Coming to Fermilab


In the first part of this page we have collected relevant information for newcomers. You can find an introduction to life at and around Fermilab, covering items like visa and Social Security Number, housing and health insurance, money, banking and taxes, cars and driver's license (Proposed schedule, Useful Links). In the second part of this page you can find also some additional (mostly) DØ-specific information, like numbers and addresses, office space and printer queues.


  *** IMPORTANT *** 

People that come occasionally to Fermilab from outside the U.S. with the Visa Waiver Program please read the following messages (taken from Dě News) :

 - Coming to FNAL under the Visa Waiver Program

Up-to-date information on Visas, Fermilab IDs etc. can always be found at the Fermilab International Services web page. 
In particular follow the
Users's Office link.


Section 1 - Guide to Life

Detailed information is collected at the International Orientation web page.
+++ This is the main source of information provided by Fermilab +++

Further information is collected by the Graduate Student Association (GSA)   

Fermilab mainpage => For Physicists => Graduate Student Association => Guide to Life

Finally, there is the old Guide for Newcomers

Proposed schedule

Before you arrive in the U.S.

Visa - Get the necessary paperwork from Fermilab, if applicable, and obtain your visa at the U.S. consulate. You should start this process at least two months before joining Fermilab.
Go to to get informed about different visa types; download and fill in the forms required for the visa appropriate to you.
Contact the Fermilab Visa Office ( to get the form DS-2019 (former IAP-66, mandatory for e.g. J-1 visa). 
You may need an invitation from Fermilab - please contact the spokesman (D. Wood, or D. Denisov or the Assistant Director (R. Rubinstein, 
Additional information can be found at the User's Office Visa page:
Please note: People on SEVIS MUST arrive within 30 days of their visa start. You MUST contact Fermilab's Visa Office BEFORE entering the US in case of delays.

Your first working day at Fermilab

Attend new-employee orientation at Fermilab (for employees only) and choose health plan OR check in at the Users' Office (for visitors).
Any person must attend a 'New Employee ES&H Orientation' Course. This course can be enrolled at:
Please note: This course has to be taken only once BEFORE getting a Fermilab ID. Please schedule your arrival accordingly !

Read the summary and note on accessing the database in the Dě News.
Orientation for J-1 holders (new employees or visitors) is provided by the Visa Office:
Exchange_Visitor_Orientation.pdf (1 MB). 
Please consider the current status of access to Fermilab:
Fermilab mainpage => Visiting Fermilab => Hours and Directions and 
Fermilab mainpage => For physicists => User's Office.
The User's Office is located at Wilson Hall, 1W, the Visa Office is located at Wilson Hall, 15SE; see:
Map of Fermilab (interactive).
Information about health insurance can be found at the following webpage: => Health Care and Health Insurance.
Fill out the New Person Information form (pdf) and return it to Sonya Wright or Harvey Bruch (DAB6). You can also email the form ( or
Read the D0 Hazard Awareness Handout and complete the quiz at the end (this is mandatory for all personnel at DØ). Put the quiz and the form on the last page into the designated mailbox at DAB3. 
You can also take the online quiz available here. Select 'D0 Hazard Awareness', enter your Fermilab ID and click on the 'Submit' button. Then 'Request Test' and answer the questions.
Please note, that DHCP registration is mandatory, if you want to use your Laptop within the network. Please have a look at
DØ mainpage => DØ at work => Compting & Core Software => Computer Accounts => DHCP Registration 
and inform yourself about the DHCP Registration Requirements.
DØ users can use the simplified IP Address Request Form.

Your first week in the U.S.:

Look around for apartments and become familiar with the area.
Again the User's Office collected information about living on- and off-site the Fermilab: => Housing.
For on-site living contact the Housing office:
Please have a look at the webpage provided by the Graduate Student Association (GSA):
If you are looking for a roommate or a place you can post an email to the fnalgrad mailing list (how to subscribe).

Call Social Security Facility for Social Security Number (SSN).
Please follow the advices collected by the User's Office:
SSN office in Aurora (address and office hours):
Direct link to Application for a Social Security Card:

After you obtained your Social Security Number:

Open a bank account. 
Long term visitors should open a checking account with a local bank. One option is the Argonne Credit Union which has an office at Wilson Hall. But there are also many other banks in the area. To open a checking account you usually need identification (passport or drivers license) and a Social Security Number (SSN). The Argonne Credit Union requires an SSN but there are other banks which don't, for example the TCF Bank or Chase. The TCF Bank requires a passport, proof of residency (e.g. a letter addressed to you, a lease, a telephone bill), and a Fermilab ID.
Further information on Money and Banking:

Obtain an Illinois Rules of the Road book in the Users' Office and start preparing for the driver's license test in order to get the Illinois Driver's License.
Most information about getting an Illinois Driver's License can be found at the User's Office page: => Driving in Illinois.
Rules of the Road:
You have to go to a drivers license facility. You don't need an appointment, just go there. The fee to take the test is 20 $. You can repeat the test several times if you fail. In addition you need your passport and a proof of residency (e.g. an utility bill, a letter from a bank or other official institution addressed to you, not older than 60 days; if not available, send a letter to yourself and keep the envelope to prove that the mailman was able to deliver this letter to you, vehicle title containing your address, rent receipt or lease agreement, check book with address on checks).

Inform yourself about cars and car insurance.
Practical tips on buying a car, registration and insurance are located at:

First month:

Rent an apartment and sign up for utilities; buy a car.

Before April 15th:

File tax return.
U.S. tax regulations require to file a federal income tax return - but there are lots of exemptions and regulations. Helpful information can be found at the following webpages:
Tax Information for International Scholars (webpage of the University of Pennsylvania),
Internal Revenue Service,,


Useful Links 

Some links are taken from Stefan's page.

Flights and Airports:,,
American Trans Air (ATA, within the US),
Southwest Airline (within the US),
O'Hare Airport (Chicago),
Midway Airport (Chicago).
Trains, Busses and Limos:
AMTRAK (train),
METRA (train from Aurora - Naperville - Chicago) - schedule (pdf),
West Suburban Travelers Limousine,
Chicago Limo Links.
Cars and car insurance:
Car rental at the airport,
Pilots Leasing (for people staying at Fermilab), (price quote for different models),
CARFAX (vehicle history, pay 25 $ once for unlimited vehicle history reports),
GF Mann Agency (insurance agency),
Insure One (insurance).
Living off-site:
Hotels/Motels near Fermilab,
Oakwood Corporate Housing.
Wilson Hall Cafe,
Chez Leon (Fermilab's own restaurant),
Restaurant List.
Towns and maps:
City of Chicago
St. Charles,
Inside Illinois (Route Map),
MapsOnUs (Maps, Driving Directions).
Prepaid Phone Cards,
10-10 numbers (telephoning without phone card),
Telephone Directory (find a person or a business, search by phone).
Entertainment and Culture:
Chicago City Pass (pass for other cities),
Fermilab Cultural Events
Chicago Guide

Local Movie Theatres

The Green Mill
(historic jazz bar in Chicago, unchanged since Al Capone's visits..), 
Music Clubs

The Lyric Opera

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Field Museum of Natural History
(visit Sue, the largest T-Rex found), 
Museum of Science and Industry

Adler Planetarium

Shedd Aquarium
(Beluga whales..), 
Art Institute of Chicago

Museum of Contemporary Art

Sears Tower

Hancock Observatory

More museums

Morton Arboretum
('tree museum' and park close to Fermilab..), 
Brookfield Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Navy Pier

Shoreline Sightseeing

Chicago Chinatown

Naper Settlement Museum

Garfield Park Conservatory
Cubs (Baseball),
White Sox (Baseball),
Bears (Football),
Bulls (Basketball),
Blackhawks (Ice Hockey),
Chicago Fire (Soccer).

Section 2 - DØ specific information

Numbers and Addresses

A Fermilab wide Telephone Directory can be found at:
Fermilab mainpage => Contacting Fermilab => Phone Directory and Yellow Pages.

At Fermilab phone (and fax) numbers are:
Nation Code (+1) - Area Code (630) - prefix (840) - four digit extension (ext)

Please notice: In the following tables only extensions are given.

DØ Fax Machines DAB6 : 8481
DAB5 : 6650
Trailer 177 : 8886
Users Office 3111
Housing Office 3776
ID Office (FNAL IDs and gate passes) 4506
Fermilab Taxi (on-site travels only) 4225



On-site Laboratory Pagers Dial 72, then after the tone dial the four digit page number. After the second tone, leave a message (repeat it twice) and hang up.
Long Distance Pagers Dial the phone number listed. After 3 beeps, dial the number you want the person to call, press '#', wait for confirming beeps and busy tone. You may hang up now.

Remember to dial '9' for calls outside Fermilab, e. g. 9-266-1111 !

DØ Paging You can access the DØ Paging systems by dialing ext 4674 from any extension at the lab. Just dial the number, wait for the beep and speak very loudly into the phone. This intercom system can be heard anywhere at DØ.



Mailing Address Fermilab
P.O. Box 500
Batavia, IL 60510-0500

Include your mail station:
MS 352 - for trailers
MS 357 - for DØ Assembly Buildung (DAB)

Shipping Address Fermilab
Receiving Department Wilson Road
Batavia, IL 60510-0500

Include your mail station

Overnight Shipments All overnight shipments are delivered to the third floor high-bay receiving racks. If you are missing a package contact the Receiving Department (ext 3575).


Office Space

You can find maps of the DØ office space at: DØ mainpage => DØ at work => Collaboration => Office Maps.

DØ Trailer City

Refrigerators and microwaves are located in all trailers.
Washrooms are located in all trailers except Trailer 158.

Trailer 151 (West Trailer) DØ Notes after number 500
Trailer 158 ('Outback', behind DØ Assembly Building)  
Trailer 173 (North Trailer) Showers
Trailer 177 (East Trailer) Supply cabinets
Forms drawer


DØ Assembly Building (= DAB)

DAB1 (1st Floor) Emergency Shelter
DØ Control Room
Refrigerator and Microwave
DAB2 (2nd Floor) Emergency Shelter
DAB3 (3rd Floor) Washrooms
Vending machines
Outgoing mailbox
Recycling center
Receiving drop off & pick-up point
DØ Notes numbers 1 - 500
Refrigerator and Microwave
DAB4 (4th Floor) Lobby (main entrance)
DAB5 (5th Floor) Engineering Notes
Supply cabinets
Forms drawer
Refrigerator and Microwave
DAB6 (6th Floor) Copier
Supply cabinet
Forms drawer
Refrigerator and Microwave


Conference Rooms

All available DØ conference rooms with telephone numbers and IP addresses can be found at: 
DØ mainpage => DØ at Work => General => Video Conferencing.

Summary of Fermilab wide conference rooms:
Fermilab mainpage => Fermilab at Work => Fermilab at Work Homepage => Directories/Maps => Conference Rooms.

Some conference rooms are scheduled by the Directorate, see here.

For further information (Calendar, schedule a meeting) on meeting rooms consider:
DØ mainpage => DØ at Work => General => Meeting Rooms.

Location of meeting rooms :  

Hurricane Deck DAB4
Far Side Trailer 151
Dog House Trailer 151
Salle des Heros Trailer 177
5th Dimension DAB5
Kitchen DAB1
Wilson Hall Hornet's Nest WH8
Racetrack WH7
Black Hole WH2NW
West Wing WH10NW


Printer Queues

General instructions for printing at Fermilab can be found at:
Fermilab mainpage => Fermilab at work => Fermilab Divisions and Sections => Computing Division => Services => Getting Services => Printing

XXX_color Paper copies (color)
XXX_color_trans Transparencies
XXX_hp8150 Single sided copies
XXX_hp8150_d Double sided copies


Trailer 151


Trailer 173


Trailer 177


Trailer 158 (Outback)