Information for Incoming Scholars


General information regarding Visas can be found on the Harvard International Office Website

I've received my DS-2019 form- what do I do now?


If you will be a Harvard paid, benefits eligible employee, you are eligible to live in Harvard Housing. To learn more, visit the Harvard University Housing Website.  Your offer letter will indicate whether you are benefits eligible.  

If you are not a Harvard paid, benefits eligible employee, you may still be eligible to sublet an HUH apartment. You can find more information here: Sublets | Harvard University Housing

You can use your offer letter as proof of your Harvard affiliation if you find something you’d like to rent before your Harvard ID is ready. HUH leases run annually from July 1-June 30, so if your visit is less than a year or you are arriving in the middle of a lease period, your options will be very limited (if any). If you have any trouble using your offer letter as proof of your affiliation, please contact your Academic Appointments Manager.

Harvard Real Estate Services also maintains a website where you can search for a Harvard roommate or a short-term sublet opportunity in Harvard housing.

You may be able to work out a reduced rate with a local bed and breakfast. Prentiss House is very convenient to campus, and has provided this service for other visitors who are here for one or two months and have difficulty finding a sublet option for a short time period. Please contact your appointments manager for a discount code that can be used when booking.

Here are some websites that may help you find short-term furnished accommodation if you plan to look for housing once you arrive and need a temporary place to stay:


Boston Homestay

Bed and Breakfast Associates

Finally, many Harvard Affiliates will also search for private apartments through Craigslist. This is a riskier option, since you won’t know the landlord or the condition of the apartment.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs also provides some helpful information on housing here

Health Insurance:

For non-benefits eligible J-1 scholars:

Although having health insurance while you are here on a J-1 visa is required, you actually do not need to submit proof that you've purchased it. You can see insurance options here under "Insurance Plans Outside Harvard."

The Harvard International Office provides advice for international scholars regarding health insurance.

For benefits eligible scholars:

You will receive information on enrolling in health insurance and other benefits upon your arrival.  Your benefits will be set up to be retroactive to your start date.


If you are a parent or a future parent, and need childcare, plan early. Childcare is expensive, and especially so in Boston.  You can find information about childcare at Harvard here

There is also information here specific to Postdoctoral Fellows.

Tax questions:

Non US Citizens: Please direct any questions regarding taxes to International Payee Tax Compliance

US Citizens: Please direct any questions regarding taxes to Tax Services

Resources for Postdoctoral Fellows:

The FAS Office of Postdoctoral Affairs serves as a resource to Postdocs in the FAS and SEAS in the areas of professional development, community and work life.