Preparing for Arrival


Federal regulations do not allow H-1B scholars to arrive more than 10 days before the start date on the I-129 Approval Notice.  J-1 scholars can arrive 30 days before their DS-2019 start date.

We recommend that you plan to arrive at WSU one to two weeks prior to the first day of employment. We also recommend that you plan to arrive on a weekday and preferably during the day. This will give you greater accessibility to the OISS office and WSU departments in case help is needed.

You will need to check in at OISS, attend orientation programs and meetings in your college and/or department. You will also need to finalize housing arrangements, schedule classes, and pay fees.


You will have considerable expenses when you first arrive in Detroit - deposits for housing, telephone, and electricity; costs for basic furniture and housing items. We recommend that you bring $1,500- 2,500 to cover these expenses and temporary housing for a few days. You should carry some money in U.S. dollars for immediate use. This money should be in the form of travelers' checks, a cashier's check, or an international draft in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank.

What to Bring, or not Bring

Pack clothing appropriate for the Detroit climate. Summer temperatures are between 75° and 95°F (24°C and 34°C) and winter temperatures range from 15° to 45°F (-9° to 9°C). Winter clothing can be purchased in Detroit.

Bring your medical records and information (with English translation); information about any long-term health problems you may have; prescription medication and information; and information about any health insurance policy by which you are covered.  J-1 scholars will be required to purchase health insurance, for themselves and any accompanying dependents, once they arrive and check in with OISS.  J-1 scholars will also need to pay a $50.00 SEVIS fee at OISS.

Carry your immigration documents with you on the plane (passport, I-129 Approval Notice or DS-2019, and verification of financial support).

Bring a translation dictionary.

Do not pack fresh fruit, produce, meat, prepared food, or spices (Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will not allow you to bring these items into the United States).

Most important, be sure to bring your patience and a good sense of humor. These will be invaluable resources as you deal with the challenges of adjusting to a new country and culture.

Getting To Campus

If you're driving to campus, directions can be found here.

If you're flying into Detroit:

Many international students new to Wayne State University have a friend or relative in the Detroit area to assist with transportation from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to the campus and temporary housing, if needed.

For students and scholars who do not have arrival and temporary housing assistance, we recommend that you either take a cab or hotel shuttle directly from the airport (distance to WSU is 20 miles - approximate cost $45--$50 ) to your destination.

You may make arrangements for a cab once you arrive at the airport by proceeding to "ground transportation" or by calling Metro Airport Taxi (24-hour taxi service) at 1-800-745-5191.

Shuttle service to major hotels in downtown Detroit, can be arranged by purchasing a ticket in the baggage claim area or by calling 1-888-854-6700.

Where to Stay

If you have not arranged housing prior to your arrival, there are many hotels around the campus and airport. can help you locate a hotel in the area and within your budget.  (Note, if the link doesn't bring up the list of hotels, you can enter Zip Code 48202 to search for hotels local to campus and Detroit.)

Information on more permanent housing can be found here.

Once you are here

New international H-1B and J scholars must report to OISS for check-in. Check-ins are conducted Monday from 9:00 a.m. tto 10:00 a.m. and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

When you report to OISS for check-in, please bring:

  • Your I-129 Approval Notice or DS-2019
  • Your passport
  • Your I-94
  • Your offer letter
  • Funds to purchase health insurance (check, money order, or credit card only)
  • Funds to pay the SEVIS fees (check or money order)

Soon after you arrive in Detroit, please report to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) to obtain an orientation schedule, purchase mandatory health insurance, and comply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reporting requirements.

Please note that you will not be permitted to register for classes until University health insurance and OISS reporting requirements have been met.