Entering the United States
What to Expect at the Port of Entry
Be prepared with the following documents:
- Passport with a valid non-immigrant visa (Canadians exempt)
- Original form I-20 or DS-2019 with valid travel signature
- Evidence of financial resources
- WSU current schedule and/or transcript
Don’t bring restricted items – see CBP’s website for rules regarding travel
with medications, food or pets.
You may also be fingerprinted and/or photographed.
Questioning & Tips
- Officers may ask you questions about your reason for entering the United
States or about your academic program. If an officer asks about your
academic performance, remain calm, answer honestly and briefly.
- CBP may also ask questions about, or inspect your electronic devices. This
may include your social media accounts.
- To protect yourself, put your phone on Airplane Mode.
For more tips on how to prepare your devices, see here.
An officer may determine you (and/or your luggage) require additional
screening. This is not uncommon. You may be asked to go to an interview
area called Secondary Inspection where they will verify information and ask
you additional questions.
You can expect:
- Long wait time (multiple hours)
- Additional, more substantial and specific questions
Tip: Make notes of your experience, including officer name and badge number.
Be Aware of Increased Scrutiny & Policy Updates
The Executive Order travel ban may complicate travels from many countries.
For more information on the travel ban, see here.