Information for Postdocs at the Math department of Bar-Ilan University. See similar page for all academic visitors.
Obtaining a student Visa
- Make sure that your passport expiration date is far away.
- Complete and sign the application form. Note that you will need an address in Israel; if you will stay at the university dormitories, you can put that on the form.
- Prepare a physical and electronic copy of the following documents before contacting the closest embassy of Israel:
- Two passport pictures.
- Invitation letter with your full name (as it appears on the passport), passport number, and start+end dates of your postdoctoral studies.
- Proof of the financial support/scholarship for the postdoctoral period.
- A travel document that is valid for at least one year, from the start date of the postdoctoral studies, electronic copy of the page with your personal details, and previous entry visas to Israel if you have any.
- Contact the closest embassy of Israel, ask for an appointment for A2 Visa and ask whether additional documents are needed. The embassy may indeed require for additional documents. e.g. residence permit (in case you are not living in your home country), hotel reservation (contract with the university dormitories, in case you will stay there), flight tickets, Ph.D. diploma, work reference letter, etc'.
- Pay the fee and attend the appointment. They will provide you with the information for the payment, the date and time of the appointment, and the list of documents that you must send in advance via e-mail (scanned). You will be asked to show the originals during the appointment.
Note: the visa is for one year starting the date of the appointment. It is therefore advised to make the appointment as close as possible to your arrival to Israel.
Extending your student Visa
Prepare the following documents in advance:
- Certificate of studies of the running academic year
- Print and fill the form "Aplication for extension of permit of residence/change of visa category" here.
Bring the documents with your passport, a recent picture and 175 NIS (350 NIS for multiple entrance visa) to the Ministry of Interior in Bialik St 2 in Ramat Gan.
The queuing numbers for visa extension are assigned between 8:00 am and 8:20 am at the entrance, be sure to be there before 8:00 am.
The visa can be extended for at most one year. If paying by cash, be sure to bring the exact amount.
Your first day in the department
- Get yourself a local SIM card (you will need it for all the later steps). Here are a couple of options:
- There is a store at the center across the street, called Blue Phone; they sell prepaid SIM cards by 019 mobile. The SIM card costs 40NIS (one time), and a standard plan (including unlimited calls + 20GB data/month) costs 49NIS/month. The phone number at the store is 03-5259192.
- There is another option with Golan Telecom. This is more suitable for those who plan to stay at least one year as it involves signing a contract for a year. The plan they offer changes from time to time. At the time of writing they offer 100 GB/month with unlimited calls and SMS at 29 NIS/month. There are one-time connection fee at 30 NIS and one-time SIM fee at 19 NIS. It is highly recommended to check their current offers before deciding. There are many stores, for example there is one on Yigal Alon St 98, Tel Aviv-Yafo (it is inside the building and you need to ask the guard). Bring your passport, the invitation letter and your credit card with you.
- It is possible to order a sim card online before coming to Israel, and then pick it up at the airport upon your arrival.
- Get yourself a bank account and a debit card. Inside campus, you'll find a branch of Mizrahi Tefahot (bank code # is 20, and the branch code # is 414). Make sure to bring in your postdoc invitation letter, your passport, an id card from a country where you are a citizen and the number of your local phone. They will need the tax identification number or equivalent from the country where you pay your tax. They may later ask you to e-mail them a copy of the postdoc invitation letter. As soon as you the student status in the system, print the certificate of studies of the running academic year and bring it to the bank to get the student discount on the fees. Note: your very first paycheck is expected to take place around one month after your arrival.
- Fill the four forms:
Submit them (along with your passport-sized photo, a photocopy of your passport, and a photocopy of the approval of your Ph.D. degree) to Rivka Wolberger.
- Get yourself an health insurance. One option is Harel Yedidim.
- The daily premium insurance costs around 1.9 USD per day.
- Assuming you have an Israeli bank account, you can pay for the insurance via a bank transfer. For this, you have to submit the filled form and ask for the amount to pay. The payment has to be done to the account IBAN: IL060311260000000185272, Beneficiary: HAREL INSURANCE CO.LTD. After making the transfer, send the confirmation from the bank to the e-mail email@example.com.
- It is also possible to pay through an international transaction, but you have to pay the commission of the banks.
- Another payment option is to pay for the whole period using any credit card (not necessarily an Israeli one), or ask them to charge you on a monthly basis (in which case, the payment takes place every 9--11 of the month).
- When filling the insurance application form, make sure to set the cover dates to start on the day of signing the form (and not earlier).
- Ask your postdoc advisor to:
Your second week in the department
- Go to the bank to pick up your debit card.
- Go to Rivka Wolberger to pick up your student card, to create an Inbar account, and to provide there your bank details, so that you can receive your monthly scholarship.
- Contact Doron Kurzberg to receive username+password for your unix account.
- You can also connect to Bar-Ilan computer from home
- Access to electronic databases via the BIU Library subscription using the OpenAthens network
Email and personal website
- Your email address is LOGIN@macs.biu.ac.il, where LOGIN stands for the username of your unix account.
- Your website address is http://u.math.biu.ac.il/~LOGIN, where LOGIN stands for the username of your unix account.
- To set up your webpage, use an SFTP client to connect to planet.cs.biu.ac.il (port 22), and then set up your website files (e.g., "index.html") on the folder /u/grad/LOGIN/WWW , where LOGIN stands for the username of your unix account.
- The dormitories do not supply linens, sheets etc. please make sure to bring whatever you need.
- You will need to take a permanent payment form from the dorms headquarters and bring it to your bank. This will set up an automatic monthly payment of your rent and water/electricity usage.
- Note that the dorms have a laundry room, and that you can pay in it with cash (the instructions there seem to insist that you download some app to pay with your phone, but in fact you only need to have 9 NIS exact change (maybe times two, for the washer and the dryer)). To use the machines, pay the exact amount on the yellow machine that in the middle, after that press the green button if you want to use the washer and the yellow button if you want to use the dryer, after this you can use the machine you have selected by the buttons. The small machine in the middle only shows the amount of money you have put on and no information about the other machines.
Keep in mind that the Israeli weekend takes place Friday and Saturday.
The open hours of the gates changes from gate to gate. Gate number 2 opens at 6:30 and closes at 00:00 from Sunday to Thursday. Gate number 1 is open 24h. During the weekend only gate number 1 is open, gate number 2 closes at 1pm on Friday
- The campus has a free WiFi network + eduroam
- Note that there is an ATM outside campus nearby gate #2. This ATM accepts international debit cards.
- On-campus utilities (bank/post office/grocery store/etc')
Conferences and Reimbursements
- A month (or more) before going on a conference, you will need to submit an application form (English version) together with an invitation letter. Please keep a scan of the form you submitted, as this will be needed for filling the financial report upon your return.
- After coming back from the conference, you have to submit all your boarding passes and receipts and provide a financial report (English version) and a scientific report (English version).
- To request reimbursements for relevant purchases you've made, fill this form.
- List of Buses
- Bus card (Rav-Kav card): you can buy the bus card from the bus driver or at any central bus station. The cards bought from the bus drivers are anonymous cards and are not eligible for the student benefits, the ones bought at the central stations are personal cards and eligible for student benefits. To buy the card at a central bus station you will need to bring your passport. You will need your passport and certificate of studies to change the status of your card to student, this can be done at any central bus station or at the Information and Student Service Center (building 502-19). You can charge the card at the Information and Student Service Center. At the beginning of every academic year cards with student benefits are blocked, you can unblocked at the Information and Student Service Center showing the certificate of studies for the new academic year.
- Alternatively, there is an app called Rav Kav Online that you can download in your phone and you can scan your card with this app to do anything you want (like charging/viewing history/checking balance/applying student discount etc).
- A reasonably accurate description of how Shabbat and Jewish holidays (see also) affect public life in Israel
- In case you need an Israeli police clearance certificate for a foreigner embassy. International police clearance certificate can be requested at any police station, you only need to tell the police to which embassy they have to send it, the Dizengoff Tel Aviv Police Station is close to many of the embassies. You have to pick it up at the embassy where it was sent.
- To apostille documents, deposit 35 NIS at any post office to the bank account 0-026789, Foreign Ministry. Go to the ministry of foreign affairs in Jerusalem with the document and the receipt of the payment.