Admissions Checklist

Admitted Student Visa Process

Once you have admitted an international student to a degree program, the following steps need to be taken in order to ensure that the student can enter the US for his or her program. These steps outline the process to generate a Certificate of Eligibility Form (I-20 or DS-2019) for each international student.

  1. Student accepts offer from MIT.
  2. MIT Staff enters student’s acceptance information in the UG Admissions Database or in Grad Admissions’ Grade-20. (The ISO cannot make an I-20 or DS-2019 for the student until we see that he/she has accepted MIT’s offer.)
  3. MIT staff confirms the beginning term information for student in the database. The ISO can only use the official MIT term start dates (June, September, January, February) on the I-20 or DS-2019.
  4. Department administrators direct students to set up their Kerberos account.
  5. Department administrators should send students to our ISO Getting Started webpage for newly admitted students via our direct link or through the Graduate Admitted Students webpage.
  6. Students may access the system to request their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.
  7. ISO staff will verify student’s admission against the MIT database and review all submitted information.
    1. The ISO will contact the student directly using their email address if the information is missing or incorrect.
    2. If the student is already in the US, studying at another US institution, then the student will be prompted through their iMIT request to submit transfer-in information to the ISO. This will require the student to provide contact information about their current institution’s international student office.
    3. ISO staff begins to process the I-20 and the DS-2019 documents approximately 3.5 to 4.5 months before the term start date. The ISO staff begins to process Fall admit immigration documents on April 15th, IAP/Spring admit immigration documents on September 15th, and Summer admit immigration documents on January 15th. It will take approximately 10-15 business days to process documents and does not include mailing time. The ISO processes requests for documents on a first come, first serve basis.
  8. ISO will issue the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 for the student and email the student at their email for confirmation.
  9. ISO staff sends the documents to the departments for mailing. If your department has given the ISO a cost object number, the ISO will express mail the document for the department to the student.
  10. Student pays the SEVIS I-901 fee using information from the I-20 or DS-2019 
  11. Student applies for an F-1 or J-1 visa using the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, respectively, at the US consulate. (Canadians do not need to apply for a visa.)
  12. Student enters the US within 30 days of the start date of the I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid visa, a valid I-20 or DS-2019 and all supporting evidence. 
  13. Student checks in with the ISO upon arrival in the US via online forms with ISO and provides emergency contact information and uploads all immigration documents for ISO review.
  14. Student attends a mandatory ISO immigration orientation.