Pre-Arrival Information

Group of students gather on Aiken St. fields
Please find the relevant pre-arrival information below:

Post-Arrival Information

An advisor will reach out to the scholar upon his/her/their arrival to the U.S. to schedule a J-1 orientation. Before this meeting, the scholar should complete the J-1 Arrival E-Form.

In advance of the J-1 orientation with an ISSO advisor, scholars should be in contact with their UMass Lowell departmental host, who can assist them to get settled in the department, arrange a tour of the campus, and assist with obtaining their UMass Lowell ID card. Your departmental host needs to complete one of the forms found on the UCard, Access and Parking Services (UCAPS) Forms webpage in order for the ID card to be issued:

  • For non-benefitted, visiting researchers/faculty, the appropriate for is the Vendor/Visitor/Volunteer Request for Services
  • For benefitted faculty/staff, the appropriate for is the Request for Services for New Faculty/Staff

Scholars will need to present the appropriate form along with their UMass Lowell letter of invitation when applying for the ID card. For more information, visit the UCAPS website.

Please note, scholars will not be able to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) until they have met with an ISSO advisor, confirmed a U.S. address, and had their program validated in SEVIS. This must be done within 30 days of the J-1 program start date.

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN)

J-1 scholars are permitted to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). While unpaid scholars can choose to obtain one, scholars who are paid by UMass Lowell must obtain an SSN. To apply for an SSN, applicants can visit their closest Social Security Administration (SSA) Office during normal business hours with the following materials:

  1. Completed Social Security Application (pdf)
  2. Copy of their passport with J-1 visa stamp
  3. Copy of their I-94 record
  4. Copy of their DS-2019
  5. Copy of their UML letter of invitation/job offer letter

The nearest SSA office is located at:

151 Warren Street, Suite 300
The Gateway, Building 11
Lowell, MA 01854
Telephone: 1-877-746-985
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Please note: Visiting scholars should not apply for a Social Security Number until their J-1 program has been validated within SEVIS.