Before Applying for a Visa Document for Newly Admitted Students
In order to apply for a visa document, you need to have received an invitation from Bechtel Connect, Stanford’s immigration portal, to initiate the process. If you have not received an invitation email from Bechtel Connect after you have accepted admission to Stanford, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about applying for an I-20 or DS-2019 is sent to you by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions when you are accepted to a Stanford program. After Bechtel International Center receives your completed visa document request, you are sent an email acknowledging receipt. When the I-20 or DS-2019 is approved, it is issued and sent to you digitally within four weeks.
After you receive your approved form, ensure that your address, phone number, and email are accurate. You should print the digital copy of your document and sign it.
In order to apply for a visa document, you will need to have received an invitation from Bechtel Connect to initiate the process. If you have not received an invitation email from Bechtel Connect after you have accepted admission to your program, please contact email@example.com
Visit How to Request Initial I-20 or DS-2019 for instructions on completing your I-20 or DS-2019 application.
After your completed application is received by Bechtel — with all required documentation and financial information — you are sent an email acknowledging receipt. When the I-20 or DS-2019 is approved, it is issued and sent to you digitally within four weeks to six weeks. (Note that if you are transferring from another U.S. institution you receive your I-20 or DS-2019 only after the SEVIS release date specified by your previous institution.)
Upon receipt, ensure that your home address and home phone number are accurate. You should print the digital copy of your document and sign it.
Financial documents include bank statements, letters of grants, scholarships from an organization/institution (including Stanford letters for scholarships/fellowships), etc.
Proof of funding should be shown in U.S. currency or include a conversion showing the U.S. dollar equivalent of foreign currency. You may write this information on the bank statement or upload a separate sheet with this information.
- Undergraduate students: You must show proof of funding for one year. Check Tuition and Living Expenses for estimated expenses.
- Graduate students: You must show proof of funding based on the Estimated Expense Budget for graduate students. These costs are based on an eight to ten-unit rate.
- The I-20 requires proof of funding for one academic year— nine months or three quarters.
- The DS-2019 requires proof of funding for the entire period of the degree program.
Acceptable Funding Documents
Following are acceptable funding documents. Upload your supporting documents (if applicable) using the naming conventions indicated.
All your funding documents must be no older than six months.
- Personal – a bank statement or letter from a financial institution
- Naming convention: "PersonalFunding"
- From Stanford – Undergraduate Financial Aid letter
- Naming convention: "FinancialAid"
- Other funding sources
- Naming convention: "FamilyFunding" and “FamilySupportLetter”
- Company/Government/Organization Funding – letter of support from the entity certifying the support amount it is proving
- Naming convention: "SupportLetter"
If you are currently an international student on an F-1 or J-1 visa and enrolled at another U.S. academic institution (including going from an English language institute to an academic program) and you may be able to transfer your SEVIS record from that institution to Stanford. In order to be able to request a transfer of your SEVIS record to Stanford, you will first need to receive an email invitation from Bechtel Connect, Stanford’s immigration portal. If you have not received the invitation after accepting admission to Stanford, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (for grads) or email@example.com(for undergrads). You also need to coordinate with your current institution the date your SEVIS record should transfer to Stanford (SEVIS Release Date).
Comparison of the F-1 and J-1 Visas
Information comparing F-1 and J-1 visas is available at F-1 and J-1 Student Visas.
Visa Information for Dependents
You should request your dependent(s) I-20 or DS-2019 at the same time as you submit your initial request. After receiving these documents, you and your dependents should apply for your visas at the same time from a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country.
Legally-married same-sex partners are permitted to apply for dependent-based visas. However, immigration regulations prohibit issuing 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 primary or secondary school full-time until the age of 21. J-2 visa holders are allowed to attend school full-time.