MIT Post-Arrival Checklist

To assist MIT international students in meeting their immigration obligations after arriving in the U.S., the International Students Office (ISO) has compiled a detailed “Post-Arrival Checklist”. It is crucial for students to thoroughly review and complete all “Post-Arrival Checklist” requirements in order to activate their U.S. student immigration status in the U.S. and with MIT. This is NOT an automatic process, so students must be proactive.


  1. Complete the required ISO Immigration Orientation eCourse. The eCourse provides students with critical information regarding their U.S. immigration status, how to maintain their U.S. immigration status, travel, and work/employment in the U.S.
    • ALL new/incoming international students must complete their immigration status specific (F-1 or J-1) ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse’ and achieve a passing grade of 90% or higher on the associated (F-1 or J-1) ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse Quiz’.
      • ATTENTION: The ISO ‘Immigration Orientation eCourses’ are exclusively designed for F and J MIT Undergraduate and Graduate degree-seeking students. MIT Non-Degree students (e.g., Special, Exchange, Visiting) should refer to the ISO ‘Non-Degree Students Orientation’ webpage for guidance on fulfilling their immigration orientation requirements.
    • Eligible students will be “invited” to their specific immigration status (F-1 or J-1) ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse’ by email. The email invitation will be sent to the student’s email address from Canvas.
      • If a student does not receive an email invitation to their specific immigration status (F-1 or J-1) ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse’ from Canvas, and they believe that they are eligible, then the student should first check their Junk/SPAM folders. If the email invitation is still not there, then the student should email and include their [MIT ID Number, Academic Department and Program, and future MIT program start date].
    • Students can complete the ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse’ requirement before or after arrival to the U.S.
  2. Complete the required ISO Immigration Online Check-In in iMIT after arrival in the U.S.
    • Students must ensure they carefully follow the instructions and examples for how to complete the mandatory ISO Immigration Online Check-In, specifically, under the ‘Tips For Completing The Online Check-In Process’ section on the ISO ‘Required Online Check-In’ webpage.
    • IMPORTANT: Registering for courses at MIT and activating a student’s F/J U.S. immigration status hinges on the completion and approval of items #1 and #2 on this checklist.

  3. Obtain MIT ID Card (Atlas Service Center, E17-106).
  4. Students should review their MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
    • All MIT students are required to have U.S. health insurance and they are automatically enrolled in the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
    • All dependents (spouses and children of MIT students) are NOT automatically enrolled in the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). However, they can enroll directly with the MIT Student Insurance Office. NOTE: All J-2 dependents are required to have U.S. health insurance.
      • To enroll, or if a student has questions about SHIP, they may contact the MIT Student Insurance Office by email ( or by phone (617-253-1322). Find more information about the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) here.
  5. All international students are required to register full-time for each academic term required by their program, such as Fall and Spring.
    • Students must complete their full-time registration as soon as possible for each academic term (i.e.,  30 days before Registration Day (Reg. Day)). For example, for the Fall 2024 term, with a Reg Day of September 3, 2024, all international students are required to be registered/enrolled (full-time) within 29 days of that date.

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MIT students have access to a range of resources, including:

MIT Events & Programming: Explore the MIT website for a wealth of resources, including:

The Atlas Service Center (ASC)
At the Atlas Service Center, students can:

On-Campus Safety Resources

  • MIT Campus Safety.
  • Emergency Alert Systems: Individuals who have signed up will receive email/text alerts in case of any emergencies on campus.
  • MIT Police information: In case of an emergency on the MIT campus, please dial 617-253-1212. It is important to avoid calling 911, as such calls will be rerouted to the MIT Police, which may result in a longer response time to address the emergency. Save this number in your phone.
  • Review the MIT ‘Mind and Hand’ book: Discusses student’s rights and responsibilities at MIT, along with other important MIT topics and policies.
  • Review MIT Medical’s “Violence. Prevention & Response (VPR)” webpage: For partner violence or stalking, utilize the confidential 24/7 MIT Help Line at 617-253-2300.

Graduate Academic Integrity

  • MIT’s ‘Academic Integrity’ policy for all students.
  • Office for Graduate Education (OGE) publication on “Academic Integrity”.
    • MIT’s academic culture may be different from a student’s previous experiences. Therefore, students should utilize MIT’s Academic Integrity Handbookand the other MIT resources available to them.
  • Be careful about “Plagiarism”.
    • If confused about an assignment, class information, or topics, the student should be proactive and speak with the professor and/or teaching assistant for help.
      • e.g. Ask whether or not a student must work on an assignment individually, or when it can be done together as a group.
    • The class syllabus will have details of subject requirements and/or assignments.
    • Remember, when in doubt, ask for help!

ISO Resources
Explore the ISO website for a wealth of resources, including:

  • Employment, SSN, travel, immigration information, MA driver’s license/ID, and more.
  • A Knowledge Base webpage featuring frequently asked questions (FAQs).
  • Get to know your assigned ISO Advisor based on your academic program.
  • Check out the ‘Life at MIT’ webpage on the ISO website for insights into U.S. culture, tips on navigating Boston, connecting with student cultural groups, understanding cultural adjustment, Americanisms, idioms, and discovering affordable and enjoyable activities in the city.

ISO Events & Programming
For the latest event updates, always refer to the weekly ISO weekly newsletter.

  • The “Navigating MIT Series”, organized by ISO, provides programs all year to assist international students in their adjustment to life at MIT and the U.S.
  • Join our “Afternoon Breaks” for a social gathering with conversation and snacks.
  • Explore the world of our “Grad Socials & Outings”, featuring peer-led events by the ISO Grad Fellows.
  • Participate in our “Virtual Cooking Sessions” hosted by ISO staff member Antoinette.
  • The MIT Language Conversation Exchange (LCE) offers conversation groups organized by language, along with other events co-sponsored by LCE and ISO.
  • Additional questions about the ISO events and programming? Feel free to contact Dana Riechman at the ISO.

Additional Questions?
After thoroughly reviewing the ISO ‘Getting Started’ webpages, students with additional questions are encouraged to use the search tool located at the top of the ISO website or consult the comprehensive FAQ section on the ISO ‘Knowledge Base’ webpage. Additionally, MIT students have the option to contact their designated ISO Advisor directly for assistance.

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