OISS International Admission Process

The process of obtaining admission into an undergraduate or graduate degree program, a semester or year visiting student, transfer student and/or student/intern vary depending on the admission goals of the applicant.  Visit the links below according to your anticipated category and degree level:

To receive and I-20 or a DS-2019, the OISS must first receive all documents and information listed below:

If accompanied by dependents, the applicant must also submit biographical passport pages and financial certification for each dependent, and a marriage certificate in the case of a spouse.

SEVIS transfer students
International students who already attend an American high school, college,or university who hold an F-1 or J-1 visa, refer to the F-1/J-1 SEVIS Transfer Information tab found below.

Review the information on the I-20 and/or DS-2019:

  • If you find errors, e-mail the OISS (issoff@etal.uri.edu) and request 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. Your passport (and dependent/s) must be valid for, at least, six months into the future.
  • F-1 visa – Only the categories of students listed below are eligible to receive an I-20 issued by URI:

    • Full-time matriculated students in SEVIS approved degree and/or certificate programs
    • Full-time conditional admission students

    For information on how to obtain an F-1 visa, visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html

    J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa – Only exchange visitors admitted or invited to join URI in one of the categories below will be eligible to receive a DS-2019 issued by URI:

    • Exchange students who come to URI under exchange agreements managed by the URI Office of International Education;
    • Exchange students who receive own government funding or US government sponsorship;
    • Exchange students who come to URI who select URI as a study abroad destination and have received endorsement from their corresponding International Education Office and the URI Office of International Education;
    • Degree students who receive government funding sponsorship that requires study with a J-1 visa;
    • Exchange Student/Interns who are invited to complete a capstone project and/or other research under the supervision of a URI faculty, administrator, and/or research scholar affiliated and/or employed by URI
    • All Students who are currently in J-1 programs and who are eligible to transfer their SEVIS record to URI.

    For information on how to obtain a J-1 visa, visit: http://www.travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/exchange.html

  • 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 and not in your native language.  Be prepared to demonstrate that you are entering the US with the sole intent of obtaining a degree and that you have strong ties in your home country, and 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
    • Receipt of I-901 payment
    • Letter of admission to URI
    • DS-7002 (student interns)
    • URI Award Letter or other forms of financial sponsorship matching the funds listed in your immigration documents: U.S. government agency, own government, other agency; bank statement in your name, letters of credit, and/or proof of anticipated assets if your support is from personal and/or family funds.
  • Upon arrival, a US Customs and Border Protection Officer will

    • Examine all your documents and ask you specific questions regarding your visit to the U.S.;
    • Stamped your passport with the notation F-1/J-1 D/S (duration of stay);
    • Scanned two index fingers and photograph your face

    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.

    Documents required at the Port of Entry (airport, border):

    • Passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • Letter of academic admission or invitation
    • Proof of financial support

    If you forgot your I-20 or DS-2019, and your are permitted entry, the CBP Officer will issue a I‐515AThe I‐515A Form allows temporary entry into the United States of no more than 30 days.  You will be expected to submit evidence of your eligibility to enter the U.S. within 30 days of your arrival.  A OISS Designated School Official/DSO will assist you by providing the proper guidance or documentation required to complete the submission process within the 30 day allotment of time. If these documents are not received within 30 days of your entry into the United States, you will not be in legal status and must leave.

    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.

  • Immigration regulations require that all students admitted to a degree and/or exchange program demonstrate proof of possessing sufficient funds to cover the cost of their education and other expenses while in the United States.  To comply with this regulation, prospective students must provide the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) with one of the documents listed below:

    • Notarized Bank letter or current bank statement listing the applicant’s name (no more than 30 days old from the day of issuance); or
    • URI award letter in the applicant’s name (scholarship, institutional grant, and/or assistantship), or
      U.S. government, own government, or other agencies’ funding letter;
    • Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR)

    Please Note

    • DO NOT submit the proof of funding before you have received a letter of admission from URI
    • DO NOT submit proof of funding that is more than 30 days old
    • SEND your proof of funding to the Office of International Students & Scholars
    • SUBMIT original funding documents and marriage certificate when requesting documents for dependents
    • SUBMIT all forms listed above to the Office of International Students & Scholars located at 37 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI, 02881.
  • Estimated tuition and fees of attendance for international students.
  • SEVIS Transfer Definition and Process

    A “transfer” of a F-1/J-1 SEVIS record from one education institution in the US to another, in order to continue in F-1/J-1 status. This includes all categories F-1 and J-1 students seeking admission or to begin an intern project at the University of Rhode Island.

    Follow the steps below when requesting a SEVIS transfer:

    1. Visit your current US international office and request a transfer of your SEVIS file to the OISS
    2. Complete Part I of the URI transfer-in form and submit it to the international student office at your current school. It is up to you to select the date you want your SEVIS record to be transferred to URI.
    3. Your current school international student adviser must email the completed form to our office.
      Submit financial documents, biographical passport page, admission and/or invitation letter to the OISS/URI.
    4. Notify the OISS of the day of the SEVIS transfer.
    5. Confirm that the OISS has received proof of your admission.

    In addition to completing these steps, follow all other steps indicated in the International Admission Webpage according you your degree level or visiting student category.  OISS will electronically accesses your SEVIS record, on the transfer date requested by you, to create your new I-20 or DS-2019.

    SEVIS Transfer: Other Facts

    You are eligible to transfer your status to URI as long as your classes here start within 5 months of the end date of your current program or OPT end date.

    You are considered a SEVIS transfer student, if you are:

    • Currently at another U.S. school (high school or secondary), college or university on OPT or AT , or will be studying in an English as a Second Language program before coming to the University of Rhode Island,
      • If you are finishing OPT, you can transfer your SEVIS record during the 60 day grace period following OPT;
      • If you are finishing AT, you can transfer your SEVIS record during the 30 day grace period following AT to begin a new academic program.
    • You do not have to depart and re-enter the U.S. in between your programs if you are a SEVIS transfer student;
    • You do not have to pay the SEVIS fee again;
    • You are eligible for on-campus employment at URI once you receive your I-20 or DS-2019 from our office.

    Please note:

    • OISS cannot issue a new I-20 or DS-2019 until your SEVIS record has been electronically transferred from your previous institution to URI and the release date indicated on the transfer-in form has been reached.
    • Communicate with our office to make sure we receive the transfer-in form and are aware that you need to transfer your SEVIS record. You can e-mail us at issoff@etal.uri.edu. Let us know your name, your URI ID and list the academic program you have been admitted.
    • All SEVIS transfers students MUST REPORT to the OISS within 15 days prior to the beginning of classes.
    • All SEVIS transfer research scholars and professors MUST REPORT to the OISS as soon as they reach the Kingston campus.
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