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Orientation Information

J-1 Scholar and J-1 Student Intern Arrival Checklist

  • J-1 Scholar and Student Intern Checklist:  Please refer to the checklist as a reference of pre-arrival and arrival steps to support your transition.
  • Pre-Arrival platform After you receive the DS-2019, ISSS will provide you with access to a pre-arrival platform, Homebase, which will provide you with additional information to prepare for your arrival to Vanderbilt. We highly encourage you to review this platform, as it has important information for your success at Vanderbilt.
  • Departmental check-in process with the hosting academic department. Be sure you have the needed information about the following:
  • Complete Scholar Check-In with ISSS
    After arrival to the U.S., you are required to submit a SEVIS check-in through the ISSS portal, which includes reporting your new U.S. address and uploading immigration documents, including your signed DS-2019, J-1 visa stamp (if applicable), and I-94 admission record, along with those of any J-2 dependents. You will also need to complete the J-1 Health Insurance Pledge and provide proof of health insurance that meets the federal requirements for yourself and any dependents who have entered the U.S. with you.
  • Attend J-1 Orientation
    J-1 scholar orientation is mandatory for all new scholars. Orientation is held monthly, in-person at the ISSS office. We are located at 1107 18th Ave S. You should plan to attend the first available orientation following your entry to the US with your Vanderbilt issued DS-2019. Please take a moment to sign up for an orientation date if you have not already done so.

Additional Steps if Being Paid by Vanderbilt

  1. If you will be paid by Vanderbilt, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. After you have been in the U.S. for 10 business days, and after ISSS has validated your SEVIS record, you can then apply for a SSN. You will bring your passport, DS-2019, and Vanderbilt offer letter to the Social Security Administration which is located at 120 Athens Way, Nashville, 37228.
  2. Confirm with your hiring department or supervisor that your access request for the GLACIER Tax Database has been initiated.
  3. (For Vanderbilt employees) Confirm the date and time of your scheduled New Hire Orientation to learn about health insurance plans and benefits.
  4. (For Vanderbilt postdocs) Visit the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) website for onboarding requirements.