Resources for international visitors

April 18, 2023
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research, 2013–2024 | Richard Lester, Associate Provost for International Activities, 2015–2023 | Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education |

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to remind you of resources available to international visiting students and international scholars as they travel to join our campus community.

MIT welcomes students and scholars from around the world, sponsoring visas for individuals to gain entry to the country in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Occasionally, some visitors who may have valid visas still experience difficulties in being granted entry to the United States at the border, or may even be turned away. These instances are stressful and disappointing for the visitor who is stopped at the tail end of an anticipated journey to MIT.

As part of their welcome materials, international visiting students and international scholars receive MIT emergency contact numbers to call if they encounter problems upon arrival at a U.S. airport or border crossing and additional information is requested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For your reference, they are:

International Students Office (ISO): 617-258-5480

International Scholars Office (ISchO): 617-253-2888

These lines are staffed 24/7.

We recommend that international visiting students and scholars, when traveling to the United States, carry the welcome letter or email that was provided by MIT. Such a letter, outlining the purpose and parameters of the visit, including the name of the MIT individual inviting the visitor, could help serve as verification for questions the visitor may be asked by border officials.

The ISO provides additional guidance for international students on entering the United States on its webpage. International scholars and their hosts are advised to read the ISchO Travel Advisory and Emergency pages prior to travel.

MIT is fortunate to benefit from the many contributions that international visiting students and international scholars bring to our community. The MIT Research Compliance team, ISO, and ISchO are also available to talk to you, in advance of formally inviting a visitor.


Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research

Richard K. Lester
Associate Provost for International Activities

Ian A. Waitz
Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education