Clear communication with sponsors is essential, particularly with regard to faculty time abroad. MIT does not typically approve long-term international stays for faculty due to the resources needed to support such extended absences.
While extended stays are often acceptable for students and staff, they present unique challenges in areas that include taxes and supervision.
Many countries require a visa for U.S. citizens, and most require student visas for studying abroad. If foreign national students or postdocs are travelling to another country, they may have visa requirements that U.S. citizens do not. MIT does not have an office that handles outgoing visas for MIT personnel; we have a preferred vendor, A Briggs, that provides support for obtaining visas.
The ICC can help you:
- Clarify expectations. It is important that, early in the process, you discuss expectations for faculty residency with your sponsor. This requires communicating MIT’s limitations on how much time faculty can spend abroad.
- Determine tax implications. Our goal is to identify and resolve tax-related questions before an agreement is signed. Tax laws vary by country and MIT personnel working outside the U.S. may be subject to income tax in that country, as well as the U.S. More broadly, MIT may create a permanent establishment (PE) in another country by performing some services, and as a result might have to pay taxes on contract funds. Note that work in country can be cumulative across all MIT departments, not just the project under discussions. In general, longer stays will mean a higher tax risk.
- Manage people abroad.