Immigrations and Customs
You will have to go through customs and immigration at your port of entry, which is the first US city your plane lands. Before landing, the flight attendant will distribute customs declaration forms and immigration forms. Keep your passport, I-20/IAP-66 and filled immigration forms ready for inspection as soon as you land.
Even if your luggage is booked for your final destination, it will be off-loaded at your port of entry. After passing through the immigration area, you will collect your baggage and then pass through the customs. Then you have to check in your luggage again. Don’t worry; there are clear signs that indicate all this.
As far as edibles go, just remember that there should be no fruits, vegetables or anything raw. Pickles, Spices, etc will be allowed in as long as they are packed properly and sealed.
To catch a connecting flight
If you have to continue your journey, check in at the appropriate airline counter for the connecting flight as soon as you land in. In most airports, you have to change terminals to board your connecting flight. Please ask the airline representative at the counter about changing terminals. These counters are, usually, right outside the customs area. You can use the Airport Transport System, if available, to change your terminal.
Missed your connecting Flight?
In case your flight landed late, or the onward flight is cancelled, it is the responsibility of your airline to arrange for another flight. If the delay involves an overnight stay, the airline will pay for your stay as well as for your meals.
Please don’t panic if it so happens that your flight arrives late and the time for the connecting flight is too near (say, within the next 10-15 minutes) for you to make it through Immigration and Customs delays. Simply follow the same actions outlined above and get your airline to arrange things for you. Be assured that you would not be stranded at the port of entry. Airlines will figure a way out to get you to your final destination. Don’t be rude, but be firm while dealing with the airline representatives.
We suggest that you call ISA and let them know of the changes in your schedule so that someone can pick you up at the new time. (See, the quarters come in handy here!! Airlines representative may also help you in informing the ISA/person coming to pick you up, about the flight delay)
Misplaced / Lost Baggage
In case your baggage does not arrive when you landed, do not waste too much time hunting for it. Mention it to the airline representative and give them a forwarding address with phone number where you can be reached. They will take care of your luggage. In any event, do not miss your connecting flight.
For other information and visa related questions, please visit the following websites:
Note : All information present here is collected through internet , previous personal experiences, some other universities ISA sites and many different other forums/blogs. This information is general experiences of an individual, you might have to take some other actions. Its just to help or guide you; don’t totally rely on this.