International student support

In order to relocate to Rhode Island and begin your studies at RISD you'll need to complete several steps to acquire a visa. Along the way, the Office of International Student Services is available to help you navigate immigration compliance, cultural and language adjustments and United States systems.

Immigration process

  1. After you pay your enrollment deposit in the portal you will be able to access several forms that need to be downloaded, printed, filled-out and then uploaded back into the portal. These will be available starting mid-March:

    • Declaration of Finances form
    • Bank statement(s) in English (indicating at least one years’ worth of tuition)
    • I-20 application form
    • Copy of passport
  2. Admissions team will then review your uploaded forms. If everything is complete and accurate the office will create, sign and ship your I-20 form to your home. (You will be responsible for paying a SEVIS fee for the processing of the form.)
  3. After receiving your I-20 form from RISD you can then schedule your visa interview. You should review the instructions on the website for the US embassy or consulate where you will be interviewing and you will need to bring the following with you to the interview:

    • I-20 form
    • Declaration of Finances form
    • receipt of payment for the SEVIS fee
    • copy of DS-160
    • receipt of visa application payment
    • passport
    • proof of funding
    • acceptance letter
    • scholarship award letter (if applicable)
  4. When you travel to the United States you should bring the following (note: these forms need to be easily accessed at the airport to share with immigration officials):

    • passport (this will be stamped by a customs official upon arrival in the United States)
    • F-1 student visa
    • original I-20 form (3 pages)
    • copy of the Declaration of Finances form
  5. When you arrive at RISD for move-in day please provide the following to OISS so that the office can activate and register you in SEVIS:

    • passport
    • F-1 student visa
    • I-20 form
    • I-94 arrival/departure record

Please note:

Refer to our first-year incoming student calendar for a month-by-month view of upcoming events, deadlines and next steps to remember.