LIVING IN THE U.S.
Living in the U.S. – particularly in the Washington, D.C. area – can be expensive. If the NIH is funding your stay, it is important that you have enough funds to live on for at least one month. Allow two to four weeks for your first payment to be issued.
U.S. CURRENCY (“DOLLAR”)
Currency in paper form consists of bills and coins. Provided you have an account with a financial institution, U.S. currency/cash is typically accessible by visiting a U.S. bank or through an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs can provide many banking services (deposits, cash withdrawals, account balances). Note, however, that many financial institutions may charge a fee if you use an ATM that is not associated with your bank or other financial institution.
Information about U.S. currency is available at:
U.S. Department of Treasury
COST OF LIVING
An online search of “Cost of Living” can lead you to various web sites, such as:
Banks and Credit Unions offer many kinds of financial services, such as checking and savings accounts, foreign currency conversion, money orders, credit cards, and loans. However, each financial institution offers slightly carefully research the services and fees, as well as the bank’s various locations and ATMs. You should consider institutions that are backed by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( FDIC )or the National Credit Union Association (NCUA).
When opening a bank account, banks are required under the U.S. Patriot Act to verify your identity. At a minimum, banks will ask for your name; street address; date of birth; and a tax or other identification number. In many cases, banks will ask for a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) as the identification number. However, other identification numbers can be used (such as a passport number). Although banks may prefer the SSN, it is possible to still open an account without this number. Banks may have you sign other forms (such as a Form W-8 BEN) to certify your eligibility to open an account in lieu of the SSN.
There are a wide variety of financial institutions that offer services locally and/or throughout the country. An online search of “banks” can lead you to many web sites, such as:
The Yellow Pages -– search “Banks”
The White Pages – search “Banks
The NIH has a Credit Union in Bethesda – the NIH Federal Credit Union(NIHFCU) – that you can choose for your banking needs, including loans and credit cards:
NIH Federal Credit Union