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Welcome to the GW family! Now that you have joined us, we have provided some useful information to help you get started.

We would love to know more about you! Maybe we can help you connect with other postdocs as well as make your transition to a post-doc in Washington DC smoother! Please contact us!

First three days:

Attend the weekly Orientation Breakfast. This will provide you with all the relevant information regarding GW, benefits, payroll, taxes, etc. We encourage you to attend this welcome orientation and ask all the questions that you might have.

Obtain your GWorld Card. This is your official ID card at GW. Besides allowing you access to your work place, it is also the card used to access various locations around campus, e.g., library, campus recreation. It can be obtained at the GWorld Card Office. In order to activate it, contact your department admin with the provided GWID.

Claim your GW email address/NetID. This will give you access to GW technology services, including email. For international scholars the I-9 form needs to be completed prior to claiming your NetID (see below).

Fill-in your federal and state tax withholding forms. Form W-4, Employee Withholding Certificate, and the appropriate state tax withholding form (DC, VA, MD) must be completed and submitted to the University Human Resources. For international scholars, see additional information below.

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. Under federal law, the University is required to verify an employee legal eligibility to work in the United States. Prior to your arrival at GW, you will receive a code that will grant you access and allow you to complete Section 1 of the I-9 process. Once completed, you will receive a list of acceptable documents for proving identity and employment eligibility. You will have to present the original of these documentations to an authorized university representative, within 3 business days. That would complete Section 2 of your I-9 process. For international scholars, see additional information below.

Additional steps for international scholars:

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

Upon arrival you should visit the University Human Resources to complete the Section 2 of the I-9 process. You need to provide all relevant documents:

  • If you are transferring from F-1 visa: OPT card and I-20 from previous institution.
  • For new J-1 visa holders: DS-2019 form.
  • For J-1 visa transfer: filled J-1 transfer form and new DS-2019 form. If you have not received those yet, visit ISO to retrieve them.

In order to complete the I-9 process you will need to retrieve your I-94 admission record document.


Federal and state tax withholding forms

If you are an international scholar, please reach out to GW Tax Department for assistance in understanding your U.S. tax withholding and reporting obligations.

The GWU Tax department uses the Foreign National Information System (FNIS) for international employee tax forms. Upon contacting GW Tax Department, you will be given a FNIS log-in ID and password to the website where you will complete a questionnaire. You will be provided with any applicable tax forms at that time (e.g. W-4 Federal Tax Form and State or District Tax Form F). The completed forms should be submitted to the University Human Resources.



Obtaining your Social Security Number (SSN)

After completing your I-9 process, you will be able to apply for your Social Security Number (SSN). For that you will need to request a letter from ISO that verifies your employment at GWU as an international scholar. Once provided, visit the US Social Security Administration to apply for your SSN. We warn that lines can be long so try to arrive as early as possible.

Information on traveling while on a J-1 VISA: the DS-2019 needs to be signed prior to travel and this is valid for one year. Schedule a meeting with ISO to request this signature.

GWU Benefits

An overview of the benefits available at GWU, as well as your eligibility and any dependent family members is provided by the Human Resources & Careers at GW. They can be reached here for any additional information.

We would like to draw your attention to a detail in the GW Base Retirement Plan. The plan is only eligible for personnel who have completed two years of certain employment service at GW. However, equivalent employment service at another college or university may contribute to this two year rule. Please contact the benefits center or human resources for more information.

If you use Metro transportation and Metro parking, be aware of the pre-tax commuter benefits option provided by GW. You can transfer up to $255 per month for Transit and up to $110 per month for Metro Parking pre-tax money from your pay-check to your WMATA SmarTrip card.

More information for new postdocs can be found on the Resources for Postdoctoral Fellow page under OVPR.

Relevant addresses

GWorld Card Office
Marvin Center
800 21st St NW, G05
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-1795 | Fax: 202-994-0686

University Human Resources
Rice Hall
2121 Eye Street NW
Suite 101
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-8500

International Services Office
Marvin Center
800 21st St NW, Suite 505
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-4477 | Fax: 202-994-4488

Social Security Office
2100 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 800-772-1213

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