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Slides from ISchO's Advanced Immigration Session - H-1B Visa, held 11/22/2019. You must have an MIT certificate to access the slides.

Resources and Emergency After-Hours ISchO Protocol, including emergency contact information for international scholars

The International Coordinating Committee (ICC) website International projects involve complex questions related to legal agreements, travel, tax and financial compliance, safety and security, etc. The ICC website is an excellent resource for faculty and administrators.

*NEW* Inviting International Visitors Fall 2021 and Beyond

On July 1, 2021, the Vice President for Research and the Provost, announced that visiting scholars can once again be invited to MIT, starting September 1, 2021. As eager as we all are to welcome them to campus, international scholars will face challenges in applying for visas and traveling to the U.S.

We ask for your assistance in disseminating this information to the PIs and faculty hosts in your departments, labs, centers and programs, as it must be taken into consideration when planning to invite international scholars.

  • The U.S. government travel restrictions on individuals who have been in China, Iran, the European Schengen area, UK, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India remain in place.*

  • Some U.S. Consulates are closed for visa services, including some in Europe. Others are operating on a limited basis, only providing visa services for their own country nationals.

  • Security/background checks, required by the U.S. Department of State before visas can be issued, may take longer to process than prior to the pandemic.

  • U.S. Consulates are working to prioritize visa appointments for international students who have been admitted to U.S. degree programs for Fall 2021.

  • There is a backlog of applicants who have been waiting for visa appointments at U.S. Consulates for the past year. In some countries, the first available visa appointments for new applicants may be in late 2021 or early 2022.

International scholars should be encouraged to contact the nearest U.S. Consulate as early as possible to ask when the soonest visa appointments are available, and share the information with you.

Under normal, pre-pandemic circumstances, the International Scholars Office (ISchO) recommended that requests for J-1 exchange visitor sponsorship be submitted no fewer than 75 days prior to the expected start date. For the reasons stated above, and in order to manage expectations of all parties, we recommend that J-1 requests be submitted to ISchO no fewer than 90 days prior to the desired MIT appointment date.

In some cases, even when 90 days advance notice have been provided, the International Scholars Office (ISchO) staff may suggest adjusted start dates, based on the most recent information available from various sources.

Regarding unprocessed visa requests, submitted to ISchO before or during the covid-19 pandemic, expect an additional email on this topic, to follow shortly.

Although we remain optimistic, it isnít possible to predict when consular/visa services will improve or when travel restrictions will be lifted. Any developments will be communicated via email, posted on the ISchO News page, and on the MIT Major Immigration Updates page.

* Presidential Proclamations 10143 and 10199 restrict the entry of foreign nationals who have been in or transited through one of these countries during the preceding 14 days. A foreign national planning to travel to the U.S. from one of these countries, must apply for and be granted a National Interest Exception (NIE) from a U.S. Consulate before traveling to the U.S. This requirement applies regardless of visa type or ESTA eligibility. Please see more detailed information on the ISchO News page or the MIT Major Immigration Updates page.

Information for MIT Administrators

This information is provided for administrators at MIT. Please read items 1-3 below. We also suggest that you consult MIT Policies & Procedures, Section 7.11, "Employment or Appointment of Foreign Nationals" and MIT Visa Sponsorship Policies for further information.

1. Each MIT Department/Laboratory/Center has a primary liaison, typically the Personnel Administrator or Administrative Officer, through whom all requests to appoint a foreign national must be channeled. This department contact is familiar with the MIT personnel appointment system, ISchO procedures and non-immigrant visa types and can be very helpful to faculty. This person will act as the liaison between the ISchO and the faculty member inviting a foreign national to teach or conduct research at the Institute. The department contact will assist in determining the most appropriate visa for the visitor and preparing related documentation.

2. Please Note: MIT does not provide visa sponsorship for technical, administrative, or library positions. Additionally, MIT does not provide visa sponsorship to recent graduates and practicing professionals for internship training, practical experiences, or other non-teaching, non-research affiliations. See MIT Visa Sponsorship Policies

MIT must comply with federal regulations regarding the employment of foreign nationals (non-United States citizens and non-permanent residents). The International Scholars Office (ISchO) handles applications and information regarding visas for foreign academic and sponsored research staff and is MIT's liaison with immigration authorities. This office is the only petitioner to USCIS for H-1B visas in specialty occupations, O-1 petitions, and/or permanent residency based on MIT employment. Information on immigration regulations and procedures as well as applications and forms can be obtained from the ISchO. The arrival and departure of scholars should be reported to this office so that accurate records can be maintained. The International Students Office offers similar services for international students.

3. DLC Sponsored MIT ID Card: The issuance of a DLC Sponsored MIT ID Card should not be used in place of an academic appointment or to circumvent established processes for Visiting Students and Visiting Scholars. The DLC Sponsored MIT ID Card is meant to be used by contractors, vendors, MIT Temp employees, etc. Because the DLC Sponsored MIT ID provides access to buildings, laboratories, etc. careful consideration of its intended use by the Administrative Officer or department designate is required before submitting the application form.

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Last Updated: July 2021

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