Getting to northern Arizona
Be sure to read the following information regarding your initial entry to the US (the first time you come to the US with your new student visa) carefully to ensure you are prepared to travel to the US to begin your studies.
Initial entry to the US
When can I enter the US? Accordion Closed
F1 and J1 students can enter the US up to 30 days prior to the program start date located on their I-20 or DS-2019.
What can I bring to the US? Accordion Closed
Be sure to check your airline’s policy for carry-ons and checked bags. Remember to consider what is and is not allowed to bring to the US. Information about restricted items and limitations can be located on the TSA website.
How should I prepare? Accordion Closed
Have your immigration documents ready and be prepared to show them to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer when entering the United States. Do not pack your immigration documents in your luggage because you will not have access to your luggage when at the US port of entry.
At the US port-of-entry, you will need the following documents ready:
- passport and F-1 or J-1 visa
- original form I-20 or DS-2019 from NAU (do not forget to sign your form)
- NAU admission letter
- SEVIS I-901 fee payment confirmation
- evidence of financial support
What should I expect at the port of entry? Accordion Closed
The CBP officer will ask you a few questions about why you are traveling to the US. Remember to remain calm and answer any questions the CBP officer may ask you. Be honest and confident! Explain that you are coming to study at Northern Arizona University. You might be required to go through a secondary inspection or additional screening, which is not uncommon.
What do I receive as proof of my legal entry? Accordion Closed
When you are admitted, the CBP officer may provide you with an admission sticker on your passport that shows the following:
- The day of your entry to the US.
- Duration of Status (D/S): this indicates that you may remain in the US as long as you maintain your immigration status.
- Immigration Status: this indicates the type of visa by which you were admitted to the US.
An I-94 arrival record will typically be issued in a digital format when entering via air or sea, and on a small white piece of paper when entering via a land border. Your I-94 includes a unique admission number that serves as proof of your legal status, the class of admission, and the duration of your stay (D/S). You will be able to access your I-94 online from the official I-94 website after your arrival to the US. If you believe the information on your I-94 is incorrect, please contact us at email@example.com.
Getting to Flagstaff
There are multiple options on how to travel to Flagstaff. There is a small airport in Flagstaff and a larger airport in Phoenix.
Flying into Flagstaff Accordion Closed
The Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is a short 15 minute drive from NAU’s campus. You can either take the Airport Shuttle or a rideshare service (such as Uber or Lyft) to travel to campus. This is the most convenient option.
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport shuttle Accordion Closed
The Center for International Education provides a free shuttle from the Flagstaff Pulliam airport on select dates for all new international students. After you have made your travel arrangements, you can sign up for the shuttle by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, flight details, and campus drop-off location.
Flying into Phoenix Accordion Closed
The Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is about two hours away from Flagstaff. If you choose to fly into Phoenix, you can book a shuttle to travel from the airport to Flagstaff.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport shuttle Accordion Closed
Groome Transportation provides shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Flagstaff. The cost is approximately $50 one-way, and shuttles are available throughout the day and until late in the evening. There is a shuttle drop-off location available on the NAU campus. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Please check their website for availability.
FlixBus from Phoenix to Flagstaff Accordion Closed
FlixBus is another option for onward travel from Phoenix to Flagstaff. The cost for a one-way ticket is approximately $20 and the travel time is approximately 3 hours. The shuttle only runs certain days of the week and only has 1 departure time from Phoenix on those dates. Students considering this option should plan ahead and coordinate their flight arrival to Phoenix with availability of the FlixBus service.
Travel within the US
It is important that you carry the originals of the following immigration documents anytime you leave Flagstaff:
- Your passport and visa
- Copy of I-94
- Your I-20 or DS-2019 (no travel signature is required for traveling within the US)
Travel outside the US/ reentry to the US
Learn more about international travel and reentry to the US.
What if I need to contact NAU ISSS?
Non-medical emergencies: 1-800-285-3943
Outside the US and Canada: 602-234-9105