Resources for Scholars: Onboarding Procedures

Onboarding Checklist

In order to gain and maximize your access to the UC Berkeley system and campus resources, you must complete the following Onboarding procedure. If you have any questions or concerns about any of these procedures, please feel free to contact

Step 1: Obtain Health Insurance (required)

As a newly appointed Visiting Scholar/Researcher, you are required to be enrolled in an insurance plan that meets the Department of State J-1 Visa requirements beginning the first day of your appointment.

Please submit your enrollment, or waiver if you have alternate coverage, at your earliest convenience to avoid being marked as out of compliance with the University and Department of State. 

You may find detailed insurance coverage requirements on the Visiting Scholar and Post Doc Affairs website. You may purchase a plan via the university provider; however, if you would like to purchase your own health insurance with a different provider, it must meet the campus minimum standards as detailed on the website linked above. Further, you must apply for a waiver if you choose to enroll in a separate plan: please go to this website to follow directions on how to waive insurance requirements with your own insurance. 

Step 2: Complete Digital Onboarding Documents (required)

Prior to the start of your program, you will receive two emails from our Onboarding Team:

  1. One from: with an access code for a DocuSign form and instructions on completing the DocuSign. The DocuSign form contains your Onboarding paperwork. 
  2. You will receive a second email from: which will contain a link to the DocuSign form that you will need to fill out. 
  3. If you do not receive either of these two emails, please be sure to check your spam. You must complete all documents in the packet.
  4. You will need to provide personal information (local address, local phone, emergency contact, etc.) and sign the oath and patent form.  If you do not yet have a local U.S. phone number or address, you will need to sign into UC Path to update your local contact information. This can only be done after you have received your affiliate ID and set up your CalNet account (details follow below in Step 4).
  5. Please also send your local contact information (local address, local phone number) to when available. 

Please note a few common areas on the form which tend to be confusing for scholars:

  • Citizenship Status for Visting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers is, in most cases, "Alien Authorized to Work in the U.S." Please note, that in this case "work" means to "do research on the Berkeley campus." You are not permitted to hold a job in the U.S. while on your J-1 research program. 
  • If you have any other questions about how to answer questions on the form, contact

Step 3: Complete Berkeley International Office’s Mandatory Arrival Reporting Form (required)

Within 9 days of your start date, you must self-report your arrival via the J Scholar Portal. You will need to submit a scanned copy of the admission stamp in your passport indicating "J-1 D/S", and a scanned copy of your I-94 record.

In order to download your I-94: 

  1. Click, “Get Most Recent I-94”
  2. You will need to provide the following information:
    1. First (Given) Name
    2. Last (Family Name)
    3. Birth Date
    4. Passport Number
    5. Passport Country of Issuance

Please note, sometimes it will take a few days after your arrival for your I-94 to show up on the website. If you don't immediately see it, please try again in a few days. 

You are also required to watch the online Scholar Information Meeting pre-recorded webinar. It will take approximately 30 minutes to view the webinar. Please view this webinar within 9 days after your arrival to the US.

Step 4: Set-up CalNet Account (required)

After your DocuSign has been submitted and approved, you will receive another email from the Onboarding Team ( with your Affiliate ID. In order to use services at UC Berkeley, you will need to use you Affiliate ID to create your CalNet and Berkeley Email accounts. As a CalNet user, you will also have access to some of the other software listed on the bConnected website. 

Step 5: Set-up CalNet 2-Step Verification (required)

All users are required to enroll in CalNet 2-Step verification after activating their CalNet ID. You will be prompted to verify you account access everytime you login into services at Berkeley that require a CalNet ID. It is recommended that you choose a smartphone device to install the 2-Step Verification app "Duo Mobile."

The Duo Mobile app will send you a "push" on the device that it is installed on after you attempt to log in to your CalNet account. Approve the login request to complete your login.

Step 6: Obtain CalNet ID Card (required)

Go to the Cal 1 Card website, and scroll down to the "Log into your Cal 1 Card Account" link with your CalNet ID. You will need to upload a compliant photo (instructions will be given). Then you can make an appointment to pick up your Cal 1 Card at their office. Please bring your passport with you.

Please note:

  • You will only be able to upload a compliant photo if you have received your affiliate ID and set up your CalNet account, and only after your affiliation start date. For example: if your affiliation start date is Sep. 1st, and you receive and complete all of your DocuSign paperwork prior to this, you will not be able to obtain a Cal 1 card until after Sept. 1st. and not until you receive your affiliate ID and activate your CalNet Account. We advise waiting 24 hours after you create your CalNet Account, before attempting to schedule an appointment with the Cal 1 Office to ensure a smooth transaction. 
  • Technically you can make a 'Flex Appointment" to obtain your Cal1 Card without yet having access to your CalNet account or your affiliate ID number, and in advance of your affiliation start date. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive these items in time for your appointment, therefore if you would like to make an appointment in advance, you should do so after your affiliation start date and far enough in advance so that you will have all the required materials (Calnet Account (activated at least 24 hours in advance) and your Affiliate ID) in time for your appointment. 

Step 7: Access Campus Wifi (reccomended)

With your CalNet ID, you will be able to connect to Eduroam, a secure wi-fi network. If you already use Eduroam at your home campus, you will not need to create a separate account. For information on how to connect, please go to the Wi-Fi Services website. Please note that CalVisitor is a free, unsecured network available on campus as well. 

Step 8: Download the university's Global Protect VPN (recommended)

In order to access the UC Berkeley library resources remotely, you will need to have the University VPN downloaded onto your home computer or laptop. VPN installation instructions can be found on the IT services guide to the campus VPN site. 

Please note you may be prompted to sign in to your CalNet account before you are permitted to see the installation instructions. 

Step 9: Access UC Berkeley Zoom Account (recommended)

Some meetings at Berkeley require you to use your UC Berkeley zoom account to attend, and so in order to sign in to your UC Berkeley zoom account you may do so at

Please note that you may also sign into your Berkeley account directly from the zoom desktop client or zoom mobile app by choosing the option “sso/sign in with SSO." In the "company domain" section please type: "berkeley" and click continue. This will take you to your CalNet account login page where you may complete your Berkeley zoom account login. 

Step 10: Attend VSPA Virtual New Affiliate Orientation (recommended)

The Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) Program hosts a New Affiliate Orientation for newly arrived visitors the first Thursday of each month (with holiday exceptions) from 9:00 am to 11:00 am*. Visitors are expected to attend an orientation as soon as they arrive to learn important information about the campus such as safety requirements and regulations, benefits, and career and professional development. It is also a great opportunity to meet fellow newly arrived visitors and make connections that help foster a welcoming sense of community.

  • You must register for the event online (held once a month).

Step 11: Be aware of J Scholar immigration regulations (strongly encouraged)

BIO has compiled a list of tips for maintaining your J Scholar status. Please make sure you are aware of these tips so that you may continue to keep your immigration record in compliance with all J scholar immigration regulations.

Step 12: Save Campus Emergency Phone Numbers to Your Device (strongly encouraged)

It is recommended that you save the University of California Police Department (UCPD)'s contact information to your cellphone. These numbers will connect you directly to dispatchers on and/or near the Berkeley campus in the advent of an emergency. 

You may find other tips for campus safety, including information about the campus WARN ME notification system, as well as Night Saftey and BearWalk services on the Health and Safety page of our website.