Travel to Houston
Houston has two major airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Most international passengers traveling directly to Houston arrive at IAH. Visit fly2houston.com for further information.
Earliest Admission Date
Students on F visas are not permitted to enter the United States earlier than 30 days before the start date of their program. Please refer to your Form I-20, page 1, section Program of Study, item Earliest Admission Date. This is the earliest you may enter the United States.
Before flying, secure the items below in your carry-on luggage. Do not put them in your checked luggage.
- Form I-20
- acceptance letter
- passport with a valid F-1 visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States unless exempt by country-specific agreements.
- cash and credit cards
- cell phone. Free Wi-Fi is available at both airports.
Immigration Procedures at IAH
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. It only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a United States port of entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port of entry have the authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.
After landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), you will arrive at gates in either Terminal D or E. Once you arrive at the immigration hall, you will probably be inspected by a CBP official. Be ready to present your passport, F-1 visa, and Form I-20 to the CBP official who may ask:
- What is the purpose of your trip?
- Where and what you will study?
- Where you will live?
- How will you pay educational and living costs?
Once you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will do the following:
- provide an admission stamp in your passport
- issue a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which you may locate at the I-94 website.
Then you will proceed downstairs to level one to collect your luggage before going to customs exit control. There will be a CBP Agriculture Specialist to examine food, plants, and other perishables for travelers carrying these items.
After this, you will exit the customs area and enter the Meeter/Greeter Lobby located on the first floor of Terminal E International Arrivals Hall. Ground transportation will be accessible from here.
Ground Transportation from IAH
Taxis: Estimated costs, not including gratuity:
- $57 to downtown
- $65 to The Galleria or the Texas Medical Center
- $70 to NRG Park
- $78 to Hobby Airport
Rideshare apps: The apps will require cellular data. Before departing your home country, download the apps, create accounts, and add credit cards to payment methods.