Arrival and Orientation

Image: International students at Hiram


U.S. Immigration (DHS)


Do not check the following documents in your baggage.  If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter the United States.

  • Passport, valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your expected stay
  • Form I-20
  • Evidence of financial resources
  • Evidence of Student Status (Letter of Acceptance)
  • Paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797; and
  • Name and contact information for your “Designated School Official”


In some instances, you may receive a Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival Departure Record Forms (I-94) if you are arriving at a land border port of entry. This document, when stamped at entry, proves that you entered legally and indicates how long you can remain in the United States.

If you are entering through an air or sea port of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will scan a traveler’s passport, generating an electronic arrival record with data elements found on the current paper Form I-94. CBP will make the electronic I-94 available at Travelers may visit this website to print their electronic I-94 number before applying for immigration or public benefits, such as a driver’s license or a Social Security number.


Proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation: your passport; SEVIS Form I-20; and Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059).

All visitors entering the United States must state their reason for wishing to enter the country.  It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a STUDENT. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school program where you will enroll/participate.

Once your inspection is successfully completed, CBP will provide each traveler with an admission stamp that is annotated with date of admission class of admission and admitted until date. The electronic arrival/departure record can be obtained here.  Your admission stamp should read “F-1 D/S“.

The Form I-20 and passport will be returned to you.  If you notice an error on any of your documents, please ask the officer for clarification during the inspection.

Secondary Inspection Requirements

If the CBP officer at the port of entry cannot initially verify your information or you do not have all the required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as “secondary inspection.” Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify information without causing delays for other arriving passengers.

Failure to comply with the U.S. government entry-exit procedures may result in your being denied entry to the United States. Under certain circumstances, the CBP officer may issue a “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor” Form (I-515A), which authorizes temporary admission into the United States to submit the proper documentation without delay.

You also may be required to participate in an entry/exit process called US-VISIT. During this process you will visit a kiosk where you will follow the directions for finger scans and digital photo.

U.S. Customs

After clearing immigration, you will proceed to the baggage claim area to retrieve your checked luggage. You will then pass through U.S. Customs.

All articles brought into the United States, including gifts for other persons, must be declared to U.S. Customs. If all items you have to declare are entitled to free entry under an exemption, you may orally declare to the Customs Inspector and are not required complete the reverse side of the Declaration Form. However, the Inspector may ask you to make a written declaration if deemed necessary.

There is no limit to the amount of money (U.S. or foreign currency), traveler cheques, money orders, or negotiable instruments in bearer form that you may bring into or take out of the United States. However, a report must be filed with U.S. Customs at the time you arrive or depart with an amount that exceeds $10,000 (USD) (or the equivalent in foreign currency). This is reported on the Customs Declaration. If you fail to declare amounts that exceed $10,000 (USD), a Customs Inspector may assume that the funds are illegal and may confiscate them.

Do not pack or attempt to carry food, plants, or anything that can be interpreted as drug paraphernalia (such as pipes or tobacco papers). These items will be confiscated at the port of entry.

Arrival at the Airport

New students, who are arriving on the Official Arrival Day and who have made arrangements with the International Office prior to departure for the U.S., may receive transportation from the airport to Hiram College.

Please keep us informed of any travel changes. If you are lost, you have missed a flight, or a flight has been delayed or canceled, please phone the International Student Advisor immediately:

Hiram College
Telephone:  (cc:1) 330-569-5388
Fax:  (cc:1) 330-569-5003
Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm

International Orientation and First Days

International Student Orientation is designed to help you acclimate to the campus, organize many practical matters, and make new friends. Residence hall room assignments are made prior to International Orientation so international students move directly into their rooms on the official arrival day.

You will want to bring about $500-$1,000 USD in traveler cheques or currency. This provides for immediate expenses such as personal items, supplies for your room, books, and entertainment during your first two weeks.

First Days (Fall Semester Only)

Hiram College First Days coincides with International Student Orientation. All new students are required to participate. The Week is designed to help you connect with faculty members, staff, and other new students, introduce you to campus services, make new friends, and begin the academic experience at Hiram.

Bring a big SMILE! International Orientation and First Days provide many fun activities and we hope you enjoy this introduction to Hiram!