FAQs for Faculty Staff Postdocs and Scholars

Please see below for common questions.

How do I "Check in" after arriving in the USA?

J-1 Scholars must "check in" with PISA, in person, in our offices in Young Hall. Prior to your arrival, PISA should have reached out to you to schedule this meeting. Check-in appointments are in the mornings. Once you have checked-in, an immigration counselor must review the information and confirm your arrival in the US government database, SEVIS. This is completed the same afternoon in almost all cases.

Once this process is completed, you are approved in Purdue systems to pick up your PUID card from Card Services, usually the next morning. You will also get an email confirming this. 

How do I find the MyISS portal?

Click here to login to myISS. my.ISS is your online portal to fill out eForms, request documents, update ISS, and more. 

Please Note: BoilerKey is required to login to my.ISS. If you are having difficulty logging in, please contact ITaP or visit the BoilerKey Help Page for more support information.

How do I pick up a document?

Please see our discussion of Immigration Documents, which includes discussion of how to schedule a time to pick up a document from our offices in Young Hall. 

If you want to request a Supplement J (to a Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status) or if your attorney has provided you with a Supplement J that you need signed, please note the following-

  • International Scholar Services is the only office authorized to sign Supplement J forms on behalf of Purdue University. We do not sign forms prepared by external attorneys. 
  • Purdue employees (Faculty or staff) who have been sponsored by Purdue for permanent residence may request that a Supplement J be prepared for them by submitting a request at MyISS, under the University Employment menu, under Make a Request
How can I get a document shipped to me?
Please email intlscholars@purdue.edu if you want to request a document be shipped to you.
I want to talk with someone!

If you want to speak with an immigration counselor, please check their availability here.

If you want to speak with the Purdue International Scholar Assistance (PISA) Specialist, please see their availability here

I moved - how do I report my change of residential address?


 US law requires all foreign nationals residing in the US to update their address with the relevant government agency within ten (10) days of any move or change. This is critical to maintaining your status in the USA. There are no exceptions to this obligation. 

Please see our discussing on Maintaining Status, Reporting Changes of Residential Address

I am planning to travel - what should I do?

Purdue's expectations for travel depend on your situation. In general, if you plan to travel outside of the USA, you must notify ISS. For more information, please see our discussion on Visas and Travel.

How do I get a Social Security Number?

A Social Security number (SSN) is a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration, which is an agency of the US government.  SSNs are required by law to be employed in the USA.  Many financial institutions, such as banks and credit companies, also ask for your number when you open an account. An SSN is also required to purchase a home. Please see information about Social Security Applications here

  • In general, H-1B, E-3, TN and O-1 workers must have a social security number (SSN) to be employed by Purdue. Please see this page.
  • J-1 Scholars who are employed by Purdue (receiving wages) also must have an SSN. Please see this page.
  • J-1 Visiting Scholars who are not employed by Purdue should not need an SSN
  • In general, J-1 Student Interns (VIsiting Undergraduate Students) are not permitted by Purdue to apply for an SSN.
How do I get my Purdue ID Card (PUID)

Purdue University ID Cards (PUIDs) are issued by Purdue's ID Card Operations and Support Office. Please refer any questions you have about PUIDs to them. 

  • In general, J scholars must be check-in with PISa and validated by a counselor before being able to pick up their PUID Card from Card Services.
  • H-1B, TN, E-3 and O-1 employees may pick up their PUID card before attending their International Scholar Services orientation
Do I need to file Taxes?

Please refer to Purdue's webpages on US Tax. Those webpages are maintained by Purdue's staff and offices whose expertise is specifically with respect to US and international tax matters. International Scholar Services has no expertise in tax.

In the USA, the government office that is responsible for individual tax matters is the US Internal Revenue Service. Please refer to their website for official forms and information.

How do I invited Family Members to visit?

Family members who are NOT children (under 21) or a spouse of the J-1 exchange visitor may enter the USA in tourist or visitor status. There are two possible ways to do this:

  • Apply for a B-1 Business Visitor or B-2 Tourist visa from a US Consulate abroad. This supports visits to the United States temporarily for tourism or business purposes.
  • Family members from certain countries may be eligible to travel to the U.S. for visits of up to 90 days without applying for a formal B-1 or B-2 visa, through the Visa Waiver Program.

It is recommended that you give your family members a letter of invitation to document the purpose of their visit. 

Can my Spouse receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

In general, non-US citizens in the USA have limited permissions from the US government. The fact that a non-US person is physically in the US does not mean they are permitted to work. The permission to work must specifically be granted to them. 

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is one way to demonstrate permission from the US government to engage in work. An EAD is a document that represents a benefit (or permission). The EAD must be received by the individual from the USCIS ("in hand") before the person is actually permitted to engage in work or professional activities. To request an EAD, the applicant must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Two comments about EADs:

  • Not everyone may apply for an EAD.  An EAD is a benefit that only certain non-US persons in certain very specific situations are eligible to request. See below. 
  • Not every non-US person in the USA needs an EAD.  Sometimes, the visa status held by the person in the USA is what permits employment (H-1B, TN, E-3, O-1 are common examples)

The USCIS has information about EADs here. This page includes a list of the "Form I-765 Categories." This is basically the list of the kinds of situations where a non-US person is eligible to apply for an EAD. If your situation does not fit within any of the situations listed there, this means you likely are not eligible for an EAD. "Spouse or child of J-1 Exchange Visitor" is included in this list at (c)(5).

International Scholar Services does not assist with applications for EADs. We recommend you review the USCIS instructions and instruction form and self-file. Alternatively, it is possible to hire an immigration attorney to prepare and file an EAD request on your behalf.

My J-1 Program is ending - what should I do now?

Please fill out the Intent to End J Program before the end of your Program. This is an eform in MyISS, accessible from the "J-1 Scholar Services" menu. You will receive an email notification 30 days prior to your DS-2019 end date to fill out the form in your myISS account.  The eform is required for us to ensure that ghe government database reflects the end of your US activities and departure from the USA. We also collect valuable information about your experience at Purdue, to help us improve our services. 

If you need to end your program early, you must contact ISS to let us and your supervisor know. Simply departing the USA without informing ISS can cause problems later on if you return to the USA. 

After the program end date on your DS-2019, you have a 30-day Grace Period.  While in Grace Period you may not engage in any employment or professional activities. However, you may remain in the US for tourist purposes.  If you can, explore more of the USA! The USA is HUGE and there is much more to explore beyond West Lafayette!

You MUST depart the US before the end of your 30-day grace period or timely request a change to a different visa status. 

Additional Resources -Wilberforce Pamphlet More information from USCIS

Additional Resources -DOS Welcome Brochure More information from Department of State