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International Postdocs: Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • As of January 2020, 65% of all Rutgers postdocs were international or holding a sponsored visa. You can learn more about Rutgers postdocs here.

  • 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 long-term housing arrangements. Incoming international postdocs are welcome to join the OPA Slack group and/or be part of our International Postdocs Network to connect with the postdoc community and ease their transition into Rutgers and New Jersey. Contact us for information on how to use these two resources.


    Rutgers New Brunswick

    Postdoctoral researchers affiliated to the New Brunswick Campus qualify for housing under Rutgers Faculty and Staff Short Term Housing Program. This is a temporary housing solution while they find a more permanent rental option.

    The off-campus housing office provides the following listings:

    Rutgers Newark

    For postdoctoral researchers affiliated with the Newark campus, we advise that the faculty advisor or department coordinator reach out to Ms. Ayat Ibraheim at, Assistant Director of Housing & Residence Life.

    Postdoctoral researchers are placed on a waiting list, in which students have priority. 

  • 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 employee insurance to be active. During this waiting period, you need to be covered by either the University’s Scholar Insurance plan or another qualified health insurance plan 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.

  • The Office of Postdoctoral Advancement 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.

  • 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 and our International Postdocs Network for newly hired international postdocs. To request an invitation link, please email Jillian Hanna.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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 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 Advancement (OPA) sends a welcome letter each month to newly hired postdocs where you can learn about opportunities and career development resources for you at Rutgers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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). 

  • 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.