Entry to the US
Helpful tips to avoid difficulties at the US Port of Entry
- If this is your first time arriving at Fresno State campus, make sure to bring a valid passport, valid visa, I-20 with the current semester program start date, admission letter, financial documents, COVID-19 vaccination documentation, unofficial Fresno State transcript if you have enrolled in classes.
- Check for any travel restrictions or requirements before your departure to see if any updated restrictions that may apply to you.
- At the border:
- If asked, provide answers truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. Do not volunteer unrelated or unnecessary information.
- Remember that your main goal as an F-1 visa holder is to study, not to pursue employment in the U.S. Therefore, if asked, provide appropriate answers.
- Make sure to carry all important documents mentioned above in carry-on luggage, not check-in luggages.
- If asked, confidently tell officials at the border that Fresno State is offering both in person and virtual courses this semester. We are NOT a fully online university.
- If you are traveling back to the United States and need a travel signature or new I-20 or DS-2019, don't panic! When you reach your port of entry, explain the situation to the officer, and ask the officer to admit you to the United States with an I-515A. The I-515A will allow you entry to the United States in F-1 or J-1 status for 30 days. If you get an I-515A at the port, visit the International Office, and we will help you complete the requirements.
If the U.S. port of entry requires confirmation of your information from Fresno State, you may contact the Campus Police at 559-278-8400 (24 hours/7 days a week), who would be able to get hold of the International Office staff in a timely manner.
Getting to Fresno
You may arrive in Fresno through different ways:
Fresno has its own airport coded as FAT. When you purchase the international air ticket, you may choose Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) as your destination. The international flight from your home country may be connected through airports in other cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle etc, before arriving at Fresno Yosemite International Airport which is 15 minutes by taxi or car to Fresno State campus.
Although most students would choose to arrive by airplane, you may also have the option to arrive in Fresno by Greyhound. Greyhound buses are a convenient and cheap way to travel to other cities or states. Their terminal is located downtown at 1033 Broadway (Broadway and Tulare) in Fresno (15 minutes by taxi/car to Fresno State campus). For fare and schedule information call 1-800-231-2222 or the Fresno terminal at 559-268-1829. Tickets may be purchased by going online to www.greyhound.com. A variety of promotions and special prices are available on their website.
Fresno also has a train station that you may choose to arrive at. The main train service is Amtrak, and it is located downtown at 2650 Tulare, Bldg. B (Tulare and Q Street), 15 minutes by taxi/car to Fresno State campus. For Fresno Station information you can call 559-486-7651. For reservation and schedule information call 1-800-872-7245 or go on-line at www.amtrak.com or www.amtrakcalifornia.com.
If your final destination is the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT), the
readily available transportation from the airport to your destination (dormitory/apartment/friend’s
house) is taking a taxi (cab) outside the airport, or using a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft (about $15-$25).
Make sure you have cash (about $30) if you are taking a cab and the address to your destination. If you are staying at an apartment, make prior arrangements with the apartment manager to meet you within one or two hours of your arrival at FAT to check you into the apartment. If you arrive after office hours, you may need to check into a hotel to spend the night. See these links for hotel choices that are close to Fresno State:
University Square Hotel (5 - minute walk to campus)
University Inn (5 - minute walk to campus)
Holiday Inn Express (30 - minute walk to campus)
- University Square Hotel (5 - minute walk to campus)
4961 North Cedar Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726
Budget Friendly Option
- University Inn (5 - minute walk to campus)
2655 E Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93710 (max stay 5 consecutive days)
Budget Friendly Option
- Holiday Inn Express (30 - minute walk to campus, bus available)
650 West Shaw Avenue, Clovis, CA 93612
Ask for Special Fresno State Rate
- Sonesta ES Suites Fresno (Bus to campus)
5322 North Diana Ave, Fresno, CA 93710
For Special Fresno State Rate provide PROMO CODE either online or over the phone: FRSA
For a list of other hotels and view hotel rates in the vicinity, check this link:
All new students need to complete a mandatory check-in regardless if you are here in the US or you wish to take online classes overseas. The check-in is mandatory by the US government. Not completing the check-in link may result in severe immigration consequences, such as I-20 termination.
Documents to upload during Check-In
- Copy of passport
- Copy of I-20
- Copy of Visa if available
- Copy of I-94
- Meet your International Advisor in the International Office