Preparing for Your Trip to the United States
Before you leave for the United States, familiarize yourself with the different kinds of documents you might need. It is always a good idea to carry your original documents with you at all times. Do not put them in your checked baggage.
It is also a good idea to make at least two sets of copies of these documents: one copy to leave with your family before you depart and one extra copy for yourself. Here is a list of the important immigration documents:
- Visa; and
- Form DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Program Status.”
Arriving in the United States should be a smooth experience if you have everything ready.
Reporting to your Sponsor
You may enter the United States within the 30 days preceding your official program start date, which is recorded in SEVIS. You must report to your sponsor by the program start date listed on your DS-2019.
It is best to contact your U.S. sponsor immediately after entering the country to confirm your arrival.
If you cannot enter the United States for the term listed on your DS-2019 or if you will be late by a few days, immediately contacts your U.S. sponsor so that they can accurately enter this information in your SEVIS record.
In addition, we encourage students to take advantage of the “travel” portion of the Summer Work and Travel Program.
When visiting the U.S., be sure to get a taste both of the vibrant cities and of the magnificent natural beauty. From the skyscrapers of New York City to the snowy mountains of Colorado, from the deserts of Arizona to the national monuments of Washington D.C., the U.S. has a wide variety of sites that impress millions of visitors each year.
Ten ways to get a taste of the best of the U.S.:
- Take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) in California, which runs along the breath-taking coastline. Be sure to stop and see the bustle of Los Angeles, the tranquility of secluded Big Sur, and the beautiful beaches of Carmel, all before crossing San Francisco’s world-famous Golden Gate Bridge.
- Shop! Eat! Shop! Eat! Cities large and small, from Seattle to Los Angeles to Chicago to Dallas to Miami to New York, have fantastic stores and restaurants that you can visit, try, and take home some of their items with you.
- Sample the classic American architecture of Chicago, visit Navy Pier, the Art Institute, or go see a Chicago Cubs baseball game in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. The “City That Works,” Chicago is a major manufacturing and transportation hub and home to vibrant immigrant communities from throughout the world.
- Explore the unique landscape of Arizona, from the desert of Tucson to the red rocks of Sedona. Then visit the state capitol, Phoenix, one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.
- Take in the history to be found in Philadelphia. Visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the U.S. Constitution was written, and make a stop to see the Liberty Bell, which rang before the first public reading of the Declaration.
- See the wonders of Glacier National Park in Montana. A great place to hike, camp, bike, and fish, the park possesses some of the most striking natural beauty to be found in the U.S., right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Be sure to drive down Going-to-the-Sun Road for the magnificent views.
- Wander through the streets of New York City, from the Financial District, Chinatown, Soho, and Greenwich Village up through Midtown, the theater district, and Museum Mile. Also take an entire day and walk the entire length of Manhattan on Broadway. Don’t forget to take in some professional sports games by seeing the New York Knicks or the New York Yankees in action.
- Sample the flavors of the American South. Try Tennessee, where you can visit the home of Elvis Presley, check out some country music in Nashville, or just drink in the serenity of the tree-lined streets and beautiful old mansions. For some Cajun vibes, explore New Orleans, filled with great jazz, amazing seafood, and a party scene that never stops. Or explore cosmopolitan Atlanta, the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics, renowned for its beauty and its cultural prominence.
- Visit Yellowstone Park, which contains close to sixty percent of the world’s geysers, including the famed Old Faithful. View the park’s incredible diversity of wildlife, including moose, elk, bison, coyotes, bobcats, and bighorn sheep.
- And of course, no visit to the United States would be complete without seeing the monuments and museums of the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Take a tour the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and the Washington Monument, and visit the fantastic museums run by the Smithsonian Institution, where admission is free.
To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:
- Address: 95 Wireless Road,
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
- E-mail Inquiries:
Email inquiries for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call Center representatives are available:
Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (excluding Thai and U.S. holidays)
Local telephone: 02-105 4110; from the U.S. (703)-665-7349
Security Regulations when Visiting the Embassy or Consulate
Forbidden Items and Entry Regulations:
Embassy security procedures require that all visitors receive a security inspection. You will be allowed to check one cell phone at the Embassy gate but the US Embassy and the Embassy guards are not liable for any loss or damage to your cell phone while it is checked. You will NOT be allowed to enter the U.S. Embassy for your appointment carrying any of the following items:
- Any other battery-operated or electronic devices such as computer tablets, digital diaries, pagers, cameras, audio/video cassettes, compact discs, MP3s, floppy disks, laptops, or portable music players.
- Any oversize shoulder bags or purses.
- Any oversize handbags and travel bags, large back-packs, briefcases, or suitcases. Applicants can only carry in clear bags containing papers needed for their appointment
- Any food item (there is a coffee stand with snacks available for purchase).
- Sealed envelopes or packages.
- Cigarettes / cigars / match boxes / lighters.
- Any sharp objects such as scissors, pen knives or nail files.
- Weapons or explosive materials of any kind.
The list provided above is not exhaustive. Other items may be prohibited at the discretion of security staff. Other than the one allowed cell phone, the US Embassy will not accept the storage of any of the above prohibited items. You will have to make alternate arrangements to store these items before you enter the Embassy.
Only visa applicants with confirmed appointments will be granted access on to the Embassy compound. Accompanying persons are required to wait outside the Embassy entrance.
If you fail to follow these security requirements you may face delays or cancellations to your visit.