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Hosting visitors

MIT hosts many international visitors each year, including visiting students, post-degree scholars teaching and conducting research, and more. MIT administrators have access to a range of services and resources to assist in inviting and supporting international visitors.

International visiting students

Students may apply for visiting student status if they 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. Be sure to check the Institute’s Policies and Procedures on hosting visiting students.

For resources, MIT faculty, staff, and administrators, can access the Visiting Student Process page on the ISO website (MIT credentials required. For prospective visiting students, or for current visiting students, they can go to the Visiting Students FAQ page.

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

International scholars

Foreign nationals invited to be international scholars at MIT must enter the U.S. with an immigration status appropriate for their planned activities. Please do not assume that existing visa or visa waiver programs will be appropriate for your visiting scholar or postdoctoral researcher, and note that many people will require assistance securing the correct visa.

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. They will then work with advisors in the International Scholars Office (ISchO) 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 with additional details on the ISchO visa sponsorship page. The ISchO Administrators page describes how to properly channel visa requests. Please consult the information on academic and research appointments in the MIT Policies and Procedures to determine the most appropriate appointment.

VPF also provides tax guidance for nonresident alien scholars and ISchO has useful tax information.

Please note: International scholars should not make airline or travel arrangements, or schedule consulate appointments, until they have been notified (by ISchO, via the DLC) that it is the appropriate time to do so.

Delegations and 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, non-governmental organizations, and distinguished professionals in various fields, or those partaking in fellowships or special programs sponsored by embassies, consulates, the U.S. Department of State, or other official entities.

The Office of the Vice Provost for International Activities coordinates visits that meet the following criteria:

  • Visits by international dignitaries.
  • Visitors who have requested to meet with senior administrators, including the president and provost.
  • Requested meetings that involve multiple units on campus and topics of interest that include more than one academic unit or department.

Other international visits should be managed directly by the schools, departments, laboratories, centers, or student groups who initiated or agreed to the visit. Members of the MIT community who manage those visits can review best practices for hosting international visitors. Contact Adriana Ramirez, Manager of External Relations and Communications for the Office of the Vice Provost for International Activities, for additional advice on matters of protocol, logistics, and security and you can also review the following resources:

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.

Need more help?

International Students Office

International Students Office

Contact the International Students Office

International Scholars Office

International Scholars Office

Contact the International Scholars Office

Adriana Ramirez

Adriana Ramirez

Manager of External Relations and Communications, Office of the Assoc. Provost