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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. 

Please be aware: KU will be closed from December 24th through January 3rd. Therefore, you will not receive replies to your emails during this period. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you experience an emergency during this period, you can contact ISS’ emergency after hours number (+1-785-380-8937)

Most buildings on campus will be closed to the public (and locked) until January 31st. However, students living on campus will be able to enter their residence halls. Watkins Health Services and the Kansas Union may be open for limited hours in December and January. Please see their websites for more information.

Plan for Arrival

Your I-20 currently has an arrive-by date (program start date) of 1/13/2021. However, we suggest that all students who hold an assistantship/fellowship arrive sooner than this date (plan for 2-3 weeks for those needing to apply for SSN).  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 

We suggest arriving earlier than the 1/13/2021 program start date.

This allows sufficient time to complete required check-ins and processes before classes start on 2/1/2021.

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) ISS virtual check-ins [immigration document check]

3) Staying Legal course

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

We suggest arriving on campus no later than 1/6/2021. 

This allows sufficient time to complete required check-ins and processes (including applying for your SSN, which could take up to 3 weeks after arrival) before classes start on 2/1/2021.

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.

SSA-Required
Quarantine

There is a required 14-day quarantine before you are able to apply for an SSN in person at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus

Due to this quarantine requirement, it will 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) ISS virtual check-ins [immigration document check]

3) Staying Legal course

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. 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” & “Basic Info” E-forms in iHawk

Please complete the “Your Plans for Studying at KU” & “Basic Information” e-forms in the Pre-Arrival Checklist via iHawk (follow the invitation in the email that was sent to you) as soon as possible so that our ISS staff may better prepare for your arrival as a new graduate assistant.

Onboarding

Onboarding means completing paperwork for Human Resources/Payroll in order to activate your assistantship appointment.

In order to get paid 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).

All students with graduate assistantships must complete the online “onboarding” paperwork process 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, US-based bank account information for direct deposit), please skip that task and complete all other remaining sections.  If you already have an SSN, you will need to provide it as part of your onboarding (please do not email your number or an image of it to us).

Applying for an SSN

If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you must apply for one before you can finalize your onboarding process at KU. The first step to the SSN Application Process is to receive a letter from our office.  The letter can be issued only after your arrival to the US 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 availalbe and you are encouraged to start the process now. This letter will also provide instructions on how and where to apply for an SSN. 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!

NOTE: There is a required 14-day quarantine before you are able to apply for an SSN in person at the Social Security Administration office. Please see their website for more information: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus.

 

HOW TO REQUEST A LETTER IN iHAWK:

  1. a. Login to iHawk at https://ihawk.ku.edu
  2. b. Go to the 'ISS Check-In" tab
  3. c. Click on "Request SSN Letter for On-Campus Jobs" 
    1. NOTE: You must have already completed the eForms under the "Get Started" and "Orientation" tabs before you can access the "Request SSN Letter for On-Campus Jobs" eForm
  4. Complete the form 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 professional). If you do not know who your employer contact is, ask your department before you fill out this form.

 


 
 

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