All foreign nationals must enter the U.S. with an immigration status appropriate for their planned activities, and many will require assistance securing the correct visa. Depending on their country of origin, some visitors may be eligible for visa waivers, and scholars who travel frequently might have already obtained business visas in their passports Others may have visas sponsored by government or outside agencies.
Nearly every department, laboratory and center has a human resources administrator or administrative officer that serves as a liaison to the International Scholars Office (ISchO). You should contact that administrator when planning to invite an international scholar to MIT, regardless of the length of their desired stay or visa situation. The human resources administrator also assists international scholars, upon arrival, in getting oriented and settled in the department. If you do not have a human resources administrator in your area, please contact the assistant dean of your school or ISchO.
Do not assume that an existing visa or the visa waiver program will be appropriate for your visiting scholar. ISchO 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.
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.
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.
Services for international scholars
International scholars are required to register with ISchO upon arrival. They will be invited to attend an orientation session and the ISchO can also provide guidance on matters related to immigration, family, work, travel, and culture. Additional programming for scholars and special events open to the campus community are offered throughout the year.
Helpful links for international scholars
- Pre-arrival information: banking, housing, and other
- Important health insurance information
- American culture
- Spouses and partners
- Medical issues and insurance
Please visit the International Scholars Office for more information.