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Important information for current Fung Global Fellows:

VISA INFORMATION

Princeton University’s Davis International Center serves both international scholars and students. They offer an initial orientation and support for visitors and their families throughout the academic year. Please review their website, especially the sections on ImmigrationLiving in Princeton and Taxes and Social Security, as you will find answers to many of your questions. Tayla Burns, Associate Director for International Scholars at the Davis Center, and her colleagues will prepare the necessary documents to facilitate your visa application. While a 3-month window should normally be sufficient for your application at the U.S. embassy or consulate that you will have to work with in your country of residence, we recommend that you begin the application for yourself and your dependents as soon as you receive your visa document. You might wish to inquire how far in advance you will need to make your appointment and what the timeframe for the visa issuing might be.  The program will cover visa fees for you and your dependents, so please keep your (preferably electronic) receipts for your reimbursement in September.

Generally, most of our visiting scholars use the J-1 visa category.  You can find more information and requirements for J-1 visa holders at Princeton University here.

 

SALARY & TAX STATUS

Please note that, as a Visiting Research Scholar (Senior and Early Career Fellows) or a Postdoctoral Research Associate, you will be receiving a salary rather than a fellowship stipend (the term Fung Global Fellow does not refer to the terms of your formal appointment).  This will be relevant with regard to your tax status and benefits eligibility.  Let me refer you to basic tax information with the University’s Office of Finance and Treasury. If your citizenship is different from your country of residence, you might find it useful to bring proof of tax residency with you to Princeton.  Upon your arrival, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number in nearby Trenton, NJ as this is needed for anyone who is to receive a salary here in the U.S.  Please note that salaries are paid at the end of each month, i.e., you will need to plan on covering various start-up costs here initially.  For more information on Social Security Numbers, please visit: https://davisic.princeton.edu/taxes-social-security/social-security-individual-taxpayer-identification-numbers.  Please note that institutional payments are only permitted for scholars coming from domestic (US) institutions of higher education, PIIRS is unable to process institutional payments to scholars at international institutions.

Please be aware that candidates must research their home country’s specific tax regulations pertaining to the income they will receive from the U.S. before arriving at Princeton as Princeton University faculty and administration cannot advise on any matters related to a candidate’s tax obligations in their home country.  In general, foreign workers in the U.S. are subject to paying U.S. state and federal tax on incomes earned in the U.S. The candidate’s federal tax liability is based upon the individual’s tax status in the U.S. In addition, the federal tax liability can be reduced if there exists a tax treaty agreement between the U.S. and the candidate’s country of tax residence.  Your U.S. tax status is determined by your visa and the number of days present in the U.S.  You must have a U.S. issued Social Security Number (SSN) to be eligible to apply for the tax treaty exemption, if applicable.  In order to determine your tax status and your eligibility to apply for a tax treaty exemption you must have the following information/documents: 1) U.S. issued Social Security Number; 2) current visa; 3) date of entry in the U.S.; 4) country of citizenship and resident; 5) prior visits to the United States.  Princeton University’s Senior Associate Director, Global Financial Services, Office of the VP for Finance and Treasurer, Kristy Holmes, may be able to assist in answering some basic taxation questions for you (klholmes@princeton.edu).

Please note: Enrollment in the Glacier System, to determine tax withholdings, and health insurance via the university will take place after your arrival here, so there is no need to take action at this time.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Please find an outline of health insurance requirements for international visitors here.  Should you choose insurance through Princeton University, see details here.  For a brief description of the benefits programs that are available to you, please see the Princeton University Benefits webpage.  As a J-1 visa holder, you will have two plans to choose from, the Aetna HMO or the J-1 Visa Plan both described on the benefits page. Coverage through Princeton is only valid for the time frame of your appointment, September 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020. Should you plan to be in the U.S. outside of this time frame, you will need to purchase additional coverage.  Health care costs tend to be quite high in the U.S., so I would advise that you take care of necessary immunizations and other medical issues before you arrive.

 

DISABILITY (INCLUDING MATERNITY)

Please contact Nicole Bergman directly at nbergman@princeton.edu for information on disability benefits for Fung Fellows.

HOUSING

As Fellows, you are required to reside within an approximate 15-mile radius of campus.  Princeton is a small town with limited furnished rental opportunities, and while Princeton University maintains a number of rental units that might become available, larger apartments (with more than one bedroom) suitable for families are generally not furnished, for instance those in the new Merwick-Stanworth complex. You may preview both on-campus and off-campus options at Princeton's Faculty and Staff Housing website.

If you are interested in on-campus housing options, please contact Nicole Bergman (nbergman@princeton.edu) and she will put you in touch with the Faculty and Staff Housing Office.  They will then send you a link to the password-protected housing application portal.  On-campus housing assignments are generally made in June.  If you are interested in residing in Olden House, a university guest house suited for individual visitors and couples, you can apply for this option via the Olden House interest form here.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact the housing office directly at fshsg@princeton.edu or Nicole.  Most Fung Fellows received offers for on-campus housing, primarily in the Olden House or Merwick-Stanworth complex, though this cannot be guaranteed. Others found furnished sublets from faculty on leave via the off-campus housing site, others rented apartments or houses in town.  Several fellows bought furniture from IKEA or similarly inexpensive stores, other visitors rented furniture via CORT at a Princeton University rate.

You can view the off-campus housing listings by logging in with your current email address as a guest user here , before you receive your Princeton Net ID (ca. June 1). This is where local landlords or people looking to sublet list their apartments/houses. If you find something you are interested in, contact these people directly.  More offerings should be posted later in the spring.  Please note that current and past visitors to campus have frequently found it difficult to obtain a 10-month lease for off-campus housing, since many landlords prefer a 12-month lease or longer. Often, however, there is a bit of room for negotiation, perhaps with flexibility on both ends. Please note that with a J-1 visa, you may arrive up to 30 days prior to your start date and also have a grace period of 30 days thereafter.

Besides these off-campus listings, there are other resources for your housing search and other aspects of living in Princeton which you might find useful. While Princeton is a small town, it covers a relatively large area, and many businesses or apartment complexes include the Princeton name, which can be misleading. In case of doubt about a location, be encouraged to consult a map or feel free to check in with the housing office or Nicole to make sure that a specific location is advisable and can indeed be reached by foot or public transit.

  • Tiger Trade, run by the Princeton student government, useful for all kinds of second hand purchases, but also includes some sublets
  • Craig's List (for Central New Jersey, so including locations too far away), which also includes listings for housing
  • Sublet opportunities offered by academics, mostly entire houses in our area: http://www.sabbaticalhomes.com (often somewhat expensive)
  • Airbnb
  • Princeton Online, a good general resource, with much to offer for families, but also some housing 
  • The Princeton Packet, a local newspaper, see classifieds for housing
  • Town Topics, Princeton’s weekly publication
  • Last, but not least, the Princeton’s township website for general information: http://www.princetonnj.gov/
  • There are quite a few realtors in Princeton who might also be able to assist you, should you wish to work with those, let me know, and I can send you some addresses or links. One site with many listings by realtors is: http://www.realtor.com (though, so far, I have not seen much in terms of furnished places in Princeton there).

Finding a place in either walking or biking distance to campus would surely be preferable, but in this context, you might also think about other transportation options. Princeton University provides a free campus shuttle, Tiger Transit.  There are some public buses and trains by the New Jersey Transit system: http://www.princeton.edu/transportation/pubtrans.html, and also a car sharing service: http://www.princeton.edu/transportation/carsharing.html.  Should you think about owning a car during your time here, see information on the need to obtain a U.S. driving license on the Davis International Center’s website.  For renting a car, current fellows have found it best to bring and use an international license initially.

 

TRAVEL TO PRINCETON

Once you know your arrival date (depending on your move-in date) and are ready to book your travel, please feel free to contact Princeton University's travel agent, Stephanie Shores, at World Travel: princetongroups@worldtravelinc.com or 888-530-4087 (US) or 484-722-6215 (outside US) and she can arrange your roundtrip economy flights and ground transportation. Following university policy, she will obtain the most economical fare, ideally for non-stop flights (or reasonable connections). At that time, she will need the following information from each traveler:

  • Copy of passport, gender & date of birth for yourself, spouse/partner and dependents
  • Seating preferences, special meal or wheelchair requests
  • Frequent flyer number(s)
  • Cell phone number

As for travel dates, please plan to arrive on or by September 1st. At this time, most airlines do not yet permit booking a June 2020 return date, so, unless you prefer to wait with your booking as late as July, World Travel would book a preliminary return date, likely for early 2020. They would then, in coordination with you, change the return date at some point. The program will cover the change fee and applicable fare differences. The nearest airport to arrive at is Newark Airport, about an hour by car. Philadelphia or JFK are further away, but might offer better connections or fares in some cases. Once you have your address in Princeton, World Travel can arrange for a car service from the airport. Should you prefer to book your own flight, this is certainly fine, however, we would have to obtain a comparable fare quote at the time of booking for your reimbursement. Any reimbursement, however, can only be processed after your arrival in Princeton.

Upon Arrival...

Please see the PIIRS "Welcome Manual" at the top of this page for information upon arrival.

If you need assistance with your Princeton University email or other tech matters, please visit the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Additional relevant links can be found below:

SCHOOLS

Princeton Public Schools - grades Kindergarten through 12th grade

Princeton Charter School - grades Kindergarten through 8th

Princeton Area Private Schools

RECREATION

Princeton Recreation Department - youth sport programs throughout the year, summer pool memberships and camps

Princeton Youth Sports Leagues

YMCA of Princeton

YWCA of Princeton

Nassau Swim Club

Broadmead Swim Club

Quarry Swim Club

TRANSPORTATION

Princeton University Transportation and Parking Services

Davis International Center transportation guidelines

NJ Driver's License

Car sharing

"Swap a Lease" program

NJ Transit (train to New York City and metro area; closest stations are Princeton "The Dinky" and Princeton Junction)

Amtrak (closest station is Trenton, NJ)

PRINCETON AREA ATTRACTIONS

Things to do in and around Princeton

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS

Prison Teaching Initiative