MIT | ISO | International Students Office
ISO Newsletter
April 30, 2021
Visa Expiring?
Read our Knowledge Base article

Your entry visa is like a ticket to get into the U.S. You only need to have a valid visa in your passport to enter the U.S. from abroad.

Once you are inside the U.S., your entry visa can expire and you can remain in the U.S. as long as you continue to be enrolled as a full-time student pursuing your degree program or authorized post-degree employment authorization (such as F-1 Optional Practical Training/STEM OPT Extension or J-1 Academic Training), have a valid Form I-20/Form DS-2019, valid passport, and a valid I-94 record verifying your U.S. visa status.

After your entry visa expires, the next time you leave the U.S. you would need to plan to apply for and obtain a new entry visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate while abroad in order to re-enter the U.S. (students from certain countries may be able to travel to Canada, Mexico, certain Caribbean islands for less than 30 days, and return to the U.S., without needing to apply for a new entry visa in order to return – please see guidance on the ISO website). 

You do NOT need to apply for a new entry visa before your current entry visa expires.
It is NOT possible to apply for a new entry visa from inside the U.S., only from a U.S. Embassy/Consulate while outside the U.S. 

Please see additional details on the ISO “Visas and Travel” page.
If any questions arise, please contact your ISO Advisor.

Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 Expiring in May/June 2021?
Don't forget to request extension BEFORE expiration of form
If your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 will be expiring in April, May, or June 2021, and you will NOT be completing your degree requirements by that date, you will need to request an Extension of your visa document BEFORE the current document end date.

Please review the ISO Program Extension webpage for instructions on how to request an extension.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your ISO Advisor after reviewing the webpage information.
Summer Internship?
Be sure to secure your employment authorization
As a reminder, if you are planning to pursue an internship or experience this summer not at or for MIT, international students must secure off-campus employment authorizations.
Please view the ISO Employment webpage to review eligibility and application procedures for F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT), F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), and J-1 Academic Training (AT).

Students may not begin any internship/experience activities until they have employment authorization that is in hand and valid.

REMINDER: U.S. employment authorization is required if you are working inside the U.S. (even for a foreign-based employer), or you are working outside the U.S. for a U.S. based employer and/or receiving U.S.-source funding for the experience.
If any questions arise, please contact your ISO Advisor.
Tax Resources for May 17 deadline
Tax Workshop: Recording & Slides available here 
Students are required to file income tax returns for all who had been physically present in the U.S. during the 2020 calendar year. Students physically inside the U.S. during 2020, whether they worked or not, are required to file an income tax return. The usual deadline is April 15 of each year; however, the deadline for federal and Massachusetts state income tax forms for year 2020 was extended to May 17, 2021.

A brief overview of the available tax resources are as follows:

Tax Guidance for Non-Resident Tax Filers
The MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance, in cooperation with the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and the International Students Office (ISO), created a website for foreign nationals to provide resources and links related to receiving payments from MIT and guidance on income taxes. This is the best place to start with any questions about taxes and filing your income tax returns. 

MIT Tax Workshops Presentation Recordings/Slidedecks
On March 2, 2021, MIT hosted Tax Workshops for MIT students and scholars regarding the filing the 2020 calendar year income tax returns.

The Workshop recordings and slidedecks are posted on the MIT VPF “How to Get Tax Help” webpage.  

Additional tax information for international students and scholars is available on the VPF website.

Glacier Tax Prep Software
The ISO makes available to MIT international students for free a license for the Glacier Tax Prep software to assist in completing the Federal income tax return. The software is available here

By the end of February 2021, any students who have worked at MIT during 2020, including receiving assistantships or fellowships, should have received the necessary documents needed to complete their income tax returns by the May 17 deadline.
Zoom Break: Codenames
Thursday, May 13, 2021
:00 - 2:00 PM EDT
Join  your fellow students and have some fun playing Codenames!

Sign Up requested. 

Open to entire MIT community during IAP
Co-sponsored by ISO and Postdoc Association (PDA)

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Zoom Break: Among Us
Thursday, May 27, 2021
1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT
Join to play an hour of Among Us with us!

The game can be found here for Android and here for iOS.

A quick introduction video to how the game works is here!

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Language Conversation Exchange "Conversation Cafes"
Next Event on Friday, 7 May, 2021
12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Co-sponsored by LCE & ISO

NOTE: We'll be using a new video-calling platform called Ohyay. You can find our LCE cafe space here:

After a short opening culture or language presentation, language learners will be sorted into breakout rooms by language where you can practice with native speakers.

Participants, please start arriving at 11:50 AM so that presentation can start promptly at 12noon.

To join our cafe, follow these steps:
  1. Create an Ohyay account (should only take a minute). Please use the email address you used to register for our Conversation Cafes—most likely your MIT email.
  2. Enter our Ohyay cafe at this link:
  3. If you have previously attended an LCE Virtual Conversation Cafe, you should be able to enter automatically! If not, please fill out this Google form so we can add you to the space.
  4. If you have any questions about getting started with Ohyay, check out this guide.
Subscribe to the LCE email list
LCE Ohyay Cafe

Cooking with Antoinette
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
12noon EDT
Join ISO staff member Antoinette as she teaches us again how to make two simple and fun recipes. You don't have to cook both recipes, only what you are most interested in. Or just observe! See ingredient flyers. 

Recurring Zoom Link here

Sign up requested but not required
SaveTFP Fridays
Next Event: Chaotic Karaoke
Friday May 7, 9:00-11:00 PM EDT

Zoom room:
Sing "together" on Zoom, win prizes!
Are you tired of awkward zoom pauses and interruptions? Embrace the weird by singing by yourself and together while the song lags behind you! Every few songs we'll have a karaoke challenge or a lottery and give out prizes!
Open to everyone

Various events happening each Friday during the spring semester

Add our Google Calendar and/or fill out this form to be added to our mailing list!
The Personal Empowerment Series
Visit ENGAGE.MIT.EDU to RSVP for each workshop

May 4, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST:
Leading through Connections

May 5, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST:
How to leverage fear to achieve success 
Sponsored by Student Organizations Leadership Engagement (SOLE), in partnership with MCR, DUSP, Political Science, ISO, MITAA, VPR, PKG, CAPD, LGBTQ@MIT, and OMP
Wellness Events & Resources

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Coming up, the VPR office (in partnership with Student Advocates for Survivors) is hosting two events for the MIT community to learn coping and support skills. Learn about them below! 

"What am I Supposed to Say?"
a VPR Workshop on supporting the survivors in your life
Tuesday, May 4 @ 6:00pm

*If you have an immediate concern about an unhealthy or unsafe relationship and you would like to connect, call us 617-253-2300 M-F 9-5 or email an advocate
VPR Website
MIT International Students Office
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Office Hours:
9:00-16:00 (M-F)
Closed (W) 10:00-11:30
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