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Passports and Visas 

You will need to obtain a U.S. entry visa from the U.S. Embassy in your country. Because you will be representing your government, your visa and the visas for your spouse and children should be “A-2” category (“NATO-2” for students from NATO countries). The “A” category also applies to your attendants (e.g., nanny or au pair); however, their visas will be an “A-3” category. To avoid difficult renewal problems, ensure your passports will be valid for the entire time you will be in the United States and make sure your visa is a “Multiple Entry” visa, valid for the same period.

When you enter the United States, the immigration official who examines your passport and visa will staple a white card into your passport, known as the Immigration Form I-94. Form I-94 states when you must leave the country. It must show the visa status as it appears in the passport (“A-2”) and the “valid until” line must be marked “D/S” meaning “Duration of Status” of the A-2 visa. It is not unusual for the official to make a mistake, so make sure you pay close attention and do not hesitate to correct him immediately if you suspect an error.

Other relatives not listed on your Invitational Travel Order (mother, father, brother, sister) and non-family members with you will be given “B-1” or “B-2” visas, which are tourist visas. B-1 and B-2 visas will receive an I-94 form requiring departure from the United States six months after the date of entry. This departure date may be extended just before it expires for an additional six months, if the passport will still be valid for six months beyond the new departure date. The fee for this extension is approximately $140.00.

It is most important that your I-94 form be properly filled out. Check it carefully before you leave the immigration official. Be particularly careful if you arrive in the United States on a military aircraft. The immigration officials who process military aircraft sometimes forget to issue I-94s.

Official Records

Make all attempts to bring the necessary records with you, including all medical and dental records for each family member. Children’s medical records and school records are required for registering in public and private schools. Details of school medical requirements are explained in Section VI. In general, if you think you might need the record for the year in your own country, bring it.

Invitational Travel Orders (ITO)

The designated U.S. military representative in your country will issue Invitational Travel Orders to you. You need the original and 3 copies of your ITO when you report to the Naval War College. Ensure all blocks on your ITO are filled out before leaving the U.S. representative in your country. Make Sure:
  • All family members are listed in the “Remarks” section of your ITO by name. This is required for them to receive an Identification Card once you arrive in Newport.
  • The inclusive dates are correct: See the Academic Calendar (PDF). 
  • The visa codes are appropriately marked as described above.
  • Medical coverage is completely understood by you and your spouse.
Remember that YOU are the International Military Student (IMS), so if it says medical costs are the responsibility of the IMS, make sure you have medical insurance coverage. This is covered in more detail in the Medical/Dental Information.


Temperatures in Newport vary greatly depending upon the season. In the coldest part of winter, November to March, temperatures can be as cold as 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -12 degrees Celsius). From January to March you can expect 1 to 3 snowstorms per month. April begins to warm up, but winter effects aren’t completely over; there may be a rare snowstorm early in the month. However, the last freeze occurs by midmonth. In May, daytime temperatures average near 70 degrees. Temperatures in June rise slightly and because of the warm moist air, fog can be expected to occur on about half of the days of the month.

In the hottest part of the summer, July to September, temperatures can be as high as 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (22–30 Celsius). October is usually one of the best months of the year—warm, dry days and cool nights. In November, freezing temperatures are common by the end of the month with the possibility of the first measurable snowfall. December is characterized by moderate to strong outbreaks of cold polar air.

Uniforms and Attire Policy

Uniform attire: Dinner/mess dress jacket.

Civilian attire:
Black tie/tuxedo.

There will be several optional formal functions you will be invited to during the year. (There is no requirement to bring this uniform.)

Uniform attire: Service Dress Blues or Service Dress Whites (chokers), depending on season.

Civilian attire:
Business suit (lounge suit).

Uniform attire: Service Dress Blues or Summer Whites. This is the dress for lectures by four-star U.S. officers and for FSP events when military uniform is proper. NCC students will bring a working uniform (khakis equivalent, BDU/CDU) for use during the JMO exercise and CCDR/service chief briefs.

Civilian attire:
Coat and tie, dress slacks, and dress shoes. This is the normal dress for FSP events.

Business Casual
Uniform attire: Khakis for U.S. officers, and open-collared equivalent uniform for other countries.

Civilian attire:
Dress shirt or turtleneck, dress slacks, and dress shoes. No tie or jacket required.

This is the primary dress while attending academic classes and most evening functions.

Collared shirt, casual slacks, and casual shoes. No blue jeans, shorts, or athletic shoes. This is the attire for conducting after-hours or weekend business/studies within the NWC complex; may be prescribed during designated holiday periods.

NWC Casual
Collared shirt, casual slacks, blue jeans, or shorts. This dress is normally prescribed for FSP travel days.

T-shirts, shorts, jeans, sports slacks; primarily for sports, picnics/cookouts.

Uniform Replacement
The Navy Uniform Shop does not carry any uniform supplies for non-U.S. Navy uniforms, so bring a complete set of uniforms with you. You are allowed to purchase any U.S. Navy uniform item that is not distinctive (for example, uniform trousers and coats without U.S. Navy insignia).

Civilian Clothing
Suits or sport coats with ties and slacks are appropriate for all activities when the uniform is not required. Casual clothes, such as open-collar shirts, shorts in summer, sweaters in winter, etc., are appropriate during leisure time. Lightweight fabrics during summer and wool during the cool and cold months will be the most comfortable. A raincoat, a lightweight coat for cool weather, and a heavyweight coat for cold weather are necessary, as well as gloves and boots.

Women’s Clothing
Suits and dresses are appropriate for social events at which civilian informal or the service dress uniform is required for the officers. A long dress or evening dress is appropriate for the occasions when the officer wears the Evening Mess Dress uniform. These occasions occur rarely if at all. There is also a class photo of all the wives, usually taken in traditional country dress.

Children’s Clothing
Children normally dress very casually for school and for their social activities. Many U.S. students wear some sort of blue jeans. There are a few occasions when they will want to be more “dressed-up” than normal, such as parties and school dances. Additionally, some of the local elementary schools have a “Global Fun Day” or “International Travel Day” in which they may choose to participate. This involves dressing in their country costume, displaying and answering questions for other students. It is not an NCC/NSC-sponsored event, but one that you may like to know about before deciding what to pack.

Country Attire
There will be several functions during the course of the year where it will be appropriate, even desirable, for you and your spouse to dress in the native attire of your country. (Orientation for spouses, country presentation days, International Nights, etc). Please feel free to bring clothing that is representative of your culture.

Buying Clothing in the Newport Area
There are numerous stores in Newport and Middletown representing most price ranges for men, women, and children. Even greater selections are available in shopping malls in Providence, Warwick, and Wrentham. The Navy Exchange on base often has good prices on clothing items for the entire family. The Navy Relief Thrift Shop on base is also a source of inexpensive previously owned garments.

Financial Plans (Before Moving)

Typical Expenses for a Family of Four
The table on this page describes estimates of typical costs and is provided to give you an idea of expenses for your month in Newport. Your actual costs will vary with your family size and your personal financial decisions. These items are covered in detail in later sections. Please read the sections on Housing and Automobiles for details on those expenses.

Expenses for the Month of August
  Average High
Used automobile* $2,500 $9,000
Automobile insurance
for first six months
$600 $800
September rent in advance $1,800 $2,800
House Damage Deposit ** $1,800 $2,800
Renter’s Insurance (Optional) *** for one year $400 $800
Temporary housing for entire month of August $2,300 (Hotel room if available) $4,650 (local hotel, if available)
August meals $1,200 via groceries/
Kitchen in Apartment
$ 2,900 Restaurants or Officers’ Mess
Contingency (medical exam for children, dental, school clothing, deposits for telephone and utilities) $600 $1,200
TOTAL  $11,200 $24,950

* Some students found that two cars were necessary.

** The damage deposit is held in escrow and refunded at the end of the lease, unless abnormal damage has been caused to the house, furniture, or yard.

*** This insurance covers extensive damage to your rental home that is considered to be the fault of the occupant (e.g., a kitchen fire). Personal liability for an accident is also covered if, for instance, the postman slips on your son’s roller skate and hurts his back.

Credit Cards
Even if you are reimbursed for your living allowances, you will need either a credit card or sufficient amount of cash to pay for your initial lodging expenses in Newport. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are widely accepted in the United States.

If you do not have a credit card, it is highly recommended that you get one before coming to the United States since you may not be able to open a credit card account with a U.S. bank.

Traveler’s Checks
Traveler’s checks are recommended any time you travel to reduce the amount of cash you carry and to ensure that you are able to pay for your needs. There are still a few places that accept neither credit cards nor checks. Almost every vendor accepts traveler’s checks.

Shipment of Baggage and Personal Property

Your Invitational Travel Orders reflect agreements between our governments that determine your entitlement to ship baggage or other personal property. The U.S. military representative can interpret the orders as to the specific entitlement, and no attempt to generalize about those entitlements is made in this pamphlet. If you are entitled to ship baggage or personal property, the following suggestions could help ensure your shipment to Newport will arrive on time.

  • Allow at least eight weeks for your shipment to reach Newport. Items that you must have when you arrive in Newport should accompany you rather than be trusted to an unaccompanied baggage shipment that could get delayed. Be sure to add our number as a POC (401) 841-4782 or 841-2083.
  • Arrange to ship your baggage on a “through bill of lading.” Have a freight forwarder in your country assume responsibility for delivering your baggage from the point where he receives it from you, to the Naval War College. In this way, one person or company will be responsible for the delivery of your baggage, and in the event problems arise, you are able to make claims against a single person or company.
  • Choose a freight forwarder who has offices in Boston or New York City and is licensed to perform the services of a custom house broker to clear your baggage through U.S. Customs at the port of entry and forward your baggage to you at the Naval War College.
  • Make a detailed inventory of everything you ship and, if possible, indicate when you acquired each item and what it originally cost. Leave one copy with your personal records in your own country and bring one copy with you in your personal possessions when you travel. This enables you to establish the value of any item that becomes damaged or lost, if you must make a claim.
  • If possible, insure all of your baggage and personal property with an insurance company in your own country, but try to choose one that also has offices in New York or Boston.
  • Remember to request and then safely keep all receipts, bills of lading, and other documentation that pertains to the baggage you shipped, to prove your claims, if any arise.
  • Be aware that if you have any claim for damaged or lost baggage, there is a time limit for you to take action. Consult your sponsor as soon as you believe you have a claim, in order to explore the remedies available to you.
  • There is no requirement at the Naval War College for ceremonial weapons, such as swords or dirks. Firearms are also not allowed on base, and very often difficult to get through customs. It is strongly recommended you leave these items at home, since they may be a liability in clearing baggage through customs.