International Requirements

We appreciate the contributions our international students make to the summer community at Stanford, and encourage all interested international students to apply. To be considered for the 2016 Summer Session, applicants must have started an application and submitted all required application materials by 9 p.m. Pacific Time on April 24, 2016, but we recommend that you submit your application much sooner than this deadline to avoid delays in processing your I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) and obtaining your F-1 Student Visa. The following information will assist you in making your summer plans.

English Language Proficiency

Stanford Summer Session requires that all students be fluent in spoken and written English. International applicants must upload a copy of their TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam score report into their application, unless the student qualifies for an exception (see below). Scores must be recent, so results from exams taken before January 1, 2014 will not be accepted. The minimum scores listed should help students assess their readiness to spend a summer at Stanford.

Exception: International students will not be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam scores if they are a native English speaker, or if they have successfully completed a full year or more of coursework at a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction, by December 31, 2015. If a student is in their first year of instruction at an English-based college or university, they should submit the language proficiency exam scores that meet Stanford’s minimum requirement as outlined below.


  • Minimum score of 100 for the internet-based TOEFL test (iBT)
  • Minimum score of 600 for the paper-based TOEFL test (PBT)



  • Minimum overall band score of 7.5



  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Visa Requirements

**The following visa requirements only apply to students who have applied to Stanford Summer Session. Other summer programs on the Stanford campus have their own visa requirements that may differ**

Stanford Summer Session requires international students to have a visa appropriate for academic study. Summer Session students are not allowed to enter the country using a Tourist Visa (B-1/B-2) or WT/WB Visa Waiver. Applicants are able to describe their visa situation as part of their online application and will be contacted directly if additional information is needed.

For students studying in the United States with an I-20 sponsored by another institution:

  • Students who will be returning to the same educational institution following their summer at Stanford are not required to obtain a Stanford-sponsored I-20.
  • Students who are currently attending an educational institution to which they will not be returning following their summer at Stanford will need to contact an international adviser at their home institution to transfer their I-20 to Stanford University. Students in this situation must notify the Summer Session Office once the transfer process has been initiated. In addition, students will need to follow the directions noted below to obtain a Stanford-sponsored I-20, as well as mail a copy of their current I-20 to the Summer Session Office.

Obtaining a Stanford-sponsored I-20:

To obtain an F-1 Student Visa, students must be sponsored for an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status). Stanford University will sponsor the I-20 for students who are admitted to the Summer Session program. The following documents are required in order to process an I-20:

  • Declaration of Finance: An online form completed as part of the Summer Session acceptance process.
  • Proof of Funding Document: An original letter or statement from a student or student’s family’s financial institution, verifying funds on deposit sufficient to cover the full cost of the program as stated on the Declaration of Finance. Sample Proof of Funding documents will be available for review upon admission to the program. Students will upload a copy of their Proof of Funding document online as part of the acceptance process. The original Proof of Funding will be reviewed during the student’s visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Current Passport Photocopy: Students will upload a photocopy of the identification page(s) of their passport as part of the online acceptance process.

Additional information regarding the process of obtaining an I-20 will be provided online once a student has been offered admission to the Summer Session program.


International students requiring a Stanford-sponsored I-20 have a $100 Visa Processing Fee due during the acceptance process of the Summer Session application. This fee offsets the cost of generating and shipping the I-20. Additional fees will be charged when registering the I-20 within the SEVIS system, and in obtaining your visa stamp from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. These additional charges are not part of Stanford’s fee for generating your I-20.


Once the Summer Session Office receives and verifies that accuracy of the required visa documents, in most cases, an I-20 is generated and shipped to the student within five business days. I-20s are sent to students via express courier service and usually take two to three days to be delivered. Once the I-20 is shipped, the student is emailed the tracking number of the package. In most cases, students should expect to receive their I-20 within 7-10 days after their visa documents are verified from Summer Session staff. Please note the Summer Session Office is not responsible for delays in receiving visa documents or difficulties in scheduling embassy appointments.

Obtaining an F-1 Student Visa:

Once a student receives their I-20 from Stanford University, the following items must be completed in order to obtain an F-1 Student Visa:

  1. Go to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 website to pay the SEVIS fee to the U.S. Government and obtain a receipt.
  2. (Canadian citizens skip to step 3) Go to the U.S. Department of State Visas website for information about how to apply for an F-1 Student Visa and schedule an interview at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  3. At your visa appointment (or U.S. Port of Entry for Canadian citizens), be sure to present the following items:
    • Original I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status)
    • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
    • (Canadian citizens excluded) Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) confirmation page and Application fee payment receipt (if you are required to pay before your interview)
    • Valid Passport
    • Stanford University Summer Session Admission Letter (available to download within the Summer Session acceptance interface)
    • Original Proof of Funding Document
    • 2 Passport Size Photos

If you have more questions about the visa process, visit the U.S. Department of State Visas website for contact information.

Enrollment Requirements

All international students obtaining a Stanford-sponsored I-20 are required to enroll in a minimum of 8 units in order to maintain legal visa status. The Summer Session Office will monitor enrollment throughout the Summer Quarter to ensure compliance. Students who drop below a minimum enrollment of 8 units will be withdrawn from the program and required to leave the country immediately.


International students with an F-1 Student Visa are able to enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the “report date” listed on the I-20, and stay in the country for up to 60 days following the “completion of studies” date. Please note that students are expected to arrive on June 18, 2016, and must be on campus by no later than Monday, June 20. Students may not move into the residences prior to June 18.


Students with a Stanford-sponsored I-20 are required to verify their presence on campus at the mandatory orientation scheduled on Sunday, June 19. Detailed information on how to fulfill this requirement will be sent by email prior to arrival. Students are required to present the following four documents as part of the verification process:

  • Passport with F-1 student visa stamp
  • Stamped I-94 Arrival/Departure Card
  • Original I-20
  • Stanford ID card