What to Expect When You Arrive
Your journey to the UB will be the start of an exciting new
chapter in your life. Here are some tips to make your arrival in
the U.S. and Buffalo as smooth as possible!
What will happen when I arrive in the U.S.?
First, after deplaning you will proceed to passport control.
- An immigration officer will inspect your passport, U.S. visa
stamp, I-20 or DS-2019, and financial documentation.
- You will provide ten fingerprints and be photographed.
- Finally, once admitted to the U.S., you will be issued an I-94.
Paper I-94 cards are only issued at land borders (U.S. Canadian
Border or U.S. Mexican Border). If you make your initial entry to
the U.S. from a land border, the inspector will stamp your I-94
card, write your visa category and “D/S” on it, and
return all your immigration documents to you. If arrive in the U.S.
by plane, your I-94 will be electronic. To view and print your
electronic I-94, visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
If you receive a paper I-94
card, be sure to enter your name on it as it appears on your
passport and I-20 (not your U.S. visa stamp).
Second, you will proceed to the baggage claim area and go
- At your first city of arrival in the U.S., you will collect
your checked baggage (even if this city is not your final
- A customs inspector may examine your luggage to see what you
are bringing into the U.S.
- It is important to declare certain items at the border,
including plants, certain foods and large amounts of money.
- You must declare to the officer any amount of money above
$10,000 that you are carrying. This includes cash, money order,
certified check, travelers’ checks or letter of credit. If
you don’t, it can be seized.
- After exiting the customs area, you will place your baggage on
the "re-check" belt or give it to the baggage attendant (your bags
will then continue to Buffalo or to your final destination).
Always be honest
Never make false statements to a border officer as the penalty
for doing so is very severe.
What is the airport in Buffalo like?
- Buffalo Niagara Airport is a medium-sized airport with
approximately 30 gates. It is very safe and clean. If you need
assistance, airport staff will help you.
- The arrivals and baggage claim areas are on the lower
- A currency exchange office is available on the upper level.
However, this office is open only for limited hours and only
converts Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars. Therefore, we recommend
that you exchange your local currency to U.S. dollars in your home
country or at a U.S. bank after you arrive.
What do I do if my baggage is delayed or lost?
Sometimes baggage is delayed or lost. If that happens to you,
you should go to the airline office in the baggage claim area
(lower level) to file a report. When the airline finds your
baggage, they will fly it to Buffalo Niagara airport. When it
arrives, the airline will deliver it to you at your hotel or
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you provide an accurate Buffalo
address and telephone number when you report your lost luggage. If
you provide a phone number that doesn’t work, the airline
will not be able to reach you when your luggage arrives or make
arrangements to deliver it to you.
How should I go to UB or my temporary housing from the airport?
The best way is to take a taxi. Airport Taxi Service (ATS)
charges approximately $30 to drive one person to UB’s North
Campus and $20 to UB’s South Campus. It should take 15-20
minutes to reach either campus from the airport. While not
required, it is common to give the taxi driver (and any airport
staff) a small tip if they help you with your bags ($1 – $2
per bag is appropriate).
Where can I stay on my first night in Buffalo?
You can check in to your residence hall right before
International Student Orientation begins. No check-ins will be
permitted before this time.
> For specific date information check the
current orientation schedule here.
You can stay in a hotel, or at a friend’s or
relative’s home, or at a UB student’s apartment. There
is a list of hotels in the New International Student Guide.
You can also contact international student clubs that provide
assistance to new students.
Please make temporary housing arrangements prior to your arrival
in Buffalo. We do not recommend arriving on campus with lots of
luggage and no place to spend the night, as it is very difficult to
find permanent housing in one day.
Where can I get answers to other questions international students frequently ask?