GFS Policy

International Students

Stanford University is required to report to the government certain conditions related to an international student's status, e.g., change of address, change of major program, or failure of the student to enroll for a full course load (8 unit minimum). See Bechtel International Center’s website for additional information about SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) reporting requirements.

Immigration regulations can change unexpectedly and it can be difficult for department administrators and student services officers to stay current on regulations and requirements. To ensure that current and correct information is always provided, students should be directed to the Bechtel International Center to verify the information below whenever they have questions regarding their visas, work, or travel. Violation of any immigration rule can disqualify the student from her/his legal status, create a reporting requirement for Stanford University, and could be cause for deportation.

Note: Graduate students must be in proper J-1 (scholar) or F-1 (student) status in order to receive fellowships or to be employed on-campus by the university. Although J-2 visa holders are allowed to attend school, F-2 visa holders cannot attend Stanford full-time without first changing status to F-1. F-2 visa holders are not allowed to work in the US. J-2 visa holders may work on/off-campus only with Government approval. J-2 and F-2 visa holders are not allowed to receive fellowships.

  1. Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters

    1. Graduate students on J-1 and F-1 visas are limited to 20 hours per week of employment. (Note: 20 hours is equivalent to a 50% assistantship.) International students with a 50% assistantship may not work any additional hours on an hourly basis during the quarter in which they have the assistantship. However, the student may work extra hours during the period between the end of one quarter and the start of the next quarter.

    2. F-1 visa holders who have not yet graduated do not require authorization for any on-campus employment from either Bechtel International Center or from the Government.

    3. J-1 visa holders are required to seek authorization for on-campus employment from their visa sponsor.

    4. Immigration rules allow advanced graduate students who have completed all of their courses and requirements, except the thesis or dissertation, to work full-time (on or off-campus) with a work permit. Stanford University policy allows departments to say no to this. Students should check with their department AND check with the Bechtel International Center about how to proceed.

      Note: Bechtel International Center offers periodic workshops concerning employment authorization issues. Students should be advised to attend.
  2. Any off-campus employment requires work authorization from the Bechtel International Center or USCIS for F-1 visa holders or the Program sponsor (usually Stanford) for J-1 visa holders. Violation of work permit rules will jeopardize the student's legal status. Any F or J student considering off-campus work should always consult with the Bechtel International Center.

Updated on June 7, 2016 1:37 PM