A passport is necessary to travel abroad and to obtain a student visa. If you don't already have a passport, you must apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, it must be valid for up to 6 months upon the date of your return from your study abroad program.
Please allow plenty of processing time for your passport. Usually it takes approximately 6 weeks to process, though during busy seasons, it may take longer. In an emergency it can be expedited for an additional fee.
Applying for a Passport
Passport agencies are located in all major cities of America. You can also apply for a passport at a clerk office in any State Court of Record. You may also apply through Postal Clerks designated by the Postmaster General (information regarding post offices with passport capabilities is usually listed in the government section of the telephone book).
New passports usually cost around $100.00, but you should always inquire before you make an appointment to get one. Passports are valid for 10 years after the date of issue. Applications for a new passport must be submitted in person.
Additional information regarding passports is available at the U.S. State Department Passport Services website. Or click the "Get a Passport" icon above.
Parents and guardians are also advised to apply for a passport at the same time as their student so that they have the option of visiting their student or traveling in-country in the unlikely event of an emergency.
After you receive your passport, and before traveling abroad, please make sure to make copies of the picture page to keep with you in your luggage, and to give someone at home to keep. Then, if you should lose you passport, the serial number from the copies will enable you to have an easier time getting another passport issued to you while abroad. You should also register with the US Embassy while traveling.
Most places will take other forms of identification, like a university ID card or a copy of your passport. The only time you should carry your passport on your person is while traveling from country to country, as well as when meeting immigration officers or other such authorities at your overseas university, and cashing travelers checks.
Certain countries may require a student visa for entrance. In the current political climate this process changes frequently. You must check with the local consulate general of your host country to see whether or not a visa is required and what documentation is required. Please consult the Electronic Embassy or Project Visa for local embassies and contact information. You are ultimately responsible for correctly completing the visa process, however the Center for International Programs will help you with the preparations for application. Keep copies of all documents!
Applying for Your Visa
**Visa requirements change rapidly and without notice. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to keep up-to-date with visa requirements. Visa requirements are varied from country to country. Do not apply for your visa until you have received your visa information packet from the Center for International Programs.**
You may be required to apply in person for your visa, and you should be sure to check with the local embassy for a list of documentation you will have to bring with you to your appointment. You should also be sure to apply as soon as you are instructed by the embassy to ensure a smooth process.
Note! Visa requirements are set by the host country's government. They must be followed exactly as outlined. Neither the Center for International Programs or the US government can alter the requirements.
You should NOT plan to travel before your study abroad program. This especially applies to students who plan to go away for summer vacation and then study abroad during the fall semester.
The Center for International Programs provides accepted study abroad students with one of the required documents of most student visas. All hard copy and official documents will be sent via USPS Express mail to the student's listed permanent address.