What to Bring
You should copy all of your important documents before you come to the U.S. and leave the copies with family or friends at home in case you need someone to send these to you.
You should plan to bring the following with you to the US (do not pack these documents in your luggage!):
Passport with entry visa
I-20 or DS-2019 form (in most cases this will be enclosed in an envelope that the US Consulate has given you)
Proof of finances to support your stay in the US (if you are supported by the department you should bring the department’s offer letter)
Money to cover initial costs (approx. $4,000 in Traveler’s Checks or accessible cash via an ATM; do not bring more than $500 in cash)
International and home country driver’s licenses.
- Certified original copies of your birth certificate may be necessary for a driver’s permit or state ID.
According to US law, you must enter the US using the I-20 or DS-2019 from the institution you plan to attend first. If you enter the United States with a form from a university other than the University of New Mexico you will be required to report to and possibly attend that university before you will be eligible to transfer to UNM. At the U.S. port of entry, a customs official should stamp your passport and indicate the correct immigration status (F1 or J1) on the stamp. DO NOT ENTER THE U.S. on a B visitor’s visa or WB/WT visa waiver or you will be ineligible to study!!! Once you are able, you will need to print out the record of entry (form I-94) at cbp.gov/I94 and bring a copy to the GEO check in. This is an important document that records your current U.S. immigration status.
NOTE: Remember, you must bring the originals of these documents with you to the U.S. It is recommended that you also bring certified copies of your birth certificate and any national identification card.
Get copies of your immunization records (Measles, Mumps, Rubella [MMR] is required). You will need to provide these if there is an outbreak.
Bring prescriptions for any regular medications (plus several months’ worth of these medications)
Get extra eyeglasses if you need them – these are expensive in the U.S. and are usually not covered by insurance
Get your dental work done – dentistry in the U.S. is expensive and not covered by insurance
Buy an emergency travel insurance policy to cover you for medical emergencies if your health insurance is not yet in affect (UNM Student Health insurance starts on the first day of classes)
Bring proof of health insurance and policy exclusions and benefits information in English if you intend to apply for a waiver of the UNM student health insurance plan.
You should arrive with access to approximately $5,000 in U.S. travelers' checks or have access to that amount of money via an ATM card to cover initial costs. For your protection, do not carry more than $1000 in cash.