Passports & Visas

Getting a U.S. Passport

If you don’t have one already, you will need to apply for a U.S. Passport before going abroad. If you already have one, many countries require it to be valid for at least six months after the end date of your study abroad program.

To apply for a U.S. Passport, you will need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. The following documents will be accepted as proof:

  • Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
  • Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county, or state of birth
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship

You will also need to provide a current photo to apply for a passport. Your passport photo must be:

  • In color
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • 2x2 inches in size
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral expression and both eyes open

The official U.S. Passport application (DS – 11) can be found at the U.S. Department of State website, along with a step-by-step guide.

**The fee for a first-time adult passport is currently $140**


A visa is a document that shows you are allowed to enter a specific country for a specific length of time to do a specific activity such as tour or study. You will most likely need a visa to study abroad.

To find out if you do need a visa, contact the Embassy/Consulate of the country where you intend to study. Every country has different rules and regulations.

Since each country has different rules, visa processing will differ from country to country. Typically, you will fill out a visa application form that you can get online. Other items that are most typically required are things such as:

  • Photos
  • Fees
  • Proof of funds to support the student while abroad
  • Proof of enrollment
  • Proof of housing in host country
  • Fingerprints and/or other biometrics

In most cases, you will have to go in person to the Embassy/Consulate to submit your application materials and apply for your visa, but in some cases you can do it by mail, or have a family member or friend do it on your behalf.

**It is important to plan ahead when applying for your visa! Some visa applications can take months to process!**