Skip to content Skip to navigation

Visa Document Process for New Students

Undergraduate Students

How to request your visa document

Information about applying for the I-20/DS-2019 is sent to students by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions upon their acceptance. Once the I-20/DS-2019 application has been recevied by Bechtel, the I-20/DS-2019 will be issued and maied to you within two weeks. Along with the I-20/DS-2019, we will include information on how to obtain your visa at a U.S. consulate overseas. We will email you once we have mailed your document, and include the tracking number.

Please ensure that the address, local phone number and email that you provide in Axess is accurate.  Instructions on how to complete your I-20/DS-2019 application can be found here.

Onece your application is received by Bechtel, we will send you an email. For emergencies only, you can send an email to

Graduate Students

Information about applying for the I-20/DS-2019 for admitted students can be found at the Graduate Admissions web page. Students should submit the online transaction. Once all relevant documents have been checked by Graduate Admissions, your request will be forwarded to Bechtel International Center. This process can take 4–5 weeks. You will receive a confirmation email once your request has been received. The I-20/DS-2019 will be issued within 15 business days, provided all documentation and financial information is complete. Students transferring from another U.S. institution will only receive their I-20/DS-2019  after the SEVIS release date. You will receive an email once the I-20/DS-2019 has been sent. For courier delivery we will include the tracking number.

Overview of Visa document process

We do not respond to routine status inquiries about whether we have received your materials, or when your document will be ready or mailed. For emergencies only, you can send an email to

Financial Documents

Financial documents include bank statements, letters of grants, or scholarships from an organization/institution (including Stanford letters for scholarships/fellowships), etc. Proof of funding should be shown in U.S. dollars or include a conversion showing U.S. dollar equivalent of foreign currency.

  • Undergraduate Students are required to show proof of funding for one year. Please check the Estimated Expense Budget page for undergraduate students.
  • Graduate students are required to show proof of funding based on the Estimated Expense Budget for graduate students. These costs are based on  a  8 - 10 unit rate.  
    • The I-20 requires proof of funding for one academic year, i.e., 9 months or 3 quarters. The DS-2019 requires proof of funding for the entire period of the degree program. For example, you would need to provide proof of funding for 24 months for an MS degree .

SEVIS Transfer-In Form

If you are currently an international student in the U.S. at another academic institution on an F-1 or J-1 visa (including going from an English language institute to an academic program) and you want to transfer your SEVIS record from that institution to Stanford then you will need to upload a completed SEVIS Transfer-In form, copy of your current I-20 or DS-2019,  and I-94 when submitting your I-20 or DS-2019 application.

Comparison of the F-1 and J-1 visas

If you want to find out F-1 and J-1 visas in detail, please click here for detailed information.

Visa Information for Dependents

You should request the dependent I-20/DS-2019 at the same time as your initial request is submitted. After receiving these documents, F-1/J-1 and their dependents should apply for the visa at the same time from a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country.

Legally married same sex couples are permitted to apply for dependent based visas.

Unfortunately, immigration regulations prohibit the issuance of J-2 or F-2 dependent based visas to cohabitating partners. Cohabitating partners can apply for a B-2 visa.

F-2 dependents cannot attend school full-time but may pursue a hobby or study of an occasional, casual nature. An F-2 child is allowed to attend school full-time only if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). J-2 visa holders are allowed to attend school full-time.