After U.S. Arrival for International Students

After arriving in St. Louis, there are some steps to take to make sure you get off to a smooth start.

Some are mandatory requirements, because they can invoke unlawful presence, so make sure to review them all.

English Placement Testing

Graduate Students

If your school or department has required you to take an English placement test, a letter notifying you about the requirement will be sent to you along with your immigration document (i.e., I-20 or DS-2019). An email will also be sent over the summer which will include information on how to register for the test(s) which you are required to take.

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 ID Cards

Danforth Campus

Students on the Danforth Campus obtain student ID cards from Campus Card Services, Women’s Building, room 002.

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.

Checking in with the OISS

Upon arrival in St. Louis, you must complete the OISS’s online check-in form as soon as possible. This is an important part of the regulations and it is required so that you maintain your lawful status.

When you complete our online check in check-in form, you will need to enter the initial address where you are staying in St. Louis. 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, date of birth, etc)
  • F-1 or J-1 visa in your passport (Canadian citizens are exempt)
  • Entry stamp showing the most recent date that you entered the US
  • I-94 from your most recent entry (
  • Page 1 of your Form I-20 or DS-2019

Reporting Your Address

Within the first 10 days of arrival in the U.S.,you must report your address to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as required by the regulations and as part of avoiding unlawful presence. 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 and avoiding unlawful presence

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 all together.
  3. Do not list your apartment number or street 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
  4. Put both your street and apartment information in “Address Line 1” in WebSTAC. “Address Line 2” and “Address Line 3” are not used by all areas of the university. If you input part of your address information in line two or three, it may be missed and delay or prevent you receiving your mail.

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.


WashU Parking & Transportation Services offers a variety of transportation options to students. As a registered full-time student at WashU, you 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 travel around the Danforth Campus. Visit the Parking & Transportation Services website to learn more about the Campus Circulator.