New Students Checklist of Important Tasks

Enter your U.S. address to SEVIS (US) address field in Axess. This address cannot be a P.O. Box or Department address. It must be the address where you reside in the U.S. while enrolled at Stanford. Step by step information on how to enter your address can be found on our web site. (Remember to update your SEVIS (US) address within 10 days of obtaining a new address.)

checkEnter your Mail address as a U.S. address. This will permit other university offices (Registrar’s Office, Vaden Health Center, etc.) to send important information to you.

Make sure to enter your e-mail address accurately in Axess so you can be included in our mailing list and stay informed about any changes in visa regulations that may affect you . Please use your email address inall communication with our office.

Photocopy your visa documents (I-20 or DS-2019, I-94 record) and passport, and keep originals in a safe and separate place.

Change Visa Status if needed.  All students changing their visa category from one type of non-immigrant visa to another must do so through the I-Center and USCIS.  If you have received an I-20 or DS 2019 from the I-Center, please be sure to complete the change of status process through USCIS (  Once it is completed, verify you are in the correct status by providing a photocopy of your approval notice (Notice of Action) and your I-20/DS 2019 with the change of status notations to the I-Center.  If you have returned from international travel, please also confirm your I94 record at to ensure you entered the US in the correct status.

Do not discard ANY previous I-20s or DS-2019s from other institutions you may have attended prior to Stanford. You may be required to present them in the future as evidence of your visa status history. For example, you must include photocopies of your previous I-20s along with a photocopy of your current I-20 when you apply for employment authorization.

Attend Orientation workshops at the I-Center! Remember to attend one of the mandatory workshops on “Maintaining Your Legal Status.” Check the Orientation Calendar for the schedule on the International Student Orientation to Stanford page.

Make sure to have your enrollment hold released at the I-Center. This can be done only after you have (1) entered your SEVIS (US) address in Axess (see above), (2) attended the session on “Maintaining your Legal Status” (see above), and (3) brought your passport, I-20/DS-2019 and I-94 record to the "Maintaining your Legal Status" session.

Make sure to complete the “Registration Form For Couples, Families, Partners” if you are accompanied by a dependent, or will bring one later. This form is available at the I-Center information desk on the ground floor. Ask at the I-Center for special activities for spouses/partners and families or visit the Spouses, Partners & Families section of our web site.

Pick up your Campus Card at the ID Card Office located in Tresidder Union, 459 Lagunita Dr., 2nd floor.(Located inside the Student Service Center, close to Kinko’s /FedEx, and directly facing the Tresidder parking lot.)

Open a bank account and apply for a US credit card to start building credit history.

Subscribe to “The Social” upon getting your email address. This email publication announces I-Center events, such as movies, meals, sporting events, art, etc. Fill out the web form at

Make an appointment to visit the Loan Closet if you need household goods. Visit the sign-in desk at the I-Center for an appointment.

Get a phone service. Stanford’s Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) has partnered with AT&T to provide Stanford students with enhanced digital cellular service. You may visit AT&T's web site (you will be required to enter your Stanford email address to confirm your Stanford affiliation) or contact AT&T at 1-800-331-0500 for details on this special campus offer. Ask the AT&T representative to give you the Stanford group discount.

Buy and register a bike and purchase a bike lock. Remember to register the bike (in case it gets stolen). For more information please see:

Apply for a Social Security number (SSN) if you will receive a Research or Teaching Assistantship, or have obtained an on-campus job. (Only students currently receiving employment-based income qualify for the SSN.) Instructions can be found on our web site as well as the Social Security Administration's web site:

Apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (commonly known as ITIN) F-1 and J-1 students who are not eligible for a social security number must apply for an ITIN. Instructions can be found on our web site.

Apply for a California driver’s license if you plan to drive a car. Information can be found at the Department of Motor Vehicles’ web site. You may also read more information here. You may obtain a copy of the California Driver Handbook 2011 (first floor Conference Room) starting Sept. 17th.

check Add dependent insurance within 30 days of the start of the academic year. Failure to add dependent(s) to your insurance coverage in a timely manner will forfeit eligibility to add dependent to Cardinal Care. See Vaden Health Center's web sitefor more information.

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