Documents to Bring When Entering the U.S.

When preparing for your arrival to the U.S., you should plan your travel according to the information provided by your college. According to immigration regulations, F-1 student visa holders can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program report date on the 1-20.

  • Valid passport with an official F-1 visa stamp
  • F-1 visa
  • Program acceptance letter
  • Your original I-20 issued by Sofia University (with SEVIS fee paid prior to your travel date)
  • A copy of your acceptance letter from Sofia University
  • I-901 SEVIS fee receipt
  • Financial documents provided when applying for Sofia program of study
  • Full CDC, COVID-19 vaccination record (noncitizen air travelers to the U.S. must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the U.S. remains in effect).
  • COVID-19 negative test result (show documentation of a negative viral test result taken within one day of the flight’s departure to the U.S. prior to boarding).

At the U.S. port of entry, you will be required to present your passport and I-20 to the immigration officer who will stamp your passport. In most cases, the officer notes “D/S” (Duration of Status) on your passport pages. This means you are allowed to stay in the U.S. for the length of time indicated on your I-20, provided that you maintain full-time enrollment and a valid F-1 visa status.

Ensure your passport is properly stamped before exiting the immigration inspection area. Do not enter the U.S. in visitor status (B-1/B-2, WT, or WB). This status does not permit full-time study in the U.S. After your arrival, print your Admission (I-94) number at and keep a copy of all travel documents (I-94 information, F-1 visa, and I-20) for your personal records. Ensure your I-94 print out contains the correct information, including F-1 visa status and “Duration of Status.”

If you have any additional questions about the visa process, do not hesitate to reach out to for additional follow-up.