Human Resources

Pre-Arrival Information

Visa Overview and Application Process

Foreign nationals receiving appointments to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution require visa classifications appropriate for their activities at the Institution. The following section is a basic overview of visa classifications and procedures.

Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

SEVIS is a web-based database mandated by federal laws and regulations to electronically monitor and report all foreign academic students, technical or vocational students, and exchange visitors, professors, researchers, and their dependents in the United States.

Social Security

All exchange visitors who will receive any form of payment from the Institution must have a Social Security number.


If you receive funds from a U.S source, taxes may be deducted. How much tax you will pay depends on the type of income you will receive and what your tax status is in the U.S.


Finding suitable housing for yourself and your family will be your first concern and WHOI has an office to assist you.


Information on forwarding bank drafts before your arrival and setting up an account once you are here.

Credit Cards

A credit card allows you to charge items without having to pay for them at the time of purchase.

Driver's License

In order to get a Massachusetts Driver's license, you must pass a written test, a road test, and an eye screening for field vision and basic colors

Child Care

The WHOI Child Care and Family Resource Directory lists area child care centers and providers and is available from the WHOI Human Resources Office.


Your school age children are eligible to attend public schools at no cost in the town in which you live.


New England winters are quite cold (December through February) with daytime temperatures often dropping below 32°F (0°C).


Woods Hole/Falmouth is accessible by bus and car with major connections through Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island.

Health Insurance

International visitors who are full-time salaried WHOI employees can enroll in one of WHOI's medical insurance plans and pay the employee's share of the premium. Guest Investigators and Guest Students, however, are not WHOI employees and are generally unable to enroll in a WHOI insurance plan.