Human Resources

Information for WHOI Sponsors

This information is provided for sponsors hosting foreign nationals at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We also suggest that you consult Institution Policies and Procedures for further information.

In order to comply with state and Federal regulations regarding the employment of non-United States citizens it is important to determine that each foreign national employed at the Institution has a visa which permits employment or has been granted permission to work by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (formerly known as Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Visas must be obtained by the prospective candidates for employment before they enter the United States. Departments should be aware of time delays in processing paperwork through the USCIS, and plan accordingly. Federal law prohibits the hiring or employment of illegal aliens. Any employer who violates this law is subject to a fine.

Forms, applications, and additional information regarding visas for foreign nationals can be obtained from the Foreign National Advisor. The International Students' Advisor in the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs, Room 3-107, and M.I.T. offers similar services for admission of foreign students.

Sponsor Responsibility Checklist

This checklist offers suggestions and resources available to department sponsors for use in welcoming international visitors to the Institution and integrating them into the Woods Hole/Falmouth community.


  • Verify that the exchange visitor possesses the financial support and that these resources are sufficient to complete his/her program and support any accompanying dependents for the duration of the program. (J-1 visa holders)

  • Ensure that the exchange visitor has appropriate academic credentials for their category and for their position. (J-1 visa holders)
  • Determine that the exchange visitor possesses sufficient English language proficiency for the proposed program activity. (J-1 visa holders)
  • Coordinate housing needs with Housing Office.
Visitor's Transportation to WHOI
Verify and arrange transportation for visitor from U.S. port of entry to WHOI. If visitor has made transportation arrangements to Woods Hole/Falmouth on his/her own, supply visitor with appropriate maps, telephone numbers, bus schedules, car rental or limousine information.

Arrival at WHOI
  • Transport visitor to housing; determine that visitor has financial support for first few days, knowledge of how to secure food, short-term transportation to/from WHOI. If arrival is to occur in off-hours, provide visitor with contingency information on phone numbers of sponsors, as well as when it is appropriate to call, etc.
  • Advise exchange visitor to contact Foreign National Office for check-in within three days of arrival/hire.
  • Arrange transportation to the Social Security Administration Office to apply for Social Security Card, if necessary. Due to increase processing times at the Social Security Administration, this should be done as soon as possible after arrival.
  • Provide general tour of WHOI; include maps of campus' and shuttle bus schedule.

Last updated: February 28, 2008