Hosting International Students & Scholars

MIT hosts many international visitors each year, including visiting students and post-degree scholars teaching and conducting research.

There are a range of services and resources available to assist MIT administrators in hosting and processing these visitors:

International Visiting Students

Students who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution of higher education other than MIT, and have been invited by faculty in an MIT department or laboratory/center to do research in their fields of study towards their academic program at their home institution, may apply for visiting student status. Be sure to check the Institute’s Policies and Procedures on hosting visiting students.

The International Student’s Office (ISO) provides helpful resources for administrators (MIT credentials required) including a checklist for processing visiting student applications for a host DLC, estimated expenses, and other relevant forms and templates.

International Scholars

There are roughly 2300 international scholars (researchers, professors, and lecturers) and accompanying family members in the MIT community. When inviting an international scholar to MIT, foreign nationals must enter the U.S. with an immigration status appropriate for their planned activities.  Many will require assistance securing the correct visa.  Depending on their country of origin, some scholars who travel frequently might have already obtained business visas in their passports.  Others may have visas sponsored by government or outside agencies.  Please do not assume that an existing visa or visa waiver programs will be appropriate for your visiting scholar. 

When planning to invite an international scholar to MIT, regardless of the length of their desired stay or visa situation, you should contact your DLC’s human resources administrator or administrative officer. Advisors in the International Scholar’s Office (ISchO), who help facilitate the arrival and appointment of international visitors, will work with the designated administrator to determine the most appropriate immigration status for the scholar, and if a visa is needed, the ISchO will assist with processing the appropriate documents. If you do not have a human resources administrator in your area, please contact the assistant dean of your school or ISchO for assistance.

MIT’s policies on the appointment and employment of foreign nationals, including positions that qualify for visa sponsorship, can be found in the MIT Personnel Policy Manual. Please also review the policies on academic and research appointment to determine the most appropriate appointment. 

Please check out these other resources administrators should review before hosting an international scholar, including visa sponsorship policies, minimum funding requirements, and how to properly channel requests.

Important note: International scholars should not make airline or travel arrangements, or schedule consulate appointments until they have been notified that it is the appropriate time to do so.

Other International Visitors

Members of the MIT community often receive unsolicited requests from people around the world about visiting MIT. Those inquiries can be directed to MIT’s Institute Events Information Office for further guidance and resources.  They provide visitor information, including details on campus tours and information sessions. The Institute Events office also manages visits from international delegations representing universities or governments.