F & J Immigration Support

The following information and links are intended to assist F-1 and J-1 visa-status students with U.S. immigration regulations. Please reach out to international@rwu.edu if any questions are not answered here.

Important Links


RWU F-1 Student Guidebook

Students studying at RWU with the use of an F-1 visa must adhere to immigration law in order to remain in the United States legally and avoid jeopardizing immigration status now or in the future. Students, staff, faculty and employers may follow the below link to view a comprehensive guide to studying in the U.S.

RWU F-1 Guidebook


This website is an excellent resource for students seeking more information about many student and scholar visa topics. The Department of Homeland Security publishes this website, and as such it is the most accurate information available to you.

Visit StudyintheStates

Additional Information

Work Considerations for F-1 & J-1 Students

F-1 and J-1 students have specific regulations concerning work options available to them and at what times. If you are seeking a job, please ensure that you are cleared to do so with the ISSS office.

  • Work on RWU's campus is permitted for F-1 and J-1 international students, and is typically the easiest way to find employment in the United States. Please read the below information regarding Work Study vs. Payroll positions.
  • If you are pursuing an internship off campus or work after completion of your studies, please view our page on CPT and OPT.

Once you have been offered a job that is appropriate for your visa status, you must then obtain a U.S. Social Security Number in order to begin working and receive payment. To do so, you will need to go to a Social Security Office. The most convenient location may be in Providence, RI (location). Please view Study in the States' page on Obtaining a Social Security Number for general information on social security numbers.

Documents Needed at the Social Security Office

You will need the following two letters and three supporting documents

  • Offer of Employment:This must come from your hiring department. It should be addressed to you and should detail your position, brief description of duties, and start date.
  • Verification of F-1 or J-1 Status: This must come from the International Student & Scholar Services office. Please contact international@rwu.edu or the Designated School Official.
  • Passport
  • Valid I-20 form
  • I-94 Receipt indicating validity for "Duration of Status" (D/S)

Please contact international@rwu.edu, International Ambassadors, or the Designated School Official with any questions.

For further information about Social Security Numbers, please view the following document:
International Students and Social Security Numbers

Employers can use this form to complete a hiring document with the relevant information:
International Student Hiring Form

Work Study vs. Payroll Positions

What is a Work Study position?
International students are not eligible to apply for jobs that are designated as "Federal Work Study." The Federal Work Study program is sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to provide part-time employment for students who display the need for financial assistance. As the funds for this program are supplied by taxpayer dollars, non-U.S. citizens are not eligible for federal work study positions. For more information click here.

What is a Payroll position?
The funds for Payroll positions are supplied directly by RWU departments, and so international students are eligible to pursue Payroll jobs. Here are some examples of Payroll positions or departments that tend to hire for Payroll positions:

  • Student Leaders (Resident Assistant, International Ambassador, Peer Mentor, etc.)
  • Dining Services
  • Some departments with Work Study funds are also able to hire students with Payroll funding
  • Click here to view RWU's available payroll positions
What does it mean to "file taxes"?

All F-1 international students or J-1 visitors, regardless of whether or not you worked in the previous year, must complete some form of paperwork regarding your financial information and send it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Treasury. This is known as "filing a tax return." 

Filing a tax return is important: as you work in the U.S. and earn income, the IRS automatically takes tax money from your paychecks as payments. Taxes pay for many public services and salaries of government employees. When you file taxes, you calculate how much income you received throughout the year and how much money was taken from you. You will then either have to make an additional payment to the IRS or you will receive a refund.

The IRS, part of the United States federal government, deducts money from income earned within the country. Similarly, the Rhode Island state government deducts money, as well. If you worked and received income in the U.S., you will also need to complete a form for the RI state government.  

When & where do I have to file my tax return?

You are responsible for federal and state taxes.

Visit ri.gov for information about Rhode Island filing requirements.
Follow this link for instructions to see when and where to file.

Your federal tax return from 2022 must be sent to the IRS no later than April 18, 2023. This deadline is the postmark date, meaning the date on which you send the forms.

Print and send your forms to the appropriate address found in this link:

Where to File Form 1040-NR

Please visit this link for information on how to pay:

IRS Electronic Payments

Resources to get started:

Sprintax: Sprintax is a paid tax service specifically for nonresidents. Using this service is an easy way to ensure your taxes are filed without errors.
Read more information about Sprintax below and sign up for their services here. Contact international@rwu.edu for a $5 discount code provided by the company.

Sprintax Services

Nonresident Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (NRVTAP): NRVTAP is a non-profit volunteer organization made up of a collection of students and trained tax professionals. Their mission is to provide tax assistance to international students, scholars, teachers, and researchers.

NRVTAP Frequently Asked Questions

Internal Revenue Service: The IRS prepares instructions for all tax forms. Check the links below to read more information about the general tax process and specific information about each form you may need as you prepare your tax return.

IRS: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

Forms that may be given to you:
W-2 - Given to you by your employer by the end of January. It is a summary of your income and states how much money you made as well as how much you paid towards various tax categories: federal, state, local, and others.
1042S  - Given to you if you received income as a result of specific kinds of stipends, scholarships, or grants. Typically, scholarships that are automatically applied to tuition do not apply.

Forms you may need to submit:
8843 - All nonresidents must file this form even if you did not work in the U.S. This form is basically a declaration of your international student status.
1040NR - Nonresidents who earned income in the U.S. must file this form. 
RI-1040NR - Nonresidents who earned income in Rhode Island must file this form to complete your state tax return.

Frequently Asked Questions

I didn't work during the previous tax period. What do I have to do?
You must complete form 8843 and possibly form W-7 and send both to the IRS.

I missed the tax deadline and didn't file my tax return on time. What should I do?
You should file your taxes as soon as possible. Failure to file taxes is much worse than a delay in filing. Failure to file may result in immigration complications if you plan to apply for other visa classifications after F or J, such as a work visa (H1-B).

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at international@rwu.edu.