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Arriving in the United States and Rochester

Learn about what to expect and do when you arrive in the United States, in Rochester, and at the University of Rochester.

What to Expect When Arriving in the US

When you arrive in the United States, you have to perform specific inspection procedures at the Port of Entry. Your ability to enter the country before your program or scheduled activities at the University is based on the permissions of your requested status (see our Visa Categories page for details).

At the Port of Entry, an officer with US Customs and Border Protection will examine your immigration documents and determine whether you are permitted to enter the country and for what period of time. This indication will be made on the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.

You may also be required to have your photograph taken and/or your fingerprints scanned, in accordance with the recently implemented US-VISIT system. You will then need to obtain US Customs clearance, which may or may not include an inspection of your personal belongings.

When checking baggage internationally, be aware that you must personally reclaim your luggage for customs inspection. If you are connecting to another flight domestically, you will have the opportunity to recheck your luggage with the airlines afterward.

Do NOT use any other visa to enter the US other than the category you have requested. If you fail to enter properly, you will need to leave the US and re-enter before you can begin your scheduled activity.

Once you are legally admitted to the US, we will look forward to your arrival in Rochester and at the University!

Arriving in Rochester

The University of Rochester is located minutes from the Rochester International Airport and other transportation hubs in the city.

If you are unable to arrange for someone to meet you at the airport, taxi services are available at all times. A typical fare is approximately $10 to $20, depending on the number of passengers and baggage. It is customary to give the driver a small tip (approximately 10–15% of the total fare, or $2 to $3).

Alternatively, many area hotels offer free shuttle service to their guests, including either pick-up from the airport or transportation to University campuses.

Ask for special University rates at the following hotels:

  • Staybridge Suites—Located within walking distance to the River Campus and offering long-term discounted rates for University-affiliated international students, scholars, and families.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Rochester—Located within walking distance of the River Campus and Medical Center as well as College Town business, shopping, and restaurants.
  • Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside—Located downtown, a quarter-mile from the Eastman School of Music and eight miles from the River Campus.
  • Fairfield Inn by Marriott Rochester Airport—Located at the Greater Rochester International Airport, two miles from the River Campus.
  • Holiday Inn Rochester—Adjacent to the Rochester airport, two miles from the River Campus.

Arriving and Reporting to the University

When you arrive in Rochester, please report to your department at the University and visit the ISO main office (located in Morey Hall, room 213 on the River Campus) as soon as possible.

For certain individuals, the ISO is required by federal immigration law to report your arrival at the University and verify your valid nonimmigrant status: