Port of Entry

The first airport in the United States where you arrive is called your Port of Entry (POE), and you will have to go through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before you can go to your connecting flight to Alexandria.

You must present you passport and your I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility to the border officer at your port of entry, and the officer may ask you a few questions while processing your papers. Please give yourself lots of time (at least 3-4 hours) between your arriving and connecting flights.

After going through CBP inspections, you can pick up your luggage and proceed to a U.S. Customs official who will take your Customs Declaration form. After going through Customs, you are now officially in the United States! You will find ticket counters or kiosks where you can check-in for your connecting flight to Alexandria.


LSUA does not have the capability to pick up students from the airport or the Greyhound bus station. However, there are taxi services which can take students from the airport upon arrival. LSUA is located at 8100 Hwy 71 South Alexandria, LA 71302. The taxi cost from the airport to LSUA is approximately $30-$40. The following are the taxi companies that you can make transportation arrangements once you are in Alexandria:

  • A-Town Transportation: 2804 horseshoe Drive, Alexandria, LA 71301. Phone: +1(800) 261-8260
  • Magic City Taxi: 5200 Donahue Ferry Rd, Pineville, LA 71360. Phone: +1(318) 4640-2768

There are many friendly people in Alexandria, but you need to be extremely careful of accepting offers for a ride or a place to stay from anyone without LSUA identification or another reputable.

Arrival Notification Requirements

  1. Before leaving for the United States, all Exchange Visitor Program participants must notify the Office of Admissions of their arrival schedules (free transportation to the campus from local airport [AEX] will be provided to participants once their arrival schedules are received).
  2. Upon arrival on campus, all participants (including professors/scholars) must check-in with the Office of Admissions. They should ensure that they have the following documents with them when they check-in:
    • Valid Passport and J-1 VISA
    • Original DS-2019 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor [J-1] Status)
    • I-94 Arrival/ Departure History Report
    • Student acceptance letter (if applicable) and all official letters mailed to participant by the Office of Admissions
    • Receipt of payment from the LSUA Account Statement
    • Receipt of payment for SEVIS I-901 fee (required by SEVIS)
    • Copy of Immunization/Health Forms with English Translation
    • Family contact information
  3. Once they have checked in with the Office of Admissions, student participants should visit or call the Office of Advising and schedule a meeting with a Professional Advisor. The advisor will review the student’s schedule (or make one if the schedule has not yet been made), provide the student with an overview of his or her curriculum, and inform the student of available academic resources. The Advising Office is located at Student Center 207 (directly above campus bookstore); main phone number is 318.767.2604.
  4. All participants will be notified of the time and date of an Exchange Visitor Program Orientation and be required to attend.  At the Orientation, participants will meet the program coordinator, receive additional information about their visit to the university and to the United States generally, and have an opportunity to ask questions and to meet with university faculty, staff, and students.
  5. Participants in the Exchange Visitor Programs, Professor/ Research Scholar/Short-Term Scholar categories will have an additional orientation with their academic department chair.

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