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) 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.
  3. Schedule your trip to the U.S.
    For Fall 2021 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 8, 2021 (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

*Canadian citizens do not need to apply for the F or J visa. 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.

Arrival at MIT

  1. Complete iMIT Online Check-In Process after arrival in the U.S.
    You cannot request an MIT ID card without completing this process.
  2. Attend mandatory Student Immigration Information Session
    Bring your passport, Form I-20/DS-2019 and a copy of your electronic I-94 to the session. Critical information regarding your student legal status will be given at the ISO session.
  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 Graduate students are automatically enrolled in the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan. All dependents must enroll IN PERSON. Find more information about the MIT Student Health Plan.
  5. Register via MIT Online Registration
  6. Attend ISO Welcome events
    Not available for Spring & Summer arrival. Fall scheduled events will be announced mid-summer.
  7. MIT Graduate Student Orientation (GSC) –

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office and speak with your ISO advisor.