International Students

International students entering the United States with the intention of studying at Stanford during the Summer Quarter must possess a visa appropriate for academic study. Most commonly, this is an F-1 Student Visa. High School Summer College students are not allowed to enter the country using a Tourist Visa (B-1/B-2) or WT/WB Visa Waiver.

Student Visa Requirements 

International students entering the United States with the intention of studying at Stanford during the Summer Quarter must possess a visa appropriate for academic study. Most commonly, this is an F-1 Student Visa. High School Summer College students are not allowed to enter the country using a Tourist Visa (B-1/B-2) or WT/WB Visa Waiver.

Students who are not currently studying at a U.S. educational institution will need to follow the directions noted below to obtain a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status).

Students who are currently attending a U.S. educational institution and will be returning to the same U.S. educational institution following their summer at Stanford will not be required to obtain a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status); however, students will need to bring their valid F-1 Student Visa and I-20 with them to the Stanford campus.

Students who are currently attending a U.S. educational institution to which they will not be returning following their summer at Stanford will need to obtain a “Transfer Release” form from the international student advisor at their home institution. Students in this situation will also need to follow the directions noted below to obtain a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status).

Special Note for Canadian Citizens: Students who are Canadian citizens must obtain a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) to attend the High School Summer College program for the summer. Canadian citizens will need to pay their SEVIS fees and bring all items required for the F-1 visa with them as they enter the U.S. Canadian citizens should refer to the list of required documents under the header “Obtaining a Student Visa.”

The Stanford-Sponsored I-20 

International students with a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) are required to maintain a minimum course load of 8 units. The High School Summer College office will monitor enrollment throughout the Summer Quarter to ensure compliance.

Obtaining a Stanford-Sponsored I-20

The process of obtaining an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) starts after a student has been offered admission. The offer of admission will arrive via email and will instruct the student to log back into their applicant portal and submit an electronic acceptance form. Once the acceptance form has been submitted, a new acceptance checklist will appear. For international students requiring a Stanford-Sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status), completing this checklist will prompt the student to submit all forms and fees required to generate the I-20. These forms and fees include:

(1) The Declaration of Finance - this form is completed online through the acceptance process.

(2) The Proof of Funding - this is an original document such as an original bank statement or letter from a financial institution which verifies that the student or their funding source (e.g. parent/guardian, employer, agency, etc.) have the necessary funds on deposit to cover the entire cost of the summer program at Stanford. The cost is detailed on the Declaration of Finance. The Proof of Funding document must be shown in U.S. dollars; however, we will also accept documents with financial information listed in the local currency. Students are required to upload Proof of Funding documents during the acceptance process. Students should also bring the original with them to their visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Canadian citizens will need their Proof of Funding document when they enter the U.S.

When funding for the program comes from a source other than the student (e.g. parent, company, or agency), the High School Summer College office requires a short message from this source explaining that funds held in their name will be used to cover program costs incurred by the applicant.

(3) Photocopy of Passport - a photocopy of the identification page of the student's passport must be uploaded during the acceptance process. The name on the Stanford-generated I-20 will appear exactly the same as the name on the student's passport.

(4) Visa Processing Fee - all students who require a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) must pay a non-refundable $125 fee as part of the acceptance process. This fee covers the costs of processing visa-related paperwork, including the expense of mailing the official I-20 document to the applicant via express courier service.

Obtaining a F-1 Student Visa 

Once the acceptance process is complete and a Stanford ID number is generated, the Stanford-sponsored I-20 will be sent via express courier to the mailing address provided online in the Declaration of Finance. As soon as the I-20 is shipped, details will be emailed to the student and added to the applicant portal.  This information will include the courier's tracking number, the SEVIS number, and Stanford's University's School Code. It is the student’s responsibility to set up an appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in his or her country of citizenship to obtain an F-1 Student Visa (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement). The first step in this process requires the student to pay the SEVIS fee on the U.S. government website. Students will not be able to make an appointment until the fee has been paid. Students should plan ahead since some embassies have impacted schedules.

Students must take the following documents to their visa appointment: 

(1) Original I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status)

(2) I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt

(3) Stanford University High School Summer College Admission Letter (available as a printable document within the applicant portal)

(4) Original Proof of Funding Document

(5) Valid Passport

(6) 2 Passport Size Photos

If students have general questions about student visas, they should consult the U.S. Department of State visa webpage where they will find links to specific consular locations and other helpful information. Students will also find a description of the F-1 Student Visa.

Entering the United States of America 

For students who have been sponsored by Stanford for an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status), the following documents must be presented to the Port of Entry Officer upon arrival to the United States:

(1) Original I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status)

(2) I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt

(3) Stanford University Summer College Admission Letter (available as a printable document within the applicant portal)

(4) Original Proof of Funding Document

(5)  I-94 Arrival/Departure Card (received from the airline during the flight)

Arriving at Stanford 

F-1 Student Visa holders may enter the United States up to 30 days before the "report date" indicated on the I-20; however, on-campus housing will not be available until June 24, 2017. International students must arrive on campus by June 25, 2017. International students with a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) will be required to verify their physical presence on campus within the first few days of the program. The High School Summer College office will send students detailed information on this process in late May or early June. 

Canceling a Stanford-Sponsored I-20 

If a student finds they will not be able to attend Stanford's High School Summer College after obtaining an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status), it is the student’s responsibility to inform the High School Summer College office of their change in plans. The student is required to send official notification to the office by email or fax. They must also return the original I-20 to the High School Summer College office at their earliest opportunity. If the student has registered for courses and/or accepted a housing assignment, additional steps will be required. Instructions are provided within in the section titled Change of Plans.