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Welcome to TAMUCC. We are happy to know that you have chosen to attend Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

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welcome to tamucc
Welcome to TAMUCC

We are happy to know that you have chosen to attend Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

The information that follows is intended to give you an overview of the process that you will go through to get your visa and make your journey to the U.S. and ultimately to Corpus Christi.

We are looking forward to seeing you next semester. Please review the information provided, and feel free to contact Karin Griffith at or 361/825-2258 if you have any questions.

getting here
Getting Here
  • This website, Homeland Security - Study in the States,

was created by the Department of Homeland Security

and provides valuable information about studying in

the United States and how to maintain your status.

Please take time to review this website.

applying for your visa
Applying for Your Visa
  • Allow as much time as possible for this process, as it can take up to three months from the date of your interview to process your visa.
  • Visit the website of the consulate/embassy where you plan to apply for your visa to make sure you are following their instructions.
  • Complete the DS-160 (click here for information)
    • This is done online
    • You will need a current passport-style photo, your I-20, and a valid passport
    • Schedule your visa appointment
    • This can be done online
    • You will need the barcode number from your completed DS-160
  • This video, (view video) from the Department of State provides tips on the visa application process.
applying for your visa1
Applying for Your Visa
  • Complete Form I-901 and pay your SEVIS I-901 fee on line. Click here to learn more about SEVIS Form I-901.
  • To complete Form I-901:
    • You will need the recent From I-20
    • Before making the payment, make sure that your personal information on the I-20 is correct, particularly your name and date of birth.
    • If the information is not correct, DO NOT continue to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. You must contact Ms. Karin Griffith at to obtain a corrected Form I-20.
  • Be sure to check the website listed above for additional information to complete the Form I-901.
  • Attend your visa interview
    • Be prompt
    • Answer questions honestly and completely
    • If you are asked to submit additional information, do so quickly and follow instructions
    • A visa entitles you to travel to the U.S. and apply for admission to the U.S. A visa does not

guarantee entrance to the U.S. An immigration officer at the Port of Entry will determine your eligibility for admission into the U.S.

things to do before leaving home bacterial meningitis vaccination
Things To Do Before Leaving Home Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination
  • Effective January 2012, all students under age 30 entering an institution of higher Education in the State of Texas are REQUIRED to either receive the Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination. Please carefully review the Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Policy for information on valid proof of vaccination or valid proof of vaccination exemption.
  • You will NOT be allowed to register for classes until this requirement is met.
  • This requirement applies to students living on-campus AND students living off-campus. Students will NOT be allowed in university housing without proper evidence of vaccination.
  • Evidence of vaccination must verify that the vaccine was received at least 10 days prior to the first day of class.
things to do before leaving home
Things To Do Before Leaving Home
  • Review your College website for information concerning your program.
  • Visit the Student Affairs webpage and review the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct.
  • It is important that the Office of International Education has someone to contact in case of emergencies. It is best to list multiple emergency contacts. Include their home address, e-mail address, and phone number. A close family member, someone in the U.S., someone who speaks English, and / or someone who can translate between English and your native language. Please e-mail this information to Ms. Karin Griffith at .
  • View this video, US Visit for International Travelers, created by the Department of Homeland Security, about arrival to the U.S.
arriving in the u s
Arriving in the U.S.
  • Be sure to keep the following items with your person when you travel. Do not store these items in your suitcase.
    • Passport
    • I-20
    • When you arrive at the airport, land border, or sea port in the U.S., you are arriving at a “Port of Entry “ (POE).
    • The officers at the POE work for Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    • You will complete a CBP Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and a CBP Declaration Form.

-If you are arriving by air, the airline staff will give you the forms to fill out before you land

      • If you are arriving by land or sea, the CBP officer at the POE will you the forms to fill out upon your arrival
      • Be sure to declare all items you are bringing into the U.S. on the CBP Declaration Form.
      • Remember that CBP officers have authority to search / inspect all individuals, luggage and merchandise
arriving in the u s tips for form i 94
Arriving in the U.S. Tips for Form I-94
  • Use standard United States characters and PRINT clearly. Letters such as Ñ, É, Ü, Ç are not recognized by U.S. data systems. Please use N, E, U, or C instead. All letters must be CAPITALIZED.
  • If you have only one name, enter it in the Family Name block. Use the letters FNU in the First Name block. Print your name exactly as it appears on your Form I-20.
  • Spacing is as important as spelling and must be consistent and match the official passport.
    • For example: some data systems will not read Min Ho Kim and Minho Kim as the same name.
    • Hyphens must NOT be used

NO: Gutierrez-Smith

YES: Gutierrez Smith

      • Date of birth must be given in DAY/MONTH/YEAR order. This is NOT the same order that appears on the I-20 form.
arriving in the u s more tips for form i 94
Arriving in the U.S. More Tips for Form I-94
  • After entering the U.S., check the completed I-94 to make sure that it states “F-1 D/S.”
  • Make a copy of the I-94 and put it in a safe place (You will give a copy of your I-94 to Ms. Karin Griffith, the International Student Services Coordinator, once you arrive on campus).
  • Safeguard the original I-94 by stapling to your passport.
  • DO NOT LOSE YOUR I-94. It costs over $300 to replace it. You can visit USCIS to learn more about replacing your I-94 card.
arriving in the u s walking through customs
Arriving in the U.S. Walking through Customs

A CBP officer will guide you through the inspection process. You should have your travel documents ready, such as your passport, I-20, I-94, and CBP Declaration Form.

The officer will review your travel documents and ask questions, such as why you are visiting the U.S. and how long you will stay.

If all your documents are in order and you are admitted, the CBP officer will stamp your passport, I-94, and I-20 and will note your visa type and how long your are allowed to stay in the U.S. on both your I-94 and I-20.

The Officer will scan your fingerprints and take your photograph with a digital camera.

The officer should write D/S (Duration of Status) on your I-94. Duration of Status means you can stay in the U.S. as long as you are in status as a student AND you have a valid I-20.

You will be directed to collect your luggage and proceed through Customs.

Claim your luggage, submit your declaration form and get the luggage inspected before connecting to another flight or leaving the airport.

arriving in the u s walking through customs1
Arriving in the U.S. Walking through Customs

CBP Inspection Process:

  • As indicated in the prior slide, a CPB officer will inspect all your documents at the Port of Entry to determine if you are allowed to enter the U.S.
  • If clear, the officer will stamp you passport, I-20, and declaration form, and issue an I-94 card:
arriving in the u s more on customs and border protection
Arriving in the U.S. More on Customs and Border Protection
  • The following goods (and many more) are restricted and cannot be brought into the U.S.
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Ceramic tableware
    • Cultural artifacts and property
    • Drug paraphernalia
    • Firearms
    • Food products
    • Gold
    • Medication
    • Plans, seeds, and soil
    • Pets
    • For more information and a full list of restricted/prohibited items, visit the CBP website

arriving in the u s declaration of monetary instruments
Arriving in the U.S.Declaration of Monetary Instruments
  • According to CBP regulations, you must declare all cash, checks, money orders and other monetary instruments if the total amount exceeds $10,000, and you must fill out a form of Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments.
  • If persons traveling together have $10,000 or more, they CANNOT divide the currency between them to avoid declaring the currency.
  • Whatever you should have declared but didn’t, will be subject to seizure.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website provides information on currency reporting and you can download Customs Form 4790 to declare your monetary instruments. Please click here for more details.
arriving in the u s helpful hints
Arriving in the U.S.Helpful Hints
  • Leave enough time for your flight connection, as the inspection process may take a long time.
  • You CANNOT arrive in the U.S. more than THIRTY days before the start date of your I-20. If you do, you may be required a secondary inspections at the Port of Entry or even be sent home.
  • It is recommended that you have your financial proof documents with you at the POE.
  • Carry some small bills and coins with you, in case you need to make a phone call or pay for a luggage cart.
arriving in the u s getting to corpus christi
Arriving in the U.S.Getting to Corpus Christi
  • There are flights to the Corpus Christi International Airport

from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and other cities.

  • If you have not made prior arrangements to be picked up

by friends or family, you can take a taxi from the airport to

your housing.

This option will cost you between $40 and $50.

  • For on campus housing information, please visit Camden Miramar. For off-campus housing, the TAMUCC recommends that you click here to help you search for housing nearby.

Please send an e-mail to Ms. Karin Griffith to let her know you have completed this orientation. Your feedback to improve this presentation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Stop by Ms. Karin Griffith’s office in CCH 126 when you first come to campus. Please bring your Passport, I-94, and I-20. TAMUCC is required to check these documents to confirm your status in the United States.

We look forward to your arrival.