Passport & Visa Information
If you want to study abroad, you will have to have a passport. (The only exception is if you are participating in a faculty-led Maymester or Summer trip in the United States.)
Many countries also require that you have a visa in order to study there. You cannot apply for a visa until you have a valid passport.
If you do not already have a valid passport, apply for one immediately. If you already have a passport, make sure it will be valid 6 months beyond the end date of your program.
You can apply for a passport in person through most Post Offices, including the Post Office on Acklen Avenue behind the Pancake Pantry.
U.S. citizens can check these sites for more information:
- U.S. Department of State's official passport website
- Passport Fees: U.S. Department of State
- Current passport processing times: U.S. Department of State
- Expediting passport information: U.S. Deaprtment of State
- US Postal Service passport application information page
- US Postal Service Passport application office locator
*If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to check with your home country's passport issuing office for more information.
- A passport is your official identification as a citizen of the United States.
- Passport applications can take four to eight weeks to process. Check current processing times.
- A passport is valid for 10 years for citizens who were 16 or older when the passport was issued and for five years for those younger than 16.
- If you are renewing your passport, you can apply by mail.
When you Receive Your Passport
- Sign it in ink, and fill in the address and notification data in pencil.
- Guard it as you would any other valuable.
- Make several copies of the official page for ease of replacement if it’s lost or stolen.
- Give one copy to the Office of Study Abroad to put in your file.
- Keep one copy with you in a safe place separate from your passport.
- Leave one copy with a friend or family member.
- Scan a copy and keep it in your e-mail account.
Lost your passport?
If your passport is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the nearest passport agency or by calling the State Department at 1-877-487-2778 (TTY 1-888-874-7793).
If the loss occurs while you are abroad, notify the nearest U.S. consulate. Theft of a passport should also be reported to the local police.
A visa is official permission to enter a specific country and is granted by that country’s government. Americans who plan to go abroad should check the visa requirements for the countries they plan to visit here.
Some visas are free and some are not. The application process may take several weeks for each visa, so it is very important to start early. Visa applications vary from country to country and require such items as a valid passport, notarized application form, financial statements, medical information, background check, etc.
If the program you are participating on requires a visa, you will receive information from the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) about the application process.