U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are now required to verify that every international student who enters the U.S. in F-1 and J-1 status has a valid SEVIS record. This means that students in F or J status, as well as dependents, will go through secondary inspection when entering the United States.
Additionally, F-1 students making a new entry (after termination of a prior SEVIS record) to regain valid status should expect additional questions about why they fell out of status in the US. Students in this situation should be able to provide evidence to prove that the violation of status was beyond their control.
International Student and Scholar Services has also been made aware that H-1B visa holders have been referred to secondary inspection for further documentation to prove their status. While this is not addressed in recent communications by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we advise all international students and scholars traveling and re-entering the U.S. this summer to please make sure you are traveling with all your documentation.
Additionally, please make sure that you allocate enough time in your travel schedule to plan for delays (possibly lengthy) during immigration processing at the port-of-entry (the first place you arrive when entering the U.S.).
If you experience a situation at a port-of-entry that needs the immediate assistance of our office, please call us at 512-471-2477 during business hours or outside of business hours, please call UTPD at 512-471-4441 to be referred to an ISSS representative.