Traveling and Entering the US on an F-1 Visa

Updated on September 25th, 2023

Documents to Have on Arrival in the US

When entering the United States, please have the following documentation readily available in your carry-on luggage (do not pack them in your checked luggage):

  • Passport
  • Berklee I-20 form
  • Financial documentation, including proof of program payment and scholarship awards (if applicable)

At the port of entry, present your passport and Berklee I-20 form to an immigration officer to inspect. Do not leave your I-20 form with the immigration officer.

Do Not Use Global Entry for Aspire: Five-Week

Do Not Use Global Entry for Aspire: Five-Week

Do not use a Global Entry kiosk upon arrival to the US, even if you are a Global Entry member. This often results in entry in B-2 tourist status which would prohibit you from studying in the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive. To seek entry in F-1 status, you must follow the traditional arrival process and present your documents for review to an immigration officer.



Review Your Visa Stamp

If the immigration officer stamps your passport upon granting you entry, please review it to make sure it looks like this:

F1 Student Visa Stamp

If you did not receive a stamp, don't worry - some ports of entry have discontinued the practice of stamping passports and instead log entries electronically. You can access your entry record (or I-94) later at Get Most Recent I-94.

Entry Prior to Your Program

You may enter the United States no more than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your I-20 form. If you attempt to enter the country more than 30 days before the program start date, you may be denied entry.