You must arrive in the United States no earlier than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your Form I-20 (see section 5) or Form DS-2019 (see section 3) and no later than this date. If you attempt to enter the U.S. after this report date, you may be denied entry.
As of April, 2013, if you travel by air, you will not need to complete the I-94 Arrival-Departure form. If you are driving, you will receive a Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record. Carefully complete the Form I-94 and make sure to write your name exactly as it appears on the visa stamp in your passport. If you are exempt from the visa requirement, write your name exactly as it appears on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. Write your date of birth in the order of day/month/year.
At the U.S. port of entry, you will need to present the following documents to the inspections officer (do not pack these items in your checked luggage):
The inspections officer will use the US-VISIT system and take a digital photograph of you and scan your fingerprints. The officer will mark on your passport or your I-94 either “J-1” and “D/S” or “F-1” and “D/S,” depending on your visa. “D/S” means that you can remain in the U.S. as long as you remain a student in valid immigration status. If the officer does not mark on your passport or your I-94 with the proper status or "D/S" or "F-1" and "D/S," ask the officer to correct it immediately.