Your privacy is important to MIT and the ISO, and we are committed to respecting it. Our Privacy Statement explains how we handle and use the personal information we collect about our international students.

Your personal information

While specific information may vary for particular individuals, we may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you, which we have grouped together as follows:

  • Contact information – home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
  • Biographic information – names, gender, country and date of birth, permanent residence, and citizenship
  • Immigration-related information – US immigration history, copies/images of current and past immigration documents and passport, arrival/departure records
  • Employment and education history – CV, diploma, academic transcripts (if applicable)
  • Contact, biographic and immigration information of family members who require visa sponsorship in a derivative status in order to accompany you to MIT
  • Contact information you give to us for your “emergency contact” person (inside or outside the US)
  • MIT admittance information, including department, funding, assistantship/fellowship, start and end dates.

How we use your personal information

We use your personal information for a number of legitimate purposes all in support of the Institute and its mission. Specifically, we use your personal information to:

  • Contact you
  • Contact your derivative family member or emergency contact person
  • Screen and process requests for MIT visa sponsorship

If you have concerns about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us at the International Students Office. We will respect any request by you to stop use of your personal information (subject to our legal obligations).

When we share your personal information

To perform the functions listed above, it may be necessary to share your personal information with:

  • US government agencies that require it as part of the visa process or compliance measures
  • The MIT department, laboratory or center you have been admitted to

How your information is stored and secured

MIT uses risk-assessed administrative, technical and physical security measures to protect your personal information. Your electronic information is stored on MIT firewall-protected servers in a secure server facility. However, no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. The International Students Office also compiles and retains hard files for certain international students.

How long we keep your personal information

Hard files are stored for ten years following the departure of international students, after which the files are destroyed. We are reviewing our retention policy regarding electronic records and will update this Privacy Statement at the appropriate time.

Rights for Individuals in the European Economic Area

You have the right in certain circumstances to (1) access your personal information; (2) to correct or erase information; (3) restrict processing; and (4) object to communications, direct marketing, or profiling. To the extent applicable, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation provides further information about your rights. You also have the right to lodge complaints with your national or regional data protection authority.

If you are inclined to exercise these rights, we request an opportunity to discuss with you any concerns you may have. To protect the personal information we hold, we may also request further information to verify your identity when exercising these rights. Upon a request to erase information, we will maintain a core set of personal data to ensure we do not contact you inadvertently in the future, as well as any information necessary for MIT archival purposes. We may also need to retain some financial information for legal purposes, including US IRS compliance. In the event of an actual or threatened legal claim, we may retain your information for purposes of establishing, defending against or exercising our rights with respect to such claim.

By providing information directly to MIT, you consent to the transfer of your personal information outside of the European Economic Area to the United States. You understand that the current laws and regulations of the United States may not provide the same level of protection as the data and privacy laws and regulations of the EEA.

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