After receiving your I-20 and/or DS-2019 follow the steps listed below:
- Read and confirm the information appearing on the I-20 or DS-2019 forms. If you find errors, e-mail the OISS (email@example.com) and request that we send you a new document before going to your appointment.
- Sign and date the form, at the bottom of page 1. Read page 2 (DHS instruction page). This page explains your legal responsibilities as a F-1 or J-1 recipient.
- Request a visa interview after paying the SEVIS I-901 fee.
- Examine your passport before going to your visa appointment. The passport must be valid for, at least, six months into the future.
To find the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consular Post that has jurisdiction over your visa application, visit American Consulate to find the nearest US Embassy/Consulate.
The Visa Interview:
- The appointment will be in English, not in your native language.
- Be prepared to demonstrate that you are entering the US with the sole intent of obtaining a degree or participating in training.
- Be prepared to demonstrate that you have strong ties in your home country, and that you intend to return home.
- Do not enter the US on a B-1/B-2 visa with the expectation to change to an F-1 or J-1 once in the U.S.
Documents you must take to the Visa Interview:
- Two passport-size photos
- I-20 or DS-2019 from URI
- Receipt of I-901 payment
- Letter of admission to URI (students only
- Letter of invitation and/or employment (if a scholar, professor or student intern)
- URI Award Letter of Assistantship (students with assistantships only)
- Financial sponsorship letter (when sponsored by U.S. government agency, own government, other agency)
- Bank statement in your name, letters of credit, proof of anticipated assets if your support is from personal and/or family funds
Documents required at the point of entry (airport, border):
- I-20 or DS-2019
- Letter of academic admission or invitation
- Proof of financial responsibility
Upon arrival, a US Customs and Border Protection Officer will review all your documents and ask you specific questions regarding your stay in the US.
- Your passport will be stamped with the notation F-1/J-1 D/S (duration of stay).
- Your two index fingers will be scanned by an inkless device and a photograph of your face will be taken.
- Students from Canada or Bermuda do not need to get a visa stamp in their passports. However, these students MUST pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, NO LATER THAN three days prior to their departure and have a printed copy of their payment receipt available for the Port of Entry Officer.
Please Note: Do not attempt to enter the US more than 30 days prior to the beginning date noted on the I-20 form or the DS-2019 forms.
Arrival at URI:
Report to the Office of International Student and Scholars within 10 days of your arrival in the United States. Bring your passport and your I-20 or DS-2019 (proof of health insurance for J-1 visa) when making your first visit. The OISS MUST report your arrival to the Department of Homeland Security.
Please Note: Failure to report to the OISS could lead to the termination of the F-1 or J-1 visa status for you and your dependents.