What are the precautions to be taken while travelling abroad for Higher studies?
Many airlines including Air India, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, allow extra baggage allowance for students. Check your baggage size and weight limits before you choose your airline. Earlier, if you were flying to the US you were allowed two bags each weighing 32 kg each totalling 64 kilos. This has now been reduced by most airlines to 23 kilos per bag totalling 46 kilos.
If you are travelling to the US, UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand you do not need to have ECNR or ‘Emigration Check Not Required’ in your passport. If you get an immigration officer who insists on you having ECNR, call the manager of the airport because you do not need ECNR while travelling to developed countries. Nowadays, most of the new Indian passports don’t have ECNR stamped on them.
If asked at customs, state the amount of foreign exchange that you are carrying. As a student you are allowed to carry the amount mentioned on your I-20 or admission letter, as long as you are not carrying foreign currency equivalent to over US$3000.
When you reach your destination country make sure that you have your passport and I-20 or admission letter with you when you land. At the foreign immigration counter you may be asked the reason for your visit, how long you plan to stay in the country and how you plan to fund your education. Make sure that you answer all the questions honestly. In some countries you may also be fingerprinted at the immigration counter. This is routine procedure. Also keep in mind that currently students arriving in the US are asked to undergo secondary immigration inspection. Don’t stress because if you are a genuine student with authentic travel documents, you will have no problem.
When you land and clear immigration and collect your bags, you will encounter customs just before you leave the airport. The customs officer may ask you about the contents of your bag and if you are carrying fresh food with you. Again, make sure you answer honestly. Remember, all customs officers are aware that food can always be found in any Indian student’s bag.
Courtesy: Education Times
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