Best wishes for a successful academic year.

Travel signature required if traveling outside the U.S.

If you plan to travel this fall, please note that all international students are required to have a travel signature on their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 that has been signed within one year in order to re-enter the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for one year.
Exceptions: a travel signature is valid for only 6 months if 1) your passport is Canadian 2) you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean islands, OR 3) if you are currently working while on post-OPT or OPT STEM extension. Please read our website to know what documents to bring when traveling abroad and returning to U.S. borders.

Requesting a travel signature will take 2 business days, so PLEASE PLAN AHEAD. To request a travel signature, simply drop off your I-20 or DS-2019 at the front desk and come back 2 business days later to pick up your document with the new travel signature.

You are assigned an ISO advisor based on department

Each international student is assigned an ISO advisor by department; please see our website for the list of advisors and the corresponding department. In general, if you have any immigration questions, please first read the website. If you have a complicated question, please contact the ISO by phone, email, or in person in order to set up an appointment with your ISO advisor.

Beware of scams all year round

Unfortunately, MIT International Students have been victims of scams and fraud every year. Scams can happen any time of year, not just during tax season and during apartment hunting season. PLEASE be careful if you receive a phone call, email, text message or in-person visit from someone claiming to be a U.S. government official or law enforcement. 
Remember these THREE steps to protect yourself from scams:
1) Please remain calm
2) Do NOT give out any personal information over the phone or via email
3) Contact the ISO immediately!
Please read the ISO website for more information about recent scams.

Update Glacier information for payroll every year

The following information relates to Non-resident aliens for tax purposes who receive payments from MIT. Please read VPF’s website on tax guidance for non-resident aliens, which will help you determine what your tax status is in the US:

It is very important that all newcomers who are categorized as non-resident aliens set up an account in GLACIER right away, so that payroll records are set up correctly. Depending on the type of visa held, the tax status can change from year to year, so it is equally important that you update information in GLACIER at least once a year after prompted by payroll’s e-mail reminders. All related emails are sent by MIT Payroll office, through GLACIER ( The introductory email will have the following Subject line: “Payments from Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” and it will include instructions on how to set up an account in GLACIER.