International Studies & Programs

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Visa & Arrival


This module will help you in your visa application process and on your travel plans and arrangements for arriving in East Lansing, Michigan.


Apply for Your Visa

Upon notification by us that your visa paperwork has been shipped to you, it is vital you promptly schedule a visa appointment at your nearest U.S. Embassy.

We will be sending your visa paperwork to you, however, is is important you also review all required materials for your individual appointment - your country might have specific requirements you must be aware of.


  • Do not schedule your appointment until we notify you through email that your visa paperwork is on its way
  • Confirm your passport is valid. Your passport must be valid for at least six months and beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S
  • You must also pay the SEVIS fee and complete the SEVIS form 1-901. Your SEVIS ID Number will be on your I-20 or DS-2019 form. You must pay the SEVIS fee at least 3 days before applying for your visa. PRINT YOUR RECEIPT
  • Pay your visa fee


Before You Leave Home

Carry these documents with you when you travel to the U.S. (do not pack them in your suitcase):

  • Your passport - it must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after you enter the United States
  • Certificate of Eligibility (form I-20 or DS-2019)
  • SEVIS Fee payment receipt
  • Visa Stamp (which should have been added to your passport after a successful visa interview)
  • Your admission letter, proof of financial support and any other program related information you received
  • I-94 Record (now online)

You will get a stamp in your passport when you arrive in the U.S.

IMPORTANT: All visa, immigration, and program documents must be brought with you to our mandatory in-person orientation.


Arriving in Michigan

There are two airports with close access to East Lansing, Michigan.

DTW - Detroit Metropolitan Airport outside of Detroit, Michigan

LAN - Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, Michigan

Both airports receive numerous flights a day and have transportation services to and from MSU's campus. 


Getting to East Lansing

The American Semester Program & Exchanges team will provide codes that will cover rides through the Ride Share app Lyft for the arrival day only. Rides from Capital City Airport, the Michigan Flyer stop, and the Amtrak/Megabus/Greyhound station on January 2 (and 3rd if you are delayed) to your residence hall will be covered. Rides to any other location and on any other day will NOT be covered! 

Click here to download instructions on how to download and use the promo code for a ride with Lyft upon your arrival! (PDF)
It is STRONGLY recommended that you read through this guide prior to your departure to the USA.

If you arrive before January 2, you will need to make your own way to campus. Taxis are readily available in the Lansing and East Lansing area. Most of the time you will find taxis waiting near the Lansing airport, the Amtrak train station, and the Michigan flyer stop. Taxi drivers know the MSU campus and they will be able to bring you to the residence halls. Uber and Lyft are also available in the area.

Be sure to have your housing assignments readily available when you travel.


Navigating Campus

MSU has one of the largest, most expansive campuses in the United States. With hundreds of buildings and kilometers (miles) of sidewalks, there's always something new to see. But that also means it can be easy to get lost!

We suggest you look at the MSU Campus Map along with downloading the MSU Mobile App, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.