Before You Arrive
- Pre-Arrival Orientation
- U.S. Customs
- Transportation from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
- Temporary Housing
- Check-In Visit to the International Office
If you are not familiar with the Dallas area, we encourage you to review our pre-arrival orientation presentation, “Getting Settled in Dallas.” It contains important information that will help you plan for your re-location and make your first few weeks in Dallas a little easier.
If you need more information don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 214-633-0010.
When your airline flight arrives at its first U.S. stop you will normally be asked to pass through U.S. Customs. The airline attendant will have provided you with a “Departure Record,” also known as an I-94 form, to complete. Be prepared to provide at least an initial street address, telephone number, and other contact information regarding where you will stay when you reach your U.S. destination.
Be sure to write your name on all portions of this document exactly as it appears in your passport. Notice that you must write your family name first, followed by your given name and then your middle name. Also, in the U.S., dates are written with the month first, then the day, and finally the year. Make sure you write your birth date in this format on the I-94 card. Careful completion of the I-94 card will facilitate future applications for a U.S. Social Security card, driver’s license, and other official transactions.
When you meet with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent s/he will ask for the completed card. The CBP agent will tear off the smaller bottom portion of the “Departure Record,” write your U.S. visa type (e.g. J-1, F-1, H-1B) and a notation showing how long you are authorized to remain in the US. For F-1/J-1 visitors and their dependents the CBP agent will write the notation “D/S” for “Duration of Status.” This means that you are permitted to remain in the U.S. for as long as your I-20 or DS-2019 form is valid.
For other visa classifications, s/he will normally write the expiration date of your underlying U.S. immigration document/status (e.g. I-797 approval notice.) If possible, review what is written on the card before leaving the Customs area. If there has been any error (such as an incorrect visa type or expiration date) on the I-94 this is the best time to have it corrected.
The top portion of the I-94 card, along with the notations regarding your visa type and expiration of permission to remain in the US will be sent to a processing center and manually entered into a Department of Homeland Security database. This database is used by various state and federal agencies to confirm your immigration status so it is important that the information on it is correct.
For more information about clearing U.S. Customs upon your arrival in the U.S., including restrictions on what you may bring in with you, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
Your department at UTSW may be willing to assist you with arrangements for transportation from the airport to your temporary or other housing. If such an arrangement is not possible, you can easily arrange for your own transportation.
- If you will arrive at Dallas/Love Field Airport, you will find transportation information on the World Airport Guides website.
- If you will arrive at Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) International Airport, see their website for ground transportation options.
At either airport you may also rent a car at a cost of $25-50/per day (rates depend on availability). Lower rates may be available through a travel agency or airline in your home country. Reservations are recommended. Most rental companies accept an international driver's license. You will need a major credit card, such as Visa or MasterCard, to rent a car. In addition, most rental companies require that you be at least 25 years of age. Ask the car rental agency for a map of the Dallas/Fort Worth area and feel free to also ask for directions to your destination.
Major car rental companies in the D/FW area include:
- Advantage Rent-A-Car 972-458-2886 or 800-777-5500
- Alamo Car Rental 800-327-9633
- Avis Rent-A-Car 972-574-4130 or 800-331-1212
- Budget Car Rental 800-527-0700
- Dollar Car Rental 866-434-2226
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car 972-586-1100
- Hertz Rent-A-Car 972-453-4759 or 800-654-3131
- National Car Rental 972-615-5400 or 800-227-3876
- Thrifty Car Rental 972-453-5555
Your department at UT Southwestern may be willing to assist you with arrangements for temporary housing.
The University does not have any on or off-campus temporary housing. However, there are a number of hotels/motels in the area. Be sure to ask for the UTSW special contract rate at any of the hotels listed near UT Southwestern. Hotel and motel rates range from $70 to $150 per day. Some of the more reasonably priced are:
- Residence Inn - Dallas Market Center, 6950 N. Stemmons, Dallas, TX 75247. 214-631-2472. They provide a complimentary hot breakfast daily as well as dinner and beverages on Monday through Thursday. Ask about Medical Rates and Extended stay services. Shuttle service and DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) are line available.
- Crowne Plaza Dallas Market Center, 7050 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX. 214-630-8500
- Courtyard by Marriott-Market Center, 2150 Market Center Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207. 214-653-1166
- Courtyard by Marriott-Dallas Stemmons, 2383 Stemmons Trail, Dallas, TX 75220. 214-352-7676
- Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Market Center, 2325 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas, USA 75207. 214-634-8202
- Days Inn - Market Center Downtown, 4500 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX. 214-522-6650
- Park Inn by Radisson, 1241 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75247. 214-630-7000. Special rate for UT Southwestern of $65/day; free shuttle to UT Southwestern; free breakfast.
- Holiday Inn Market Center, 4500 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75219. 214-219-3333
UT Southwestern rate of $68/night; Complimentary shuttle service offered from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. within 3 miles, Love Field Airport and UTSW included; complimentary wi-fi. Reserve the UT Southwestern rate
For a comprehensive listing of hotels in Dallas, Forth Worth and surrounding areas, consult the Visit Dallas website. Neighborhoods or areas that are close to UT Southwestern include “Market Center” and “Love Field.”
The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has a unique layout. The primary access road, International Parkway, splits the airport running north-south, giving equal access from either north or south ends. Grapevine is adjacent to the north and Euless to the south. Irving, where most of the hotels near DFW are actually located, is about four miles east and southeast (toward Dallas) of DFW.
- Hampton Inn Suites, D/FW Airport, 1750 State Hwy 121 North, Grapevine, TX 76051
- Hyatt Regency DFW, International Parkway, DFW Airport, TX 75261
- La Quinta Inn, - D/FW Airport, 1001 W. Airport Freeway Euless, TX
- Microtel Inn & Suites, 901 Airport Freeway Euless, TX 76040
- Paramount Inn & Suites, 13954 Trinity Blvd. Euless, TX 76040
- Ramada Limited, 2050 State Hwy. 121 North, Grapevine, TX 76051
Before you can begin your activities UT Southwestern, you must visit the International Affairs Office. During the check-in visit, we will assist you in completing several documents, discuss your visa status, and answer any questions you may have. You will also be provided with important information regarding health insurance and other requirements for maintaining compliance with the regulations.
Please call 214-633-0010 after you arrive in Dallas to schedule an appointment. Please bring to your appointment your passport, U.S. immigration documents reflecting the current and any previous visits, and your Social Security card, if you have one from a previous stay in the U.S.