faq

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

What percentage of Rutgers postdocs are international?

As of January 2020, 48% of all Rutgers postdocs were international or holding a sponsored visa. You can learn more about Rutgers postdocs here.

As an international postdoc at Rutgers, what information should I know about housing?

We advise all international postdocs to communicate with their faculty advisors and coordinators of their host departments to discuss possibilities of temporary housing accommodations on their respective campuses. Please note that postdocs are responsible for their own long-term housing arrangements.

As an international postdoc at Rutgers, am I required to have health insurance?

All international postdocs are required to have adequate health insurance coverage. Postdocs sponsored on a J-1 visa must maintain health insurance coverage at all times while in the U.S. Please visit the Health Insurance page at Rutgers Global. Also, consult with your department administrator for the most up-to-date information on the enrollment process.

For Postdoctoral Fellow positions, you are signed up automatically to United Healthcare Insurance. For Postdoctoral Associate positions, there is a two-month waiting period for your insurance to be active. During this waiting period, you need to be covered by other health insurance in order to be in compliance.

Postdocs who may be on post-completion F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) are not required to have insurance by regulation, though coverage is strongly encouraged.

I’m an international postdoc and need help with filing taxes. Are there any resources available?    

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs’ staff is neither licensed nor qualified to provide personalized tax advice and therefore cannot answer specific tax questions or help you prepare your tax forms. Please visit Rutgers Global’s resource page for Tax Information.  You may also find the National Postdoctoral Association’s Tax Issues webpage useful as well.

How can I connect with other international postdocs at Rutgers?

The Rutgers Postdoctoral Association hosts social events and other group activities for all postdocs. You can join their Facebook Group and interact with other postdocs. There is also a Slack channel for all current postdocs at the university. To request an invitation link, please email Jillian Hanna.

What funding opportunities are available for international postdocs?

Please visit our Fellowships and Grants webpage for resources on finding postdoctoral fellowships and grants. You can also visit the NPA’s International Resources webpage for additional opportunities which may be open to international postdocs.

I want to stay informed on any COVID-19 related advisories for visa holders. Where can I find this information?

Rutgers-Global has launched the Rutgers Global Alerts webpage with the most recent alerts, advisories, and regulatory updates related to COVID-19 that may impact international students and scholars at Rutgers. You can also stay informed on universitywide notices and updates with the Rutgers Universitywide COVID-19 Information page. Lastly, the NJ State COVID-19 Dashboard, as well as the CDC Website on COVID-19, contain information and resources that you may find useful.

I’m international and have been offered a postdoc position at Rutgers. What information should I know about the visa process?

We hope you choose Rutgers as your next home! You will need to work with your faculty advisor and host department for the employment process. They will also facilitate the visa process with the office of International Student and Scholar Services. Many Rutgers postdocs are sponsored under the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Check out the Pre-Arrival Information page for more details on documentation and the process in general.

Visa-Related Questions:

I’m an international postdoc on a visa. Is there an orientation I must attend for onboarding?

All Rutgers postdocs on a sponsored J-1 visa are legally required to complete an online Check-In process with International Student and Scholar Services soon after arrival in the U.S. All postdocs with the title Postdoctoral Associate must also complete a New Employee Orientation in which your department administrator will enroll you at University Human Resources.

New H-1B postdocs will have received arrival and check-in instructions via email from the Rutgers Global ISSS office. H-1B postdocs will also receive communication during the online check-in to enroll in a mandatory orientation session which will outline their rights and responsibilities in the H-1B non-immigrant category.

There is no orientation for post-completion F-1 OPT but postdocs in this category are required to check in with the International Faculty and Scholar Services office. Email ISSS-FacultyScholars@global.rutgers.edu and submit a copy of your I-20, F-1 visa, passport, copy of your appointment, and complete the check-in form found here.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) offers optional monthly Welcome and Information Sessions where you can learn about opportunities and career development resources for you at Rutgers. We encourage all postdocs to register and attend one of our sessions!

I’m an international postdoc on a visa and will be traveling internationally. What do I need to do?

Postdocs are encouraged to communicate with their faculty advisors and departments when traveling for extended periods away from the lab. If you are on a J-1 visa, you will also need to consult with your respective office of International Student and Scholar Services for travel signature and guidance:

You may also want to review Rutgers Global’s Travel Updates and Advisories webpage for more travel resources.

If you are currently on OPT from an institution outside of Rutgers, please contact the International Student Adviser at your F-1 institution to request a travel signature.

Whom do I need to notify if I’m on a Rutgers-sponsored visa and will be leaving my Postdoc position before my end date?

In addition to consulting with your faculty advisor and host department administrator, you will also need to consult with your respective office of International Student and Scholar Services for guidance. This is a very important step as there may be significant consequences if your visa record is not processed correctly.

I’m an international postdoc on a visa. What do I need to do if I move to a new address?

F and J visa holders must report an address change to ISSS:

within ten (10) days and F-1 OPT postdocs must contact their designated school official (DSO) at their sponsoring institution. All others (H-1B) must file the Form AR-11 within ten (10) days of any change of address. Click Form AR-11 to access the form.

I’m an international postdoc on a visa. What do I need to do if I anticipate a change in my place of activity/worksite address, responsibilities/activities, job title, etc.?

Please contact your respective office of International Student and Scholar Services if you anticipate any changes to your place of activity/worksite address, responsibilities/activities, or job title. In some cases, this may require amending your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program or filing an amended H-1B petition (prior to the change taking place). 

I’m an international postdoc on a visa. What do I need to do after I travel and return to the U.S.?

Each time you return to the U.S., you should access your Form I-94 upon arrival. Please verify that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) admitted you in the correct visa status.

My dependent family members will be accompanying me to the U.S. Where can I find more information for dependent spouses and children?

For information on who can study in the U.S., please refer to: Nonimmigrants: Who can study?

For information on the J-2 nonimmigrant classification, please refer to: About J-2 Visa

For information on the H-4 nonimmigrant classification, please refer to: H1-B Specialty Occupations