OISSS has compiled some helpful links below with information about your visa, your student status, traveling within the U.S. and beyond and general guidelines regarding visitors and dependents.

Please check the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories prior to traveling outside the country.

Below is a list of helpful links regarding travel.  

Port of Entry: What to do when you arrive to the border.

If your family would like to visit you while at Roger Williams University or for Commencement, they will most likely need to apply for a Visitor’s Visa (B-1/B-2 visa stamp) Please consult the U.S. Department of State Visa Waiver Program at to verify if your family members require a visa.

B1/B2 Applicants who need a visa stamp should be prepared to explain the following points at their visa application:

  • That the visit to the United States will be temporary
  • That there are adequate finances to cover the cost of transportation and living expenses during their stay (Bank Statement)
  • That they have a residence outside of the U.S. to which they will return (Proof of employment, property, etc.)

The ISSS office can assist students with invitation letters of support from the institution and provide samples of student invitation letters.

Travel Planning

When making any travel plans, look at the academic calendar and dormitory opening and closing dates. Public Safety offers shuttle services to TF Green Airport and Kennedy Plaza during major university openings and closings.  All other times students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the university.

International Travel

Any time you re-enter the United States, you will need a valid passport, an F-1/J-1 visa stamp that matches the university on your I-20/DS-2019, Form I-20 (or DS-2019 for exchange visitors) with a valid travel signature, and evidence of the financial support listed in the financials section of the I-20 (or #5 of the DS-2019).

Your travel signature is valid for one year. If you need a new travel signature, make an appointment with your International Student Advisor.  No signatures will be given if you are not registered full time.

Travel situations are constantly changing, and you are advised to contact the OISSS before making any travel plans.

Domestic Travel

Even when traveling domestically, it is a good idea to carry all of your original documents with you (passport, I-20/DS-2019). If you will be traveling near any international border or on a plane be prepared to show these documents.


If your dependents will be joining you in the United States, they will need their own separate dependent documents. They may travel with you or by themselves, but they should carry all of their documents if they will be traveling internationally.

Canadian and Bermudian Citizens

Canadian and Bermudian citizens do not need a visa stamp in their passports to enter the United States. They will still need to carry all other documents (passport, Form I-20 or DS-2019 and financial documents).

For More Information

Consult The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement frequently asked questions for F-1 students, which is available at

F-1 Visa Holders

If your spouse or children (under 21) will be accompanying you to Roger Williams University, they will need to apply for the F-2 visa. This visa may be obtained by presenting the U.S. consulate with the Form I-20 issued to each family member by Roger Williams University (you must inform the OISSS that you are bringing your family with you in order to obtain these forms) and proof of adequate funding for the support of each accompanying family member.

Proof of marriage for spouses and birth certificates for children are also required. Family members must carry their I-20s and their passports with their F-2 visa stamps when entering the U.S. No paid employment is permitted for F-2 visa holders under any circumstances.


J-1 Visa Holders

The J-2 visa is for the spouse and children (under 21 ) of an Exchange Visitor. The sponsor will provide additional Forms DS-2019 (at the Exchange Visitor's request) for each accompanying family member, which will be required by the consulate to issue the visa. Evidence of adequate funding for each dependent, as well of proof of marriage or birth certificates for children are also required for the visa.

Family members must carry their Form DS-2019 along with their passports containing the J-2 visa stamp. A J-2 visa holder may apply to the USCIS for work permission after arriving in the United States. This process can take up to four months.