International Postdoc Checklist

  1. The first thing to do upon arrival at ISU (and/or after having accepted a job offer from an employer at ISU) is to check-in with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to let them know you have arrived at Iowa State University.

    Location: 3248 Memorial Union
    Telephone: 515-294-1120 
    Office hours: M-F 8:00 am-5:00 pm, but may change during breaks and in the summer. Check the website to make an appointment before you go. 
  2. ISSO will assist you with your immigration situation and will tell you how to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) if you do not already have one. They will also tell you what documents you need to take with you to apply for the SSN. Keep in mind that it takes 2-3 weeks for your social security card to be mailed to you. You must apply for a SSN in order for your department to pay you. (Note: The SSN is very important, and you need to apply for it at the time the ISSO recommends. Also, keep the card/number in a safe place to avoid identity theft).
  3. After you check in with ISSO, proceed to the department that is employing you so that they can enter your information into the computer database. Your department will direct you to:
  4. Complete a health insurance enrollment form for you (and your dependents: spouse/children if applicable). ISU and the US Department of State require you to maintain adequate health insurance coverage. To enroll in the ISU Student and Scholar Health Insurance Program, go to the Health Insurance Program Office.

    Location: 3810 Beardshear Hall
    Telephone: 515-294-2394
  5. Vehicle Registration and Driver’s license:
    • If you are moving from another state within the US and are in possession of a car, you will need to transfer your vehicle registration and your driver’s license to the state of Iowa 30 days after relocating to Ames. You will need to take all your original immigration documents with you. More information can be obtained by visiting and
    • If you are new to the US and wish to apply for a driver’s license and/or register your new car, the same requirements apply (see above).