Entering the U.S.
When you first enter the U.S., you will immediately go through an immigration and customs inspection with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). You will only go through the inspection process at the airport where you first enter the U.S. Make sure you allow 2 to 4 hours to complete the inspection process.
There are some airports outside the U.S. where you may go through this inspections process prior to your departure. These “Preclearance Locations” can be found here: https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance.
When you enter the U.S. you must bring all of your immigration documents with you, and keep them with you at all times when you travel. Do not put your immigration documents in your luggage! You will be required to go through the inspection before you will be allowed to collect your luggage.
Carry the following documents with you to present to CBP:
- Passport (with at least 6 months of future validity)
- I-20 for F students, or DS-2019 for J students
- Valid visa
- SEVIS fee receipt (for F-1 and J-1 students)
- Proof of finances for your study in the U.S., including for the support of dependents who accompany you
- Letter of admission to the University of Kansas
The CBP officer will examine all of your documents, and may ask you several questions about why you are traveling to the U.S. and how you plan to finance your stay. Politely and honestly answer the CBP officer’s questions. The CBP officer will then decide if you will be admitted to the United States.
You may be sent to another area for a second inspection with a CBP officer. The CBP officer’s decision to send a person to secondary inspection is sometimes random, or it may be because they decided they needed more time to look at your documents and perform additional inspections. It is important to remain calm and polite during the inspection process.
Once the CBP officer has made the decision to admit you to the U.S., you will be photographed, fingerprinted and an admission stamp will be put in your passport. The stamp will indicate the status you are being given (F-1, J-1 etc). Your arrival will be registered electronically. Afterwards you can log into the CBP website at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov to view and print a copy of your I-94, a document that verifies your legal entry.
When you leave the inspection area, make sure you do not leave any of your documents behind! Once you have finished the inspection process, you will be able to claim your luggage and continue on your way.
Make sure you enter the U.S. before your program start date!
Transportation from the Airport to Lawrence
If you are flying in, you will need to connect into Kansas City International Airport (Airport Code=MCI). The ride from the airport to Lawrence is approximately one hour. We encourage you to carefully view the choices below for reserving a ride to Lawrence before you arrive in Kansas City.
If you are a new KU international student for a fall or spring semester, limited free shuttle transportation is available through a Lawrence church based community organization. Please email email@example.com with the following information:
- E-mail address
- Flight number
- Arrival date and time to Kansas City
The shuttle coordinator will be in contact with you to confirm your pick-up shortly after you e-mail.
Depending on demand there may be an airport shuttle coordinated through KU for a $65 fee*. This shuttle runs only on the program start date for a fall or spring orientation. If available, information will be provided in an email about a month before a fall or spring orientation begins.
*Subject to change each semester
You can make your own reservations with a commercial shuttle, a taxi, or a car rental company for transportation from the airport to Lawrence. Below is information about various companies currently connecting from the Kansas City airport to Lawrence:
- Flat Rate
- Flat rate means that this is the total cost of the shuttle reservation, regardless of whether or not it is used by only one passenger or more than one passenger.
- Shared Ride
- Shared ride means that you pay the specified amount to reserve your space in a shuttle that may also be providing transportation to other individuals.
Please note - For any of these services, it is customary to tip the driver 15% of the charge.
What is an I-94?
Your I-94 tracks your arrival and departures from the U.S. It also says what status you were admitted to and how long you're able to stay.
Note: Your I-94 becomes available AFTER you enter the U.S.
How do I find my I-94?
Once you arrive in the U.S. your I-94 document will be available on the government website. Please print the document once you arrive in the U.S. Legally, you are required to carry your I-94 with you at all-times. Upon arrival, you may visit the following website to retrieve your I-94.
You will get a NEW I-94 with a NEW admission number every time you enter the U.S. You should have the letters "D/S" on your I-94, which means that you are admitted to the U.S. for the "Duration of Status", or for as long as your are maintaining status - this is typically the time that it takes for you to complete your degree/program.
After you have entered the U.S., retrieve your I-94 record, and upload it to iHawk on the "ISS Check-in" tab.