• Home
  • Incoming Graduate Students with Assistantships

Incoming Graduate Students with Assistantships

If you're a new student at KU and have been offered an assistantship (Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Research Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, or Fellowship), you must prepare to take extra steps after arrival. Please click on each drop-down for important details about your arrival and more. 

Plan for Arrival

Your I-20 currently has an arrive-by date (program start date) of 8/2/2021. Students who will hold an assistantship/fellowship and who will need to apply for a Social Security Number may choose to arrive sooner than this date, keeping in mind the SSN application is only possible after arrival and the process can take 2~3 weeks upon arrival).  Please see more details below and work with your department to confirm by when you are expected to be on payroll and start working on campus, keeping in mind the following:

If you already have a US Social Security Number (SSN):
Arrival 

Arriving by the 8/2/2021 program start date should give you enough time to complete the various check-ins, onboarding and required trainings before classes start 8/23/2021.

Most check-ins can be completed only after your arrival in the US (see below).

Travel Quarantine 

Please see the Travel Quarantine Update on Watkins Health Services’ website to determine whether or not you will need to quarantine.

(This section is located toward the bottom of the page. Please keep scrolling until you find it.)

Because the infection rates can change rapidly, please continue to check the guidelines until after your date of arrival.

Required Steps
to complete 
in person after arrival    

1) ISS orientation

2) Staying Legal course

3) Upload required immigration documents to iHawk and attend ISS virtual check-ins [immigration document check]

4) Watkins Health Center check-in [for immunizations and vaccinations]

5) AEC Proficiency Test and/or Speak Test [if applicable]

6) Open a US bank account

7) Complete Onboarding with KU (see more details below)

8) Possible orientation required by your graduate department or as a new GTA, etc.

If you DO NOT already have a US Social Security Number (SSN):
Arrival

Plan on arriving on campus no later than 8/2/2021. However, you might consider arriving earlier keeping in mind the SSN application is only possible after arrival and the process can take 2~3 weeks upon arrival).

Most check-ins, onboarding, and possible required trainings for your assistantship can be completed only after your arrival in the US (see below). Fall 2021 classes start 8/23/2021.

Travel Quarantine

Please see the Travel Quarantine Update on Watkins Health Services’ website to determine whether or not you will need to quarantine.

(This section is located toward the bottom of the page. Please keep scrolling until you find it.)

Because the infection rates can change rapidly, please continue to check the guidelines until after your date of arrival.

SSA-Required
Quarantine

There is currently a 14-day quarantine upon arrival for a student to be able to apply for an SSN in person at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office.

Due to this quarantine requirement, it can take 2-3 weeks from arrival to obtain an SSN and be put on payroll.

Required Steps
to complete
in person after arrival 

1) ISS orientation

2) Staying Legal course

3) Upload required immigration documents to iHawk and attend ISS virtual check-ins [immigration document check]

4) Watkins Health Center check-in [for immunizations and vaccinations]

5) AEC Proficiency Test and/or Speak Test [if applicable]

6) In-Person SSN application at the Lawrence SSA. (Only possible after requesting SSN Letter and completing ISS check-in after arrival. Please see the "Applying for an SSN" section below for important details.)

7) Open a US bank account

8) Complete Onboarding with KU (see more details below)

9) Possible orientation required by your graduate department or as a new GTA, etc.

Submit “Your Plans for Studying at KU” eform in iHawk

Please complete the “Your Plans for Studying at KU”** eform as soon as possible so that our ISS staff may better prepare for your arrival as a new graduate assistant. You may submit this form as many times as you have updates to your arrival plans (i.e. visa was issued, or flight has been booked since your last submission). Please continue to resubmit as you have updates from your last submission.

 **“Your Plans for Studying at KU” eform is found on the ‘ISS Check-in Checklist’ under the ‘Requests’ section on the home page of iHawk. Do not use the ‘ISS Check in’ menu item on the left because it is not correct for this process.​ 

Onboarding

Onboarding means completing necessary hiring paperwork prior to beginning work activities.  Paperwork must be completed in order to receive compensation, benefits and any tuition assistance that you may be eligible for.

To get paid and enroll for any qualifying benefits (i.e., insurance) for your graduate assistantship work at KU, you will need to complete the electronic onboarding requirements, establish a U.S. based bank account upon arrival, and have a Social Security Number (SSN).  You will receive an invitation through your KU email address from kuhronboarding@ku.edu to begin this process.  It is very important that you check your KU email account frequently to receive notifications, alerts and other related correspondence which is time sensitive. 

After receiving the invitation to begin your electronic paperwork, we strongly encourage you to begin this process immediately.  Online “onboarding” paperwork is required for Human Resources/Payroll.  Completing all onboarding tasks electronically prior to your arrival will avoid delays getting you onto payroll.  If you are unable to complete a task until after arrival into the U.S. (for example, a US-based bank account information for direct deposit or do not have a SSN), please skip that task and complete all other remaining sections.   If you do not have a U.S. based bank account or a SSN, you can only apply for one after arrival (see details below).

Questions regarding the electronic paperwork process or activities can be directed to kuhronboarding@ku.edu.  Please note that a KU Shared Service Center (SSC) Representative will also be contacting you via KU e-mail to assist with specific onboarding requirements and will be available to answer any additional questions you may have. 

Applying for an SSN (if you do not already have one)

If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you must apply for one before you can finalize your onboarding process at KU.

Step 1:  Submit "Request SSN Letter for On-Campus Jobs (F-1)"

  • This form can be found on the ‘ISS Check-in Checklist’ (under the ‘Requests’ section on the home page of iHawk. Do not use the ‘ISS Check in’ menu item on the left because it is not correct for this process.​) 
  • Complete the eform with your information and your Employer Contact information. Your Employer Contact is the person who offered you employment (such as a faculty member or departmental office staff). If you do not know who your employer contact is, ask your department before you fill out this form.
  • (If you are a J-1 student, submit the “On-Campus Work Permit Request” eform instead)

You will need this letter in order to apply for the SSN.  This letter can be issued only after your arrival to the U.S. and will be provided to you at your scheduled ISS check-in appointment.  Please be sure to have the eform completed before your ISS Check-In appointment.  This Form is available and you are encouraged to start the process now.  Please note: Completion of the eform means that your department has also completed their portion of the form (which is automatically sent to them after you submit your portion). This can take time, so do not wait to complete the form!

Step 2: Arrive in the U.S. (to campus) and complete all required eforms in iHawk

  • Make sure you have submitted/resubmitted the most up to date arrival plan in “Your Plans for Studying at KU” eform in the ‘ISS Check-in Checklist’
  • Upload all required immigration documents in the ‘ISS Check-in Checklist’, including “I-94” (only possible after entry into the U.S.) and “Local U.S. Address”
  • You will not receive an invitation to the required ISS check-in until all required eforms and documents are uploaded.

Step 3: Attend required ISS Check-in

  • After late July, you will receive an invitation to the required ISS check-in (currently planned virtually via Zoom) ONLY once all required eforms and documents are uploaded in iHawk ‘ISS Check-in Checklist”
  • At the required ISS check-in, an ISS immigration advisor will review all of your uploaded immigration documents. Upon review and legal status is confirmed, the ISS advisor will register/validate your SEVIS record (required before applying for an SSN)
  • The ISS advisor will also issue you the requested “ F-1 SSN Letter for On-Campus Jobs” (or “On-campus Work Permit” for J-1s), which you will need in order to apply for the SSN at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office.
  • The ISS advisor will also provide you with detailed instructions on how to apply for the SSN.

Step 4:  Make an SSA appointment to apply for SSN

  • Follow the specific instructions provided to you at the ISS Check-in.
  • You will be instructed to make an SSN application appointment yourself with the Social Security Administration office in Lawrence.
  • IMPORTANT: expect a 14-day quarantine upon arrival to Lawrence before the SSA office can see you for an in-person SSN application. The SSA office cannot accept any applications virtually.
  • Attend your appointment at the SSA and apply for the SSN, per instructions from ISS.

 


 
 

Find us on Facebook
follow us on Twitter

KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times