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I am an international Masters student at a university in the United States currently on F-1 visa. I am in my last semester of study and thus applying for Post-completion OPT. For this, one of the forms that I need to fill is form I-765. One of the fields in this form asks "Place of last entry into the U.S."

I came to US from my home country in Aug 2015 in an Etihad flight which had a layover at Abu Dhabi airport before landing on SFO International Airport. Since, Abu Dhabi now has a facility to to process all immigration and customs clearance, I got my pre-clearance at Abu Dhabi by CBP officers and my visa was stamped with AUH(Abu Dhabi) code. Finally, I caught the connecting flight and landed into the US at the SFO Airport. My travel history document available on CBP website indicates the port of entry as Abu Dhabi.

Now, coming back to my questions about the field in the form I-765, what should be my answer to the question:"Place of last entry into the U.S." ?

Should it be Abu Dhabi(International Airport) or San Francisco(International Airport)?

Thanks in advance.

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  • Can you indicate both? – phoog Mar 10 '17 at 20:29
  • @phoog No I can't. The field just says "Place of last entry" – dm1530 Mar 10 '17 at 20:33
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While I could see a decent argument for either choice, several purported immigration lawyers argue that it should not be Abu Dhabi. Another one recommends the same on a different forum.

Anecdotally, someone on this page says they put San Francisco in a similar situation and their application was approved.

This isn't definitive guidance, which you could try to seek from the proper authorities, but it's something.

  • Who would be the proper authorities to seek guidance in this case? The CBP officers? Or should I consult a lawyer? – dm1530 Mar 10 '17 at 20:54
  • Presumably it would be USCIS, if you can get them to give you an answer. You certainly could consult a lawyer if you want, especially if your application is complicated for some reason or you want more advice, though that's likely overkill unless there are additional complications. – Zach Lipton Mar 10 '17 at 20:57
  • Talked to USCIS help representative. Could not get an answer for this question. "We do not have an answer for this question" – Q-RIUS Mar 10 '17 at 21:23
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    Nothing on the forms say you can't enter both. Sometimes we overthink immigration forms. I would write San Francisco via Abu Dhabi. I-765 are adjudicated by human beings and this should not be a problem. Each side of the argument has a point, Abu Dhabi is not in the USA. – user 56513 Mar 10 '17 at 21:23
  • @PaultheSheik That seems to be a good idea... – Q-RIUS Mar 10 '17 at 21:36
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Source by UCSIS

Port of Entry

In some cases, your port of entry to the U.S. could actually be in a foreign country. U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains Preclearance operations in certain overseas locations to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. Therefore, your I-94 record (or passport) may have one place, but your physical arrival in the United States was in a different airport. In this case, use the port of entry where you were inspected by CBP.

See here.

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