This information is meant for MIT students and for general informational purposes only. If you are an MIT student and you have further questions about travel information and your visa status, please contact the International Students Office for consultation with an International Student Advisor.
NOTE: Processing times for visas at U.S. Embassies/Consulates abroad have been unpredictable, with extended Administrative Processing (security check procedures). There is no avenue to expedite applications under Administrative Processing, as the Embassy/Consulate also must wait for all security procedures to be completed before a visa can be issued. Please check the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website for details and have a plan in case your travel plans are delayed due to visa processing times.
REMINDER: If you are traveling to a country other than the U.S., where you are not a Citizen or Permanent Resident/Immigrant of that country, you must verify if you need a visa to enter that country. Please plan ahead and check the Consulate General website for that country for visa requirements and application procedures.
Requesting a Travel Signature for Form I-20 or Form DS-2019: With the ISO working remotely, it is NOT possible to drop off/pick up your Form I-20 or DS-2019 to request a travel signature. Students will need to request a new Form via iMIT. To request a new Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 with travel signature:
(1) Login to iMIT
(2) Click on the left-hand menu “(F-1 / J-1) Student Services”
(3) Click on and complete the eform “Request Replacement of Form I-20/DS-2019”, and select request reason “Travel Signature”
(4) Be sure to click “Submit” on the eform once you have completed all fields and document uploads to the eform.
Once your new document is completed, ISO can scan/email you an electronic version that you can print/sign and carry with your previous Forms.
If you are applying for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate while abroad, you should receive the paper original document for your travels.
If you want your new document express mailed, follow the instructions to request a shipping label.
Processing time for a new document is 10 business days.
NOTE: New Forms I-20 can be sent to students electronically to download, print, and sign to carry as the new original document as per USDHS and USDOS guidance.
New Forms DS-2019 cannot be sent electronically, and therefore must be express mailed to the student or picked-up in-person at the ISO during Walk-In Office Hours.
Travel Requirements by Airlines to Enter the U.S.Please consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage “Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic” concerning travel into the U.S. and travel within the U.S. Students are also advised to check with your airline for your flight to the U.S. to see if any COVID-19 test results are needed to board the flight.
Current Travel Restrictions
(NOTE: Travel restrictions can change at any time and with little notice. Before any travel, consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website referenced above as well as contact your airline to verify any restrictions to board flights or entry to a destination country; including even if only transiting through that country.)
- [China]: Chinese Consulate General Posts Guidance on new Airline/Travel Requirements for entry to China due to COVID-19 – effective October 29, 2020
- [Europe, Schengen Countries including United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland; Iran, China, Brazil, South Africa; India]: Executive Order Extending Travel Restriction of Entry to the U.S. within 14 days of presence in Schengen Countries (including United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland), Iran, China, Brazil, and South Africa – effective January 25, 2021
- India added to 14-day COVID-19 travel restriction by Executive Order – effective May 4, 2021
- Certain National Interest exemptions provided to F and J visa holders (from Schengen Countries, including United Kingdom and Ireland) – effective July 16, 2020, updated February 10, 2021.
- Certain National Interest Exemptions provided to F and J visa holders (from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and India) – effective August 1, 2021
- USDOS Announces NIE Issued By US Embassy/Consulate Valid for Entry to US for 12 Months, Multiple Entries (announcement July 6, 2021)
- USDOS Updates NIE Guidance and FAQ (announcement August 12, 2021)
- [Hong Kong]: Presidential Proclamation Eliminating Differential Treatment of Hong Kong from China under U.S. law – effective July 14, 2020
- Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspending Entry of Certain Nonimmigrants in H, L, and J Status – effective June 22, 2020
- [China]: Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain F and J visa Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China – effective June 1, 2020
- [U.S., Canada, Mexico]: U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restriction – effective March 20, 2020 – currently in place until September 21, 2021
- *[Cuba]: Changes to U.S. Sanction Rules on Cuba – effective June 5, 2019