Office of International Students & Programs

Important information for F-1 student travelers

Dear students,

It has come to my attention that Customs and Border Protection or CBP may have begun performing secondary inspections for ALL incoming international students as they arrive at port of entries or POE. What does this mean? Custom and Border Protection agents and they immigration agents who check your passport as you arrive in the airport in the USA or drive across the border at Canada or Mexico. Normally, most international students will only go through what is referred to as “primary inspection”. This is a short process that takes one or two minutes. However you will likely now also be directed through to secondary inspection where someone will more closely examine your immigration record. This “secondary inspection” process is also sometimes refered to as passport checking or visa checking. This process can take up to 3 hours which can cause you to miss your connecting flight. As such we strongly recommend all students to book connecting flights  with a gap of at least 3 hours when entering the USA.

Here is a news article that goes into more detail about the origins of this new process:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-03/politics/38999935_1_border-agents-student-visa-border-protection

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