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Student Visas

In order to register as students, Stanford University requires that all those who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. registered permanent residents must obtain and maintain an appropriate visa status for their stay in the U.S.

Requesting a Visa Certificate of Eligibility

To receive a Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must have done the following:

  • Accept the offer of admission online indicating intention to enroll.
  • If you are an F-1 student, verify adequate funding for at least nine months of graduate study by filling out and submitting the online I-20 Request. The estimated budget for the 2014-15 year should be used to calculate the amount of funds you must verify. If you have an award from Stanford or from another source, you must provide verification of support for any difference between your award and the estimated budget. Personal funds must be verified 
by a bank statement issued within 90 days of your I-20 request or by a letter of support from another scholarship source. (Do not submit original bank statements, but photocopies, since you will most likely be asked to provide the original documents at the time of your visa interview.)  
  • If you are a J-1 student, verify adequate funding for the full period of your stay in the U.S. by filling out and submitting the online DS-2019 Request
  • You must have submitted evidence of adequate English proficiency to start graduate study at Stanford.

Certificates of Eligibility for visas are processed starting in early May, and continuing throughout the summer, for the following Autumn Quarter. It is very important that you allow sufficient time for the preparation and mailing of the I-20 or the DS-2019. Warning: Do not make flight arrangements to travel to the U.S. without having received your F or J (certificate of eligibility) visa document. I-20s and DS-2019s are issued by the Bechtel International Center at the request of the Graduate Admissions Office.
Students attending Stanford’s Summer English Program must inform the Graduate Admissions Office of this intention as soon as possible in order to facilitate the issuance of one I-20 or DS-2019 that will reflect the total period of study.

Students wishing to attend Stanford’s Summer Session must send an email to and put “Intent to Enroll in a Summer Program” in the subject line. List your name exactly as it appears on your passport and include your student ID number. After sending the email, immediately submit your I-20 or DS-2019 request online. Be sure to complete the Summer Session application at It is important to note that if you enter the country early for the purpose of summer enrollment and subsequently fail to complete the summer study, your student visa will be subject to the consequences of being out of status.

If you have further questions regarding your visa status, contact the Bechtel International Center, 584 Capistrano Way, Stanford, CA 94305-8245, U.S.A.; phone (650) 723-1831; fax (650) 725-0886; email The International Center cannot return international phone calls.