Important Note: You may not enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20/DS-2019. The start date on your I-20 (indicated at #5) or DS-2019 (indicated at #3) is the latest day you may arrive in the United States. Please base your travel dates around this information as they were chosen in accordance with the mandatory international student orientation requirement. If you will be unable to enter the United States by the start date listed on your document, you must notify ISSS (via email) as soon as possible.
When you arrive at the U.S. port of entry, you will present your passport, visa, evidence of financial support, and your immigration document (Form I-20 or DS-2019) to an immigration official. You should also be prepared to present your receipt notice of having paid the SEVIS fee. If you have previously been in the United States in F-1 or J-1 status and have been issued a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for that program, you may be expected to present the previous documents, as well.
When you first enter in either F-1 or J-1 status, the immigration official must be satisfied that you intend to attend the school specified on the visa. If you are transferring your F or J status to Emory from another institution, you may use the student visa stamp from your previous school as long as the expiration date has not been reached. Upon admitting you to the United States, the immigration officer will examine your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and record your entrance in the SEVIS system. You may also be asked to show financial documentation of your support during your time at Emory (such as your award letter or bank statements). You will then proceed through U.S. customs inspection, after which you may continue to your final destination.
Once arriving on campus, there are many things to do to prepare for the academic year. Plan your arrival date in Atlanta so that you will have to: 1) rest for a day or two 2) find housing and set up living arrangements 3) attend international student orientation 4) attend your school's orientation program and 5) register for classes.