Rice Unconventional Wisdom

International Students

The Basics – Visa Types
Most degree-seeking international students will come to study on an F-1 student visa and exchange students on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. To apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa, the student will need an I-20 or DS-2019 immigration documents, respectively.

Occasionally international students may study on other visa classifications, so please check with an OISS advisor if you have questions.

Admitting New Students
International Student Admissions Flow Chart - Describes the process from when an international student applies to Rice University to when he/she arrives. It is a resource for any academic coordinator, faculty member, or new international student. 

NOTE: International admission policy requires students to begin their programs in line with the Rice academic calendar, as immigration law requires Rice to register these standardized initial start dates with the government. Students coming to Rice outside the standard enrollment periods (Fall, Spring, Summer session start dates) may need to come to Rice on a J-1 short-term visa if they wish to begin research prior to beginning their standard academic program. Departments hoping to bring students in out of cycle for research purposes should consult OISS for the best visa options in these situations. 

Checklist of Required Documents for I-20/DS-2019
        Related Documents
 International Financial Declaration Forms 

 - Undergraduate Degree-Seeking Student
  - Undergraduate Exchange Student - Full academic year 

  - Undergraduate Exchange Student - Fall semester only 

  - Undergraduate Exchange Student - Spring semester only

  - Graduate Degree-Seeking Student
  - Graduate Music Student
  - Graduate Architecture Student 
  - Masters Students in Energy Economics
  - Professional Masters Students in Natural Science
  - Professional Masters Students in Engineering 
Professional Masters Students in Global Affairs
  - MBA Student 
 - Masters in Accounting Program 
  - Graduate Exchange Student - Full academic year
  - Graduate Exchange Student - Fall semester only 


         Proof of Language Proficiency
         Foreign Student Transfer Release Form (if transferring from a US institution)

**Special Case: Visiting International Undergraduate Research Student
Visiting International Undergraduate Research Students are students who are not pursuing a degree at Rice University, but are instead coming for a short visit to conduct research typically in the summer months.

Advising Internationals Students

- Full-time Status: All F-1 and J-1 students need to be full-time at all times, unless they have prior authorization from their academic department and OISS

- Part-time authorization procedure
            Undergraduate Procedure
            Graduate Procedure

- On-campus employment: F-1 students are eligible to work on-campus for a maximum of 20 hours/week while school is in session, and may work more than 20 hours/week while school is on break.

- Off-campus employment (internships)
            Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for Undergraduates
            Curricular Practical Training (CPT for Graduate Students
            Optional Practical Training (OPT)  

- Academic Dismissal/Withdrawal: If an international student is experiencing difficulty in their program, please advise them to make an appointment with an OISS advisor. If the student is either considering withdrawing or may be dismissed, there are immigration consequences to be considered.

Additional Resources:
SEVIS Fee Handout for F-1 Students
Student Pre-Arrival Information
Checklist for Newly-Arrived Students
SSA Regulations for F-1 Students