After arriving in St. Louis, students, scholars and employees need to complete several steps to ensure a smooth transition to the U.S. and to WashU. It is important to complete all of the steps in a timely manner as some steps are mandatory for most international students, scholars and employees.

Checking in with OISS

F-1 and J-1 Students

Upon arrival in St. Louis, all F and J students are required to check in with OISS by completing the mandatory Check-In and SEVIS Registration (for F-1 students) or Check-In and Validate SEVIS Record (for J-1 students) request in MyOISS. You must complete this step as soon as possible.

Federal regulations require OISS to report arrival of international students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and by checking in, you formally notify OISS that you have arrived in St. Louis. Checking in is required for you to maintain legal status.

When you complete the check-in request in MyOISS, you will need to provide a local U.S. address. If you have not secured a permanent place in St. Louis, you will need to list your temporary location. You will also need to upload scans or clear photos of the following documents (.pdf or .jpg format, 1 MB size limit per file):

  • Passport bio page (the page with your photo, name and date of birth)
  • F-1 or J-1 entry visa stamp in your passport (Canadian citizens are exempt)
  • I-94 Arrival Record from your most recent entry; if entering by land border, also upload a copy of the entry stamp from your passport

J-1 Exchange Visitors (Scholars)

If you are a J-1 exchange visitor in a scholar category, you must check in with OISS via email. Check-in documents must be emailed to J1Scholar@wustl.edu. You will receive additional information from the OISS scholar team via email.

Federal regulations require OISS to report arrival of international scholars in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and by checking in, you formally notify OISS that you have arrived in St. Louis. Checking in is required for you to maintain legal status.

When you complete the check-in process, you will need to provide a local U.S. address. If you have not secured a permanent place in St. Louis, you will need to list your temporary location. You will also need to upload scans or clear photos of the following documents (.pdf or .jpg format, 1 MB size limit per file):

  • Scholar Check-in Form (PDF)
  • Passport bio page (the page with your photo, name and date of birth)
  • J-1 entry visa stamp in your passport (Canadian citizens are exempt)
  • I-94 Arrival Record from your most recent entry
  • Entry stamp from your passport (most common if entering the U.S. by land border)
  • DS-2019 with notation from the U.S. consulate

Employees

International employees in H-1B, O-1, TN or E-3 statuses who were outside the U.S. and were approved to begin their employment at WashU through a consular petition with USCIS must check in with OISS via email. To check in, these employees should email the Associate Director for Scholars and provide the following documents:

  • Passport bio page (the page with your photo, name and date of birth)
  • H-1B, O-1, TN, or E-3 entry visa stamp in your passport (Canadian citizens are exempt)
  • I-94 Arrival Record from your most recent entry

Reporting Your Address

All international students much report their U.S. address to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within the first 10 days of arrival in the U.S. This is required by the regulations, and failure to complete this step may result in accruing unlawful presence. For students, this is accomplished by providing your local address in your WebSTAC account.

Furthermore, anytime you move to a new location within the U.S., whether it be a different apartment in the same building or a whole new state, you must update WebSTAC within 10 days moving as required by the federal regulations. More information can be found on our Contact Information Reporting Requirement page.

Scholar and employees (research scholars, professors, student interns, short-term scholars) must update their address in Workday. For more details, J-1 scholars should visit the J-1 Exchange Visitor webpage, and employees in other statuses should visit the Foreign National Employee Status page.

Points to keep in mind when maintaining/updating your address

  1. Do not list a WashU department for your local address. You must indicate where you are physically living.
  2. If you live on campus, make sure to include your box number. Only putting “6515 Wydown Blvd.” or “6985 Snow Way Drive” does not tell the post office where you receive your mail. This will cause delays in receiving your mail or prevent you from receiving it altogether.
  3. Do not list your apartment number before your street name. This can cause confusion for the post office and delay delivery of your mail. In the U.S., the proper way to write your address is:
    • Street Number Street Name, Apartment Number, City, State, Zip
    • Example: 6470 Forsyth Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130 or 123 Main Street, Apt 202, University City, MO 63130

You do not need to include both your suburb name and the city name. For example, if you live in University City, your address does not need to contain both “University City” and “St. Louis.” Just pick one or the other – whichever you prefer.

English placement testing

Graduate students

If your school or department has required you to take an English placement test, you will be notified by your department. If you are unsure about whether or not you are required to take a placement test, contact your admitting department for more information.

Testing will be coordinated by the English language support contact in your school, and you are welcome to contact that person with any questions.

Undergraduate students

You will receive notification from the College Writing Program if you are required to take an exam.

Student & employee ID cards

Danforth Campus

Students, scholars and employees located on the Danforth Campus can obtain student or employee ID cards from Campus Card Services. The office is located in the Women’s Building, Room 002. For more information, contact Campus Card Services directly.

Medical Campus

School of Medicine students get ID cards on the Medical Campus at the Office of the Registrar, room 100 in the McDonnell Science Building.

Transportation

WashU Parking & Transportation Services offers a variety of transportation options to student, scholars and employees. Student and employees will be eligible to apply for the U-Pass, which is a card that gives you free access to public transportation in St. Louis. Find information on how to apply for the U-Pass on the WashU Parking & Transportation Services website.

WashU offers a campus shuttle, known as the Campus Circulator, to help students and staff travel around the Danforth Campus. Visit the Parking & Transportation Services website to learn more about the Campus Circulator.