New and returning scholars are required to check in with ISSS and participate in a mandatory orientation session. Sign up for the scholar check-in prior to your arrival in the U.S. by logging into the iHawk system. You will find the scholar check-in schedule under the Session Sign-Ups section and select a date and time on the calendar within 72 hours upon arrival. Checking-in enables ISSS to validate the J-1 scholar's program participation in SEVIS, the U.S. government's real-time informational database on foreign scholars. Failure to check in may result in the termination or cancelation of a scholar's SEVIS record.
Scholars should bring the items listed below to the check-in appointment. Scholars should also bring immigration documents for dependents in J-2 status.
- DS-2019, Passport, Visa, I-94
- Proof of health insurance (Note: scholars arriving in the U.S. after March 31, 2013 will identify an appropriate University of Iowa health insurance plan during check-in)
- Local address, phone number, email address and emergency contact information.
During the orientation session, scholars will receive helpful information about the campus and local community as well as details about the health insurance requirement, attendance at the required immigration regulation session, and how to obtain a university identification card and social security card (if employed by the University of Iowa). Scholars who are female or have a female spouse receive information about the International Women’s Club. Finally, scholars will be informed about educational and social events, activities, and trips, organized by ISSS with the generous assistance of a group of volunteers from the Iowa City community, a group which includes many retired UI faculty members.