Use the Study in the States glossary to define key terms throughout the F and M student process in the United States. If you are a current or prospective student, select “students” to see terms that specifically relate to you—from visas, to forms, benefits, and more. School officials should select “schools” to find more information on certification, responsibilities, and how to help their F and M students. You can also sort terms by selecting the letter of the alphabet a term begins with.

Primary Inspection

The process every F and M student goes through at the port of entry with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. Students will present documents and the CBP officer will determine if they can enter the United States by verifying the information and purpose for their visit.

Secondary Inspection

If the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at primary inspection at a port of entry cannot verify a student’s information, or if they do not have all of the required documentation, a CBP officer may direct them to an interview area known as “secondary inspection.” Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify information without causing delays for other arriving passengers.