Undergraduate Orientation

MIT Undergraduate International Student Orientation Program

Compliance with U.S. immigration regulations mandates that ALL New/Incoming Undergraduate International Students complete an immigration orientation course/session and submit necessary documentation/information upon commencing their MIT program. Therefore, it is important for all new/incoming MIT international students to complete specific steps, ensuring the activation of their U.S. immigration status within the U.S. and at MIT by the International Students Office (ISO).

ATTENTION: This is NOT an automatic process; students must be proactive. Students will not be able to complete their enrollment/registration for the term until they have completed the below requirements.


  • “New/Incoming” students to the U.S., in F or J status.
  • “Return from Leave of Absence (RLOA)” students, in F or J status.
  • “Transfer-In” students (i.e., “Transfer Students” are defined as students who transferred their current SEVIS record (F or J) to MIT from another U.S. institution/school).


STEP 1: Complete an ISO ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse’.

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.       

ALL new/incoming degree-seeking Undergraduate international students are required to complete their specific immigration status (F-1 or J-1) ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse’ and attain a passing grade of 90% or higher on the corresponding (F-1 or J-1) ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse Quiz’.

  • 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 @mit.edu 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 iso-help@mit.edu 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.

NOTE: Students should be aware that attending an ‘ISO Virtual Forum’ is optional and does not fulfill the mandatory orientation eCourse/session requirement for students.

What is Covered During a Mandatory ISO ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse/Session’?
During a mandatory ISO ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse/Session’, students will learn about maintaining their legal U.S. immigration status, gain insights into their U.S. immigration documents, travel requirements and restrictions within and outside the U.S., employment guidelines and restrictions in the U.S., and other crucial information related to adapting and residing in the U.S. while studying at MIT. Additional resources will also be provided.

When completing an ISO ‘Immigration Orientation eCourse/Session’, students should have the below materials on-hand during the eCourse/Session:

  • Their most recently issued passport.
  • Their MIT issued Form I-20 or MIT issued Form DS-2019.
  • Their most recently issued I-94 Record, but only if the student is inside the U.S.
    • NOTE: Students can only retrieve their I-94 Record after they have entered the U.S. in F or J status. Students can obtain their I-94 Record online from the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) ‘Get Most Recent I-94’ webpage. If a student is still currently abroad, then they do not have an I-94 Record yet. However, once they enter the U.S., they must obtain this document.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Undergraduate and Graduate students who will come to MIT and attend the Special Student Program, Exchange Student Program, or MIT Visiting Student Program, must review those specific webpages for their ‘Immigration Orientation’ requirements.

STEP 2: Complete the Required ‘Immigration Online Check-In’ Process

**ATTENTION: The ‘Immigration Online Check-In’ requirements can ONLY be completed once the student has entered into the U.S. in their U.S. immigration status.**

All New/Incoming International Students are required to submit the appropriate “Academic Term” ‘Immigration Online Check-In’ e-Forms in iMIT AFTER their arrival to the U.S.

  • For example, if a student’s program at MIT will begin in Fall 2024, then the student can only submit the Fall 2024 Check-In e-Forms.

Students can find specific instructions on how to complete their ‘Immigration Online Check-In’ requirements on the ISO ‘Online Check-In’ webpage. The ISO will then review and approve a student’s ‘Immigration Online Check-In’ e-Forms, information, and immigration documentation. Therefore, students must follow the specific instructions and guidance as listed on the ISO ‘Online Check-In’ webpage.

** ATTENTION: Students who WILL NOT be entering U.S. to pursue their MIT program are REQUIRED to contact their ISO Advisor BEFORE the start date listed on their MIT “Certificate of Eligibility” document(s) (Form I-20, Form DS-2019) **

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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