Visa stamp and health insurance

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Foreign visitors must be admitted into the US in business status for the visit to Fermilab, not in tourist status. If you do arrive with tourist status, you will have to return to the airport for the correct stamp on your visa. Please be absolutely sure you have the business stamp PRIOR to leaving Immigration at the airport. If you have any visas questions or issues, please contact the Fermilab Visa Office at

Make sure you have medical insurance coverage during your stay. If you are not going to be covered by your home institution and do not have other coverage, consider purchasing medical insurance through Gateway or another insurance carrier of your choice. The website for Gateway is Here, you will find information on the different plans available, the rates and application forms. Please pick an appropriate plan for your purpose of travel and your length of stay.

Plan your trip to Fermilab

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Fermilab is located in Batavia, about a 45 minutes drive from O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and a one hour drive from Midway International Airport (MDW). There are three entrance gates—Wilson Street, Pine Street and Batavia Road. To be allowed on-site, you need to show a valid ID document (passport or US drivers licence).


These tools might be useful to plan your flight to Chicago
> Google Flights
> Matrix Airfare Search
> Rome2rio


Transportation to and from Chicago O'Hare Airport or Midway Airport is available by limousine, taxi or car rental.
If we pay your transportation to/from the airport, the limo resevation has to be done through our group secretary, Olivia (

For car rentals, you can use the on-site company Pilots Leasing or a company of your choice. All major rental agencies (such as Hertz, Avis, Budget and National) are located at the airports. Variuos websites can help you in your choice; is a good one.
Again, if we cover your rental reservations have to be made through Olivia for Pilot Leasing and Dan at Fermilab Travel Office ( for any other company.

During the week Fermilab can also be reached from Chicago by train. Trains on the Union Pacific West line run between the Ogilvie Transportation Center (OTC) in Chicago and the Geneva Metra station according to the following schedule
Metra UP-W Chicago OTC - Elburn
A Pace Call-n-Ride bus service is available weekdays between Geneva train station and Wilson Hall. Outside these hours, you can use a taxi.

If you plan to drive to a train station to take a train, the more convenient solution is to go to Naperville Metra Station on the BNSF line. Trains are more frequent than on the UP-W line. The stop at Route 59 is hard to reach, since there are often works and delays.
The schedule for the BNSF line can be found here.

Free on-site trasportation is available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call x4225 to arrange for pickup. Please note that the Fermilab taxi may make stops along the way to your destination. Allow plenty of time to get to your meeting or appointment. The taxi stops on the East side of Wilson Hall, at the Pace stop.


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There are various hotels around Fermilab. Some of them provide a free shuttle, if you don't want to rent a car. Please note that in order to obtain the rate quoted on this page you need to mention that you are visiting Fermilab when you reserve.
We advise you to book early, as no hold on the rooms has been made.
If you wish to share a room in order to reduce the costs, but do not have a partner yet, please send us an e-mail and we will try to arrange it.
Again, if we cover for your stay, hotel reservations need to be done through Dan at Travel Office.
We usually suggest our guests to stay at the Hyatt Place or the Hyatt House in Warrenville.

A cheaper alternative is to stay on site. Rooms in the dorms range from $18 to $32/night. To reserve, please contact If we pay for your stay and you use the dorms, the reservation should be made through Olivia. The on-site free shuttle can then bring you around the site during the day


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If the following instructions do not work, contact Service Desk at 2345, ext. 1, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. . You can also visit their office on the Wilson Hall Ground Floor, just opposite to the Abri Credit Union counters.

To access the internet from your laptop, connect to the "guest" network. If a registration form opens, use the following details:

Local host         Marcela Carena or Bogdan Dobrescu
Location Wilson Hall (the office number is next to your door, if you need it)

If you connect from a Mac, you must have at least OSX 10.8. An older OS will not be allowed to connect to the wifi network.

It is not possible to print from the "guest" network. However, there are three desktops available in the Library (on our floor) that you can use for this purpose. Remember to bring a USB stick!


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If you come from abroad, there are a few things when driving in the U.S. that might be different for you:

  • Tolls (e.g., if you take I-88): if your car does not have a pass (I-PASS or E-ZPass) and you are renting it, you should try to pay cash at the collection boot. Although it is in principle possible to pay for unpaid tolls online, you need the name of the vehicle owner to do so. This must be a phyical person and cannot be a car rental agency! More information can be found on the Illinois Tollway page.

  • Stop all way signs: vehicles yield under a simple rule: first come, first served. If several vehicles wait at the same time, remember the order of arrival of each one at their stop line; let the first car at each crossing road pass, and go. Don't slow down-and-go, but make it a full stop.
    The first come, first served rule also applies instinctively when traffic lights fail.

  • Turning right at traffic lights: a right turn is generally allowed on a red light provided you give way to other vehicles and crossing pedestrians.
    Exception: the "right turn" is prohibited when a panel indicates "no right turn on red".

  • School buses: you must stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus loading or unloading passengers on a two-lane roadway. A warning will be given at least 100 feet in advance of a stop. The bus driver will flash amber and red lights on the front and rear of the bus. The stop signal arm will be extended after the school bus has come to a complete stop. You must then come to a complete stop. You must remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the driver signals you to pass.
    On a four-lane roadway where a bus is stopped in the opposite direction from which you are traveling, you are not required to stop your vehicle but you should drive with caution.

  • School zones: in these zones the speed is drastically reduced as students enter and leave the school. Flashing orange lights indicate when you should abide by these lower speed limits. If they are on, the vehicle cannot move past 25 mph over a short distance - typically a few tens of meters.
    You will quickly notice that everyone scrupulously observes the school speed limit; it is not uncommon for the local sheriff to monitor motorists during school hours.

  • Fire hydrants: standing or parking a vehicle, whether occupied or not, is prohibited within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.

  • Emergency/Maintenance Vehicles: when approaching a stationary emergency/maintenance vehicle using visual signals (lights), Illinois law requires motorists to yield, change to a lane away from the emergency workers when possible and proceed with caution. If a lane change is not possible, reduce speed and proceed with caution.

    When being approached by an emergency vehicle with lights and/or sirens on, immediately pull to the right side of the road and allow the emergency vehicle to pass. In some cases a complete stop may be necessary to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. If stopped at an intersection with two-way traffic, remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes.

  • Alcohol: it is illegal for anyone (also the passengers!) to drink alcoholic beverages in a vehicle. It is also illegal to have alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle if the container has been opened.

Nov 1st: turn your clock backward!

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While in Europe the Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends on Sunday, October 25, in the U.S. it will end on Sunday, November 1 instead. At 2 a.m. clocks are turned backward 1 hour.

Other useful info (food, entertainment, etc.)

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The Cafeteria is open Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. . It does not serve dinner.
Detailed schedule and menu are available here.
For an after-work gathering, the Users' Center, at 10 Che Che Pinqua in the Fermilab Village, is open Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. until midnight. The Center has a bar, ping pong, pool, cards, and chess and checkers. You'll also find a color television set with VCR, a grand piano, and a small library.

Off-site food

Some ideas for restaurants around Fermilab can be found on the pages of the Graduate Student Association and on this Guide to Life at Fermilab, Section 7.2.
If you are in the dorms, your best option is the shopping mall on the North side of the intersection between Batavia Rd. and R.te 59, a couple of minutes out of the East Gate. It has a grocery store and a couple of restaurants/cafes.
For a drink and some pub food, you can head to the Two Brothers, open noon till midnight.

From Wilson Hall, you can reach more easily a Walmart store for groceries. Various dining options are available down Kird Rd.

Page last updated Sept 9, 2015.