Hosting International Visitors

MIT hosts many international visitors each year, including visiting students, post-degree scholars teaching and conducting research, and people looking to connect or collaborate with the MIT community.

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. The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF) also provides tax guidance for nonresident alien students.

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. VPF also provides tax guidance for nonresident alien scholars.

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

MIT welcomes international delegations and visitors seeking meaningful dialogue and academic or other connections/collaborations with members of the MIT community. Visitors may include government officials, university leaders, and distinguished professionals in various fields, or those partaking in fellowships or special programs sponsored by local consulates, the U.S. State Department, or other official entities.

The Office of the Associate Provost for International Activities (OAPIA) hosts a variety of visitors including government officials, university leaders, and distinguished professionals in various fields, however those visits are not restricted to that office. Members of the MIT community hosting international visitors, including international dignitaries, should review the following resources and contact Jennifer Camacho for additional advice on matters of protocol, logistics, and security.

For people outside of the Institute looking to send a delegation to MIT, please fill out this request form at least four weeks prior to your visit. Prospective students and those seeking to request private group tours should visit the Office of Admissions