Pre-Arrival Checklist

To help you prepare for your arrival at MIT, please see the following general checklist for guidance. Please note that depending on your student program, you may also have other requirements to complete.


  1. Pay SEVIS I-901 Fee
    Your SEVIS ID (Nxxxxxxxxxx) can be found on the top left of your Form I-20 or top right of your Form DS-2019 or on under “SEVIS Status Information”.
  2. Apply for either an F-1 or J-1 Exchange Visitor (student degree) entry visa at a U.S. Embassy/ Consulate in your home country*
    See ISO Visa page & U.S. Department of State website for more details. Locate a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
    *NOTE: Canadian citizens do not need to apply for an entry visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate before traveling to the U.S. However, they still have to follow the rest of the procedures and enter the U.S. with a valid Form I-20 or DS-2019.
  3. Schedule your trip to the U.S.
    For Fall 2023 Arrival, plan to arrive at MIT on or before the program start date on your Form I-20 or DS-2019. Your arrival date in the U.S. can be no earlier than August 7, 2023 (30 days prior to the program start date printed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019). Students who arrive later than the program start date must receive approval from the department for late arrival. See information about entering the U.S. Border
  4. Schedule attendance at ISO Immigration Information Session. New International Undergraduate Students will attend this session as part of their orientation program in-person after arrival to campus. For New International Graduate Students, you may attend this session online either before or after arrival to the U.S. (schedule is available on the ISO Graduate Orientation webpage). Critical information regarding your student legal status will be given at the ISO F/J Immigration Information Orientation Session.

Arrival at MIT

  1. Complete iMIT Online Check-In Process after arrival in the U.S.
  2. Attend mandatory ISO New International Student Orientation Immigration Information Session
    Graduate Students – if you have not already attended an ISO F/J New International Graduate Student Orientation Immigration Information Session prior to arrival to the U.S., please be sure to do so after your arrival. Students may not be cleared to register for classes until attending one of the ISO New International Graduate Student or ISO New Undergraduate Student Orientation Sessions regarding immigration and adjustment matters.
  3. Obtain MIT ID Card (Atlas Center, E17-106)
    Save time at the card office by uploading your own photo at in advance. Click “Submit ID Photo” to review the checklist and upload your photo.
  4. Enroll in MIT Student Health Insurance Plan
    MIT Undergraduate and Graduate students are automatically enrolled in the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan. All dependents of students who will be living in the U.S. while the student is studying must be enrolled in health insurance and must enroll IN PERSON. Find more information about the MIT Student Health Plan.
  5. Register via MIT Online Registration
  6. Attend ISO Welcome events
    Fall scheduled events will be announced in the summer.
  7. Attend MIT Graduate Student Orientation events through Office of Graduate Education (OGE) and Grad Student Council (GSC) –

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the MIT International Students Office (ISO) or speak with your ISO advisor directly.