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Requirements for New International Students (GAP 2.2)

Document 2.2

Requirements for New International Students

Current version

March 3, 2010

Applicability

All incoming matriculated international students.

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This handbook is a reference for Stanford faculty, staff and students. Where the current Stanford University Bulletin includes coverage of these topics, the current Bulletin is the governing policy. Stanford University reserves the right to make changes to its applicable policies, procedures and other materials contained here at any time and without prior notice.

Summary

Presents policy and procedures for the initial processing of international students, including the handling of visa requests; initial student enrollment; and language requirements, if any.


Rationale

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 and valid visa status for their stay in the United States.

For students on F-1or J-1 visas, Stanford University is required to verify the student's initial arrival on-campus and current U.S. residence address before permitting the student to enroll. In addition, based on scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Stanford’s offer of admission to graduate study may be contingent on completion of the English Placement Test or completion of intensive English language study prior to first-quarter enrollment.

Receipt of university funding may be contingent on the applicant’s successful completion of these requirements, and, in the case of an anticipated teaching assistantship, on the successful completion of the TA Screening, an assessment of a student's readiness to use English in a teaching role. 

1. Policy

1.1 Visas for International Students

The types of student visas sponsored by Stanford include the following:

  1. F-1 VISA, obtained with an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility issued by Stanford University. The graduate student on an F-1 visa must enroll in a full course of study. The accompanying spouse or child enters on an F-2 visa. F-2 visa holders may not hold employment or engage in business under any circumstances. The F-2 spouse of an F-1 student may not engage in full-time study, and the F-2 child may only engage if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). The F-2 spouse and child may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature.
  2. J-1 VISA, obtained with a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility issued by Stanford University or a sponsoring agency. (Examples of such sponsoring agencies include the Institute for International Education, and the Fulbright Commission.) This visa is required for graduate students sponsored by certain agencies, foundations, and governments. In some cases, exchange visitors must leave the United States at the conclusion of their programs, may not change to non-student visa status, and may not apply for H-1visas or permanent residency in the United States until they have returned to their home countries for at least two years. The accompanying spouse or child of an exchange visitor enters on a J-2 visa and may obtain permission to work by means of an application to the US Department of Homeland Security. There is no regulatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents.

    Graduate students may qualify for a J-1 visa as long as they are funded by the university, or a government agency, foundation or company, and at least 50% of the student's funding comes from a non-personal or non-family source.

    The J-1 visa is also used for nonmatriculating international graduate students, including Postdoctoral Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers.

The certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) is issued to an admitted student accepted for admission only upon after receipt of evidence of satisfactory proficiency in the English language and certification of adequate financial support for the student and his/her dependents. Proof of support for multiple years (two years, or the duration of the program) may be required. An F-1 student transferring from another U.S. school must obtain a new certificate of eligibility I-20 document from Stanford, and complete a transfer process at the Bechtel International Center no later than 15 days after the effective date of the transfer.  A J-1 student transferring from another US school must obtain a new DS-2019 document from Stanford, and complete a transfer process at the Bechtel International Center no later than 30 days after the effective date of the transfer.

Information is provided for newly admitted international graduate students on the Gradadmissions web page for admitted students and on the Bechtel International Center web page.

1.2 Initial Registration

Upon their acceptance to Stanford University, the Graduate Admissions Office determines whether Stanford University (or another sponsoring agency) must sponsor the visa to permit the student’s entry into the United States. If the visa is to be sponsored by Stanford, the Graduate Admissions Office will forward the student’s I-20/DS-2019 request form and supporting documents to the Bechtel International Center. The Bechtel Center will review the student’s financial documents before issuing and mailing the initial immigration paperwork (the I-20/DS-2019 and, if applicable, the I-20/DS-2019 for the student’s dependent(s).

The Graduate Admissions Office then places a hold on enrollment until the student arrives on the Stanford campus.

In order to have the enrollment hold released, the new international student must go in person to the Bechtel International Center to verify physical presence at Stanford.  The student must also:

  • attend a “Maintaining Your Legal Status” workshop offered by the Bechtel International Center (normally during Orientation Week).
  • enter his or her local residence address into the “Student Directory (local) address” field of Axess.

Upon completing these requirements, Bechtel International Center staff will release the enrollment hold in PeopleSoft Student Administration, and the new student will be able to register for classes.

The Bechtel International Center maintains information for new international students, including the schedule of mandatory workshops, on their web site.

1.3 Enrolling in Summer Quarter Language or Other Courses

The English for Foreign Students Program administers the English Placement Test for new international students before the start of each Autumn quarter. In addition, this office offers a six-week intensive English course during Summer quarter for students who have been admitted to graduate degree programs starting in the autumn. The focus is on spoken and written fluency, including the production of research-oriented papers and oral presentations.

Incoming international students should indicate their desire to enroll in this language program, or other Summer Session courses before the start of their graduate degree program at Stanford, on their request for an I-20 form, and complete the corresponding program application. Information and program applications can be found at:

In addition, they may be notified by the Graduate Admissions Office of a requirement to complete either the English Placement Test or the intensive English language program as a condition of admission.

If planning to enroll in any Summer Session courses, international students must provide evidence of adequate financial support for the summer (including the payment of Summer quarter tuition), in addition to that required for the academic year.

Upon receipt of this additional documentation and approval from the English for Foreign Students / Summer Session Program, the Graduate Admissions Office will create a summer visitor record for the individual, enabling the student to attend the Summer Session Program during the Summer quarter preceding the first quarter of matriculated study.

NOTE: Language requirements for international graduate students who are appointed to teaching assistantship positions during their graduate program at Stanford are in addition to those described here for incoming students (see GAP 7.3, Assistantships).

2. Implementation Guidelines

2.1 Obtaining F-1 Visas for Degree-Seeking Students

The following steps must take place as soon as possible after the student has accepted the offer of admission.

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1.

After accepting the offer of admission, logs into their Axess account and submits an online transaction request for I-20 (including for dependents, if applicable), to the Graduate Admissions Office. For information see http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/admitted/international-forms

Indicates, on the I-20 request form, whether the form should be sent by regular airmail or agrees to pay courier service. (If couriered, this charge is added to student’s bill.) 

  Must also provide the following documents in the online I-20 request form (in PDF format):

  • Legible copy of the passport page(s): photo page with machine-readable strip including page with current expiration date if not on the same page.
  • Verified sources of funding documents in US dollars that meet or exceeds the Estimated Student Expense budget.
Note:  Applicants to the School of Medicine MD program, Graduate School of Business or School of Law have a separate visa request form.  The student submits those forms to the school to which he or she is applying, and that school forwards the completed package to Graduate Admissions.
Student
2. After verification of all academic credentials, receipt of ETS scores and evidence of sufficient English proficiency submits the online I-20 form to Bechtel International Center. Graduate Admissions
3. Reviews financial documents and creates form in PeopleSoft Pass Bechtel
4. Batch processes the I-20 in SEVIS, and retrieves the processed I-20. Bechtel
5.

Prints and signs the I-20 form and either mails directly to the new student or notifies the department to pick up.

Note:  Departments should makearrangements with Bechtel staff ahead of time if they would like to pick up and to mail these forms. These arrangements are already in place for the Schools of Medicine, Law and Business.

Bechtel
6. Clears student for matriculation and places enrollment hold. Graduate Admissions
7. Pays the SEVIS fee and applies for a visa with the necessary documents and visa fee to the US State Department (Embassy location). Student

2.2 Obtaining J-1 Visas for Degree Seeking Students

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1.

After accepting offer of admission, logs into their Axess account and submits an online transaction for the DS-2019 (including for dependents, if applicable), to the Graduate Admissions Office. For information see http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/admitted/international-forms

Indicates, on the DS-2019 request form, whether the form should be sent by regular airmail or agrees to pay courier service. (If couriered, this charge is added to student’s Autumn bill.) 

Must also provide the following documents in the online DS-2019 request form (in PDF format):

  • Legible copy of the passport page(s): photo page with machine-readable strip including page with current expiration date, if not on the same page.
  • Verified sources of funding documents in US dollars that meet or exceeds the Estimated Student Expense budget.
Note:  Applicants to the School of Medicine MD program, Graduate School of Business or School of Law have a separate visa request form.  The student submits those forms to the school to which he/she is applying, and that school forwards the completed package to Graduate Admissions
Student
2. After verification of all academic credentials, receipt of ETS scores and evidence of sufficient English proficiency sends request to Bechtel International Center. Graduate Admissions
3. Reviews financial documents and creates form in PeopleSoft Pass. Bechtel
4. Batch processes the DS-2019 in SEVIS and retrieves the processed DS-2019. Bechtel
5.

Prints and signs the DS-2019, and either mails directly to the new student or notifies the department to pick up.

Note:  Departments should make arrangements with Bechtel ahead of time if they would like to pick up and to mail these forms. These arrangements are already in place for the Schools of Medicine, Law and Business.

Bechtel
6. Clears student for matriculation and places enrollment hold. Graduate Admissions
7. Pays the SEVIS fee and applies for a visa with the necessary documents and visa fee to the US State Department (Embassy location). Student

2.3 Initial Registration

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1. Upon issuance of the I-20/DS-2019 and matriculation for a new student, places an enrollment hold on the student’s record. Graduate Admissions
2.  Upon arrival at Stanford, enters a local address in Axess. Student
3. Attends a session of "Maintaining Your Legal Status" workshop, offered by Bechtel International Center. Student
4. After completion of 2 and 3 above, presents photocopies of the following information at the Bechtel International Center:
  •  Pages from the student’s passport:
    • the visa stamp page
    • expiration of passport page
    • photo page
  • The I-94 card (front and back)
  • The I-20 (pages 1 & 3) of the DS-2019 (front page only).
Student
5. Upon presentation of the above documentation, releases the enrollment hold for the student. Bechtel
6. Retains all documentation in their files. Bechtel

2.4 Summer Session Enrollment

The following steps are for graduate students who intend to take summer courses, including language courses, at Stanford in advance of commencing their degree program at Stanford.  This does not apply to enrollment in subsequent summer quarters. 

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1. Establishes intensive English language coursework as a provision of admission and notifies the student. Graduate Admissions
2. Indicates a desire to enroll in Stanford’s Summer Session program, including the intensive language program, by checking the appropriate box on the I-20 request form, and submits an application to the appropriate Summer Session Program Office. Student
3. Notifies the student and the Graduate Admissions Office of acceptance in Stanford’s Summer Session Program. Summer Session
4. For new incoming matriculated graduate students who intend to take Summer Session courses at Stanford in advance of commencing their degree program, sends I-20 request to Bechtel, and initiates a Summer Visitor  (non-matriculated student) status in PeopleSoft Student Administration for the Summer quarter preceding the initial Autumn term. Graduate Admissions
5. Reviews student's financial documents and issues the appropriate visa certification. Bechtel
6. Upon arrival at Stanford University, presents necessary documentation at Bechtel International Center (see steps described in 2.3, above). Student
7. Enrolls for appropriate Summer courses in Axess. Student

 

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