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Onboarding Procedures

Congratulations on your position with Case Western Reserve University! 

Depending on your position and hiring department, your onboarding requirements may differ. Please follow all HR and department-specific requirements as well as the immigration procedures listed below. 

Typically your first step will be to receive, sign and return your appointment, invitation or offer letter. This will kickstart the onboarding process. At that point, your file will be sent to the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services who of your visa. Any questions related to your visa status should be directed to the CWRU Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services at 


You should receive a copy of the New Hire Packet (typically via email), this paperwork will assist you in getting set up as an employee or scholar at the University. 

On (or before) your first day, you must complete the following paperwork for HR: Review, Print, Sign, and bring all documents in the New Hire Packet to Human Resources no later than the start date listed in your appointment/offer letter. You will need to complete the packet in its entirety EXCEPT for the second page of the I-9 (this will be completed by a Human Resources representative). Failure to complete the packet may interfere with your pay - so please do so prior to your appointment with Human Resources. 

You can schedule a time or walk into the Human Resources Services Center. To schedule an appointment, please email
HR Service Center: 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44106, Crawford Hall, Room 320;; 216-368-6964 

When you arrive at Human Resources, please be sure to bring the following printed out:

1.    Completed and signed New Hire Packet 
  • I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)
  • W-4 (Employee's Withholding Certificate)
  • IT 4 (Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate)
  • Post Employment Record
  • Post-Employment Self-Identification Form
  • Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
  • Veterans Self-Identification

2.    Acceptable I-9 documents - all documents must be original and unexpired (see the Form I-9 for a list of acceptable documents)

3.    Copy of your signed Appointment/Offer Letter; this document is needed by Human Resources. 

Where do you submit the paperwork? - Please visit the HR Service Center to submit your paperwork in person; they will coordinate the processing of your employment paperwork. 

Depending on your position, you may be eligible for medical insurance and other benefits through Case Western Reserve University. Most staff, faculty and postdoctoral scholars are eligible. Typically self-sponsored scholars and volunteers are not. Please note that the J-1 Regulations require that all J-1 visa holders and their J-2 dependents to have continuous coverage for the duration of their J-1 program. If you are not eligible for CWRU benefits, you will be required to find health insurance benefits through a third party provider. 

For Postdocs, please enroll in Health Insurance Benefits AFTER meeting with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for a Benefits Review. These are conducted every Wednesday. Information about postdoc benefits can be found at and click Insurance Benefits and Rates on the left side. The effective date for benefits will be your official start date. You MUST enroll in benefits within 30 days of your start date. 

For staff and faculty, benefits are typically handled by Human Resources or through Faculty Affairs. You should ask your hiring department what procedures to follow. If they determine that Human Resources will handle your benefits, you will likely receive more information in your onboarding email and will be required to sign up for benefits at the time of your HR Service Center appointment. 

Further information on benefits can be found here

Depending on your visa type, you may have to complete different paperwork and follow different procedures for checking in with the Immigration & HR Services office. 

J-1 Visa holders are required to bring their DS-2019, copy of their I-94 record (which can be found here upon entry into the U.S.) and passport to the IHRS Offices. If you have a social security/ITIN number, please bring that information as well. Typically scholars and employees will complete their IHRS Check-In after they complete their HR paperwork. Please note: J-1 scholars must check-in with the IHRS office within 30 days of the start date listed on their DS-2019 and before any work is performed at Case Western Reserve University. Failure to do so will cause your SEVIS record to lapse within the Department of State SEVIS system and will result in loss of lawful status. 

For holders of other visa types, please also bring your I-94, copy of your work authorization document (such as an EAD card, I-797 approval notice, etc.), and passport. If you have a social security/ITIN number, please bring that information as well.

Check-In MUST be completed prior to any work being performed at Case Western Reserve University. 


During your check-in with IHRS will run a tax treaty benefits analysis to see if you might qualify for special tax withholdings. If you would not like to opt for tax treaty benefits, please tell us at that time. 

Please note: IHRS officers are not tax professionals and we cannot give advice on tax-related matters. You may wish to seek the assistance of a tax attorney, tax professional or tax preparer independently.


Depending on your department or position, you may have to attend various orientations for onboarding and/or safety reasons.
  • Postdoctoral Associates are required to attend the monthly Postdoc Orientation, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month. Please see the Postdoc Affairs office for further information. 
  • Staff are required to join the Staff Orientation, which is held weekly. Your onboarding email should include further information and a link to join the presentation. 
  • You may have to complete further safety trainings if your position requires laboratory work or possible contact with biohazards. Your hiring department should provide further information for completing these requirements.

Regardless of your position type, all international staff, faculty and scholars are required to attend the weekly IHRS International Orientation, which takes place online weekly on Mondays (or the first business day of the week) at 12:30PM to 1:15PM. To register for the orientation, please visit the registration page here. This typically takes place following the online Staff Orientation. 


If you are getting paid in the United States, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. This is a unique identifying number that is used primarily for tax and employment purposes. You can find more information on the process and required documents on the Social Security Administration webpage. Please note that you must wait until you are physically present in the United States before you can apply for an SSN. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you apply for an SSN as soon as possible, as this number can take weeks to be generated and assigned to you. This number is also required to receive your pay from CWRU. 

As soon as your SSN card is received, please bring your card to the Records Department in Human Resources (2nd Floor of Crawford Hall). This is necessary to receive payment from the University. 

University-specific COVID-19 information: . Your employment is contingent on your compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Failure to comply with the Policy will result in withdrawal of and/or termination of the appointment and your employment. You will receive a separate email about the policy.

Again, Welcome to Case Western Reserve University! We are excited and honored that you chose to join our large community of educators, researchers and scholars. If there is anything we can do to further support you during your time at the University, please do not hesitate to contact us at