Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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General Information for Non-US Residents



International Scholars and Faculty Visa Services (ISFVS) is coordinated by the Office of Human Resources at Penn State.  The ISFVS office on campus is located at 319 Boucke Building, University Park (phone- 814-865-0423, Fax- 814-865-6246).

Go to the International Scholars and Faculty Visa Services office within three days of arriving at Penn State to take part in a check-in session and complete Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.

You will need obtain a social security number.  The Social Security Office is located at 901 University Drive, Suite 2.  Take the following documents with you:  visa/passport, I-94 card.  If you have a foreign driver's license, you can also present that.

If you receive funding from Penn State, please note that you cannot be reimbursed until you have completed the necessary paperwork at the ISFVS office and have obtained a social security number.  Please give all paperwork that you receive from the ISFVS office to your departmental contact person as well as copy of your social security card when you receive it.

Because of the complexity of the visa guidelines imposed by ISFVS and the INS, it is essential that you keep your departmental contact person informed of your travels outside the US while you are at Penn State.  If you have any questions regarding your visa status, visa guidelines, visa extensions, etc., please see your departmental contact person or contact the ISFVS office on campus at (814) 865-0423 or visit their web site.


For those on J-1 visas (and their dependents), insurance coverage must be purchased and renewed annually.


The International Hospitality Council at Penn State can provide conversation partners to you and your spouse/partner.

The State College Area School District  (SCASD) Community Education Office also provides free English as a Second Language Training classes.  These classes are usually held on a weeknight from 7-9 p.m.  They provide English language training to individuals at all levels.

Please note that participation in such an English class is voluntary and is not required by the University. However, individuals who teach must be proficient in speaking English.


Because of the complexity of the US tax laws, there is not a sole resource which exists that explains US tax laws relating to nonresidents.  Tax laws can greatly vary depending upon the individual's particular circumstances. The IRS web site contains the tax forms and instructions that a nonresident will need.

Feel free to contact the Payroll Office (865-7621) for more information regarding US tax laws as they pertain to nonresidents.  The Payroll Office is located at the James M. Elliott Building, 120 South Burrowes Street, University Park.


Send your name and new address along with a copy of both sides of your I-94 card to:  Immigration & Naturalization Services, Lower Weldon Street Albans, VT  05479.