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Payroll/Visa Details


According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, all persons have to show proof of legal eligibility of employment in order to be paid for doing a job. This applies to all U.S. citizens as well as non-citizens and imposes sanctions on all employers who hire individuals known to be "illegal aliens" or who fail to comply with the verification process. The verification process for all incoming graduate students requires completion of an I-9 form. This is required of all students at the start of the program no matter the source of their funding. For I-9 processing, visit the Atlas Service Center (see The process should be completed prior to Registration Day in the first semester of enrollment.

In order to be eligible for employment, all new students must bring either:

  • one document from List A or
  • one document from List B and one document from List C

List A: Identity and Employment

  • U.S. Passport
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Unexpired foreign passport with attached Employment Authorization

List B: Identity

  • State Issue Driver's License or I.D. card with photograph, or information including name, sex, date of birth, height, weight, and eye color
  • U.S. Military Card
  • F-1 or J-1 Visa

List C: Employment

  • Original U.S. Social Security Number Card
  • Birth certificate issued by State, county, or municipal authority bearing a seal or other authorization
  • Unexpired INS Employment Authorization
  • I-20 or IAP-66 Form

Payroll Information

All students receiving Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs) and Fellowships will be paid bimonthly, at the middle and end of each month, September through May. Payment will be made by electronic transfer from MIT to students' individual bank accounts. It is recommended that students arrange for direct deposit by going to the online self-service website Atlas (on the site go to Atlas / About Me / Money Matters / Direct Deposit Preferences). If you cannot access Atlas, you can complete a bank deposit authorization form (available in NE49-4097, 11-120, or a PDF may be downloaded here, and returning it to the MIT Payroll Office at NE49-4097).

Tax Information

  • TA and RAs

    TA and RA stipends or salaries are subject to taxation by the state of Massachusetts and the U.S. federal government. U.S. government tax regulations require that partial TA or RA appointments be processed with proportional amounts of tuition and stipend for each award: the Department must comply with these rules. The result in partial TAs or RAs may be an overpayment in salary as well as a tuition shortfall. It is the responsibility of each student to make the appropriate financial arrangements with Student Financial Services representatives, ensuring that tuition is paid in full.

  • Fellowship recipients

    Taxes are not withheld from Fellowships paid to U.S. citizens; international students should check Tax Treaty information specific to their country on file in the Payroll Office, NE49-3131. Therefore it is the student's responsibility to file tax withholding forms each year, as early in the semester as possible. Tax-withholding forms must be renewed at regular intervals in the Payroll Office. It is anticipated that approximately 11.9% of a salary or stipend will be owed for federal taxes and an additional 5.3% for state taxes.

Additional payroll information, tax forms, and direct deposit forms are available in the Student Services Center, room 11-120. Students may be eligible to receive full or partial refund by filing the appropriate tax forms by April 15 each year. The Institute offers Tax Preparation Seminars each February (one for international students and one for U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents). Questions should be addressed to the Payroll Office.