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Visa Document Process for New Students

Students admitted to the School of Medicine MD program or any Stanford Law School or Graduate School of Business programs should contact their admissions offices for details on submitting I-20 and DS-2019 requests as their protocol is different from the one outlined on this website.

How to request your visa document

Undergraduate Students

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 received by Bechtel, the I-20/DS-2019 will be issued and sent to you digitally within four weeks. Please print digital copy of your document and sign.

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

Once your application is received by Bechtel, we will send you an email. For questions please send an email to

Graduate Students

Students should select "How to request your visa document" in above tab. The I-20/DS-2019 will be issued within four to six weeks, 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. Once the I-20/DS-2019 application has been received by Bechtel, the I-20/DS-2019 will be issued and sent to you digitally. Please print digital copy of your document and sign.

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 other issues, 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. All funding documents must be no older than 6 months. Proof of funding should be shown in U.S. dollars or include a conversion showing U.S. dollar equivalent of foreign currency. You may write this information on the bank statement or upload a separate sheet with this information. Save your supporting documents (if applicable) using the following naming conventions.

  • 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 .

Funding can be :

Personal - a bank statement or letter from a financial institution. Upload as "PersonalFunding"

From Stanford:
Undergraduate Financial Aid letter. Upload as "FinancialAid"

Other Funding Sources:
Family funding - upload a bank statement or letter from a financial institution. Upload as "FamilyFunding"
You also need to upload a letter of support from the family member. Upload as "FamilySupportLetter"
Company/ Government/Organization Funding. Upload an official letter of support certifying the amount. Upload as "SupportLetter".

SEVIS Transfer-In

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 copy of your current I-20 or DS-2019,  and the most recent I-94 (NOT 'View Travel History' Tag) when submitting your I-20 or DS-2019 application. You will also need to arrange a date with your current institution on which SEVIS record will be transferred to Stanford. We will be only able to initiate your I-20/DS-2019 process after the SEVIS release date from your current institution. 

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.