Most degree-seeking international students will come to study on an F-1 student visa, while exchange students arrive on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. To apply for a visa to come and study in the U.S., the student will need an I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) immigration document issued by Rice University's OISS. This document confirms the student has been admitted to a U.S. government-approved school and is eligible to apply for a visa to come and study.
Occasionally international students may study on other visa classifications, so please check with an OISS advisor if you have questions. Please keep in mind that OISS requires an admission packet from the department for every international student on a non-immigrant visa, regardless of specific visa type.
International Student Admissions Flow Chart – Describes the process from when an international student applies for admission to when they arrive at Rice. 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.
Required Documents for International Students
Academic departments must prepare an international student packet for OISS. Please verify all materials are present before sending the packet for upload:
Packets are then electronically sent to OISS via a secured share drive by GPS**, Jones School, EMOC.
**For departments NOT on Slate: Packets are submitted to OISS electronically by the program coordinator via a secure OISS webform (coming soon!). Please verify all materials are present before sending the packet to OISS.
Upon record creation in Banner, incoming students will be invited by email to activate their OISS Portal (link coming soon!) account to submit required documents / data directly to OISS via a secure online portal. Items include:
Verify / Update: Biographic / Address data
Upload (requirements guided by OISS Portal):
The OISS Portal is interactive. It allows students to see their progress and view what else is still pending / required.
Visiting International Undergraduate Researchers 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.