Visas and Travel

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.  Pease 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.

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.

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.

Travel Guidance from MIT Medical
Please also consult the travel guidance, including requirements to return to campus, provided by MIT Medical on MIT NOW (https://now.mit.edu/).

ISO Virtual Forum: Visas and Travel – June 26, 2020 (PDF slides)
(Note: Information may change following the date of the Virtual Forum. View the ISO Website for additional updates)