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Entering the U.S.


You must have a student visa before entering the United States.

After receiving your visa, check to see that you have received the right type of visa and that your name and date of birth are free of errors and match the information on your passport. See Visa Application for more information about the student visa procedures and checklist.

Already have a student visa? Then let's start preparing to enter the U.S.

As you get ready to arrive in New Mexico, be sure to prepare your documents for travel. You MUST carry the original documents below in your carry-on bag (NOT in your checked luggage) and make sure that they are accessible at all times while traveling to and within the United States:

  • Form I-20 (for F-1 Students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 Students)
  • Valid passport with current F-1 or J-1 visa
  • NMSU Letter of Admission
  • Original supporting financial documents (Assistantship, scholarship, Financial Guarantee, bank statements)
  • SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt Notice
  • The name and contact information of your Designated School Official found on your I-20 or DS-2019

ISSS also highly recommends that you carry the following:

  • Copy of immunization records
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test reports - if already taken in your home country or in a different state
  • COVID test result - please check if your airling requires it before travelling

We recommend that you keep a copy of each document in your checked luggage and one with your family at home.

At the U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport or a land port), you will present the abovementioned documents to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. Admission to the U.S. is solely at the discretion of CBP officials. Once you are permitted to enter the U.S., the CBP officials will provide an admission stamp and Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.


Additional Information

  • If your spouse and children will be coming to the U.S. with you, be sure to have their I-20 or DS-2019 forms and passports available.
  • You cannot arrive more than 30 days before your program start date, but please make sure to be in New Mexico by the program start date at the latest.
  • For an initial admission, the school specified on your visa must match the I-20 you use at the port of entry. If you have received admission to more than one U.S. school, your decision regarding which school you will attend must be made prior to your visa appointment.
  • Once you arrive, please contact us ( as soon as possible so that we can register your arrival in SEVIS.
  • To maintain your F-1 or J-1 status, complete the immigration check-in with ISSS.

Getting to NMSU



NMSU Main Campus

NMSU main campus is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Locate NMSU ▸


El Paso International Airport

El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas, is 45 minutes driving distance from NMSU

Discover ELP Airport ▸


Shuttle Services

There are various shuttle options to get to NMSU, including Las Cruces Transportation – free with valid photo ID and Aggie ID number (by reservation only).

See Las Cruces Transportation ▸