the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20/DS-2019. Because there are many things you may have to arrange upon arrival, such as: housing, advising, registration for classes, etc...you should come in at least one week before your classes begin. Additionally, you must attend the International Office's orientation which will be held sometime before the first week of classes and you should arrive at least in time for that.
Immigration regulations prohibit students from entering the U.S. earlier than 30 days prior to the start date on the I-20/DS-2019. You should change your ticket to a later date.
International Orientation is mandatory for all F-1/J-1 students as required by the Department of Homeland Security. This orientation is held by the International Office approximately 1 week prior to the start of the semester. The purpose of the orientation is to provide new international students with information on:
- maintaining their non-immigrant status
- medical insurance
- other issues related to international students