All visitors, whether paid or unpaid, foreign or domestic, should be formally appointed when they come to MIT to research and collaborate for any length of time. All visitors are here at our discretion, in the fullest sense of the word, and anyone occupying MIT facilities and using MIT resources must have a formal connection to the Institute. The appointment serves to limit the exposure of the Institute to financial risk, either through lawsuits, or increased overhead expenses.
If the Department's HR Administrator is notified far enough in advance of a proposed visit, she will be able to process the appointment form in time for the visitor to be entered into the personnel computer system. This will enable the visitor to obtain an MIT ID card, even if the visit is for a short time. This ID card provides conveniences such as: instant library privileges, access to MIT buildings after-hours and, access to automated MIT lots and garages (if arrangements have been made for a parking permit).
Because holders of tourist visas are not permitted to make official visits to MIT, the visa status of all foreign visitors, whether paid or unpaid, is very important. The type of payment a foreign visitor may receive, if any, will also restrict the choice of visa. The payment of honoraria or salaries in particular are very narrowly confined; please be sure to check with the HR Administrator when you are considering this form of payment.
It is extremely important that the inviting faculty member in the Math Department or the international visitor contact the HR Administrator well in advance to make appropriate visa arrangements. The International Scholars Office (ISchO) is the main resource at MIT for visa applications, information, policy, and advice. The HR Administrator works closely with ISchO and will help you initiate this process.