U.S. immigration regulations state that new students entering on an F-1 or J-1 student visa will only be eligible to enter the U.S. thirty calendar days or less prior to the beginning of the program date or start date, as given on the SEVIS I-20/DS-2019.
For new F-1 students, this reporting date is indicated on #5 of the I-20. For J-1 students, the program start date is indicated on section #3 on the DS-2019. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S. since students cannot enter the U.S. earlier than 30 calendar days before this date.
Please check the International Student Orientation to confirm the dates of all orientations on campus. Students who have been given a housing assignment may be able to move into that residence earlier than the given move-in date to attend the orientation. To inquire about early move-in, please contact the Housing office at (209) 667-3675 or email at email@example.com. Students should do this as early as possible, since early move-in is not guaranteed.
It is recommended you arrive at least two weeks before the orientation. Although the arrival date may vary depending on each student's individual situation.
Planning for Departure
Before departing for CSU Stanislaus, it is important for students to inform all concerned parties of arrival plans and update them regularly:
- Remember to confirm your acceptance to the University; also known as “intent to enroll”.
- To accept go online to: http://my.csustan.edu and log in with one of the following methods: As a New User, select the initial sign-in under the “Password and Sign-in Information” to create “initial Sign In”.
- Refer to your admission letter for University Email and University ID number.
- For the last four digits of your social security number; enter 9999 as the default social security number. This initial sign-in is for first-time users only.
Arrival at US Port
Most new international students generally arrive at the San Francisco International (SFO) Airport, about a 90 minutes drive from campus. For most students, it will be their Port of Entry (POE), the first entry point into the U.S. as a legal non-immigrant.
Please find below a guide on procedures on the aircraft, customs at the POE, and baggage claim.
On the Aircraft
Prior to landing, the flight attendant will distribute customs declaration forms and U.S. Customs and Border Protection forms. One important form is the I-94 arrival/departure document.
Important reminders when filling out I-94 document:
- Print clearly, with one letter in each space
- Date of Birth is in order of MONTH, DAY, YEAR
- Any mistakes will result in a correction procedure that is quite time consuming. Minor mistakes can cause major delays with certain applications that may be filed upon arriving on campus so please be attentive and careful when filling out the I-94 document.
The information requested on the Form I-94 includes:
- Family Name
- First Name
- Date of Birth
- Country of Citizenship
- Sex (Male or Female)
- Passport Number
- Airline and Flight Number (if applicable)
- Country Where You Live – Lawful Permanent Residence
- City Where You Boarded (if applicable)
- City Where Visa was Issued (if applicable)
- Date Issued (Day/Mo/Yr) (if applicable)
- Address While in the United States (Number and Street)
- City and State
Customs at the Port of Entry
Upon arrival, students will present their:
- Passport and Visa
- I-94 document
- The top of the I-94 document is the arrival record and a CBP officer will collect this.
- The bottom portion is a departure record which must be returned upon exiting the U.S. in accordance with the direction on the back.
- The I-94 card is an important document that is the official record of admission and permission to remain in the U.S.
- The officer will stamp it and staple it to the passport; don't attempt to remove it.
After reviewing the documents and updating the student’s SEVIS record with the entry information, the port of entry official will stamp the student’s I-20/DS-2019 and I-94 card and return the form.
The I-20/DS-2019 and I-94 card must be stamped by the port of entry official notating F-1 D/S or J-1 D/S (Duration of Status), date and location of arrival in the U.S. If this is not completed, please bring it to the attention of the port of entry official so that it can be stamped with this annotation.
While the Customs & Border Patrol officer is inspecting the immigration documents, students may be asked some general questions.
- Don't get agitated or nervous; it's just routine procedure.
- Always answer clearly, honestly and politely.
- If there is a problem, suggest that they contact Office of International Education.
After clearing customs, students should proceed to the Baggage Claim area to collect their bags. If the bags are not on the carousel, or they are marked, students should inform the airline service kiosk in the Baggage Claim area.
It may be necessary to meet with an U.S. Customs officials (or Agricultural Dept.) if the bags are marked. They may ask about the contents of the bags or ask to open them up.
Students should follow their instructions and answer their questions honestly and politely. Please bear in mind that the penalty for carrying contraband is very high and may result in deportation.
The Office of International Education provides an International Student Orientation for all new international students. The orientation will acquaint new students with University programs and services, and also provide tips on adjusting to life in California.
New students will learn about student life from a current student's perspective and attend sessions that assist in becoming familiar with the campus. Sessions will also be offered to explain U.S. immigration requirements and University policies and procedures.
Orientation is not only provided to acquaint new international students with the University, but is also provided to help students become more comfortable with the Turlock area and U.S. culture. CSU Stanislaus has a diverse student population and orientation will provide opportunities for students to meet people from all over the world.
Most often, the estimates that are cited on the I-20 on #8 or DS-2019 on #5 are sufficient to cover expenses. But students often hope that they will be able to survive on less, in the hopes of obtaining an on-campus job. Most on-campus jobs pay an hourly salary that may be sufficient to cover only some of the living expenses, but they are not a guaranteed source of income.
Financial aid and scholarships for international students are extremely limited and it is important to understand that personal/family funds will be the main resource for most students.
Setting up a Bank Account
Below are banking options on or near campus. The bank most frequently used by students is Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo bank has Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) on campus, and they have extensive experience working with international students.
2844 Geer Rd.
Turlock, CA 95382
Phone: (209) 656-2100
No matter which bank students choose, it is important to research each banking institution to see which one best fits their financial needs.
All international students are required to have health insurance and also must meet mandatory requirements for immunization. All students are required to enroll in the CSU insurance plan, on rare occasions students are waived out upon proof of comparable sponsor coverage (Example, Government Sponsor). The student Health Insurance Plan helps to cover the cost of health care that cannot be obtained at the University’s Health Center, especially in emergency situations where hospitalization may be required.
All new and readmitted students born on or after January 1, 1957 must provide proof of 2 immunizations for measles and rubella. Proof of measles and rubella immunization (104kb PDF) (or immunity) shall also be required for certain groups of enrolled students regardless of age who have increased exposure to these diseases. These groups include:
- Those residing in campus residence halls
- Students whose primary and secondary schooling were obtained outside the United States
- Students who are enrolled in any practicum, student teaching or field work involving pre-school age children or taking place in a hospital or health care setting
Proof of this requirement must be submitted to the Student Health Center in the Health Center Building and NOT to Enrollment Services. If you have inadvertently sent your proof to Enrollment Services, please resubmit to the Health Center. Enrollment Services does not forward these records to the Health Center. You can fax, mail, or drop off a copy of your proof of immunization.
All international students are required to obtain TB clearance through the Student Health Center during their first semester. TB tests are free of charge as long as you have paid the Student Health Fee in your tuition. TB Tests can be done:
Monday and Tuesday: 8:30am - 11:15am and 1:00pm - 4:15pm
*You will need to come back to the health center 48-72 hours to have your TB test read.
*The initial TB Clearance Form is free; any additional copies are $1.00 each.
Failure to provide this proof prior to your next registration period may result in a placement of a HOLD on one's records, thereby preventing registration for classes the following semester.
The cost of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine at the Student Health Center is $45. You may also inquire about getting the vaccine at your doctor’s office, local medical clinic, or county public health clinic.
The vaccine is available Monday through Friday at the Student Health Center. No appointment is necessary. For vaccine hours, see Immunizations.