Before arriving to the USA, there were a lot of forms and other bureaucracy you had to care of. And this experience continues also when you enter the USA.
Fulbright Customs and I-94
During the flight that first enters the USA., the flight attendant will hand you a couple of forms you should fill in. It’s the standard stuff about the visit and the Form I-94 which is important, because you are entering the country with a visa. All this should not pose a problem, and when you show the customs official your passport and DS-2019, he will scan your fingers, take your photo and greet you to the USA.
TODO After Arrival
- Meet with the International Student & Exchange Visitor Relations manager at your host institution. You will get the Fulbright welcome package and a lot of information there.
- Enter the required info into this form so the IIE knows you had arrived
- DS-2019 form: If you plan to travel out of the USA during your visa period, send your DS-2019 form to your representative at the IIE and ask for the “travel signature”.
- If you read your Terms of appointment thoroughly, it says there if your ASPE Health Benefits (the default – SevenCorners – satisfies your state’s / universities requirements. Mine didn’t, so I had to get additional health insurance. Northeastern had a plan which cost more than $2k and the IIE people don’t cover it! I believe you are aware of the importance of a good health benefits plan in the USA.
- In the welcome package there is a letter that states you are allowed to apply for the SSN (social security number). After you had been in the USA more than two weeks, you should take this letter, DS-2019 form, and your passport to the local SS Administration office (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp). You should have it in about one week.
- Open a Bank Account, because your Fulbright bank account is somewhat limited.
- Fulbright reception, other events …
Fulbright Tax Report (Grantax)
Welcome to filling out your (supposedly) first USA tax report. Fortunately, Grantax is here to help you, and if the Fulbright Scholarship is your only money funded by a USA institution, there is not much to fear. Instructions are detailed, and (besides some paperwork) it’s not a problem.
Visiting Researcher Fulbright Progress Report
You will receive an electronic form in December which you should fill and return to IIE.