The information below is intended solely as an overview and is only meant for current students and scholars whose visas have been sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania. Students or scholars whose visas have been sponsored by other entities, should contact their visa sponsors for travel advice and requisite signatures.
- It is recommended that all international students and scholars see or contact an ISSS advisor before committing to travel plans.
- Depending on the visa type, obtaining the necessary documentation for international travel will likely involve the approval of several government agencies (DOS, CBP, ICE, USCIS, DOL, or in the case of a passport, the home country government).
- Any missing item could take more time than expected to obtain or replace.
NEW: Automated I-94 Process (effective April 30, 2013)
Effective April 30, 2013, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has begun automating the Form I-94 process at air and sea ports by eliminating the paper Form I-94. Foreign nationals, entering via air and sea ports, only receive an entry (or admission) stamp in their passports which includes their date of entry, class of admission, port of entry and their status expiration date. At the time of immigration inspection at the port of entry, CBP will distribute a tear sheet with information about procedures for obtaining a printout I-94 to each foreign traveler who is issued an electronic I-94.
Obtaining a U.S. Entry Visa - Department of State (DOS)
Entry visas are issued by the U.S. Department of State and are obtained at US Embassies or Consulates abroad. The visa applicant should present the visa application materials during a scheduled interview at a US Embassy or Consular post in his or her home country.
Admission to the U.S. - Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Admission to the United States is granted by the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Individuals applying for admission will receive I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (either stamp if air or sea ports, or paper card if land border) at or soon before reaching a U.S. Port of Entry (POE).