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Visa Information

Quick facts:

  • You will need to have a valid passport to apply for any visa.
  • Obtaining a visa will likely involve additional expenses and travel.
  • The visa is granted through the foreign government and neither our office nor the United States has influence on visa disbursements. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that a visa will be granted by any foreign government or within any specific timeframe.
  • Know that visa restrictions and regulations can change from semester to semester, so it is essential that you do your own research about what procedures to follow.
  • Even though this process can be tedious and challenging at times, remember that the reason that these procedures exist is to prevent dangerous individuals from entering your host country. This is a process that helps to protect you while you study abroad!
  • Most programs will provide you with information about obtaining your visa. Be sure to check with your program about how to proceed with your visa application, because some programs will process the visa for you.

If you are responsible for getting your own visa, here are some tips:

  • Go to the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs website and find your host country under "Country Information." Once you have found your host country, go to the "Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens" to view visa information.
  • Use the links provided on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website to locate the website of the relevant embassy or consulate for your host country. If there are no links available, use a search engine to find the embassy or consulate website.
  • Determine what jurisdiction you fall under—this is typically based on your permanent address. This will point you in the direction of the consulate or consular office you will work with to obtain your visa.
  • Be thorough in reading all instructions for visa applications. Find out if you are required to appear in person and set up an appoinment to do so.
  • Gather all of the required documents and photocopy them. It is important that you have copies of all of the paperwork you are providing the consulate because they will often require the originals (even your passport).
  • Determine how you need to submit your application. Some consulates require physical appearances, some will accept applications via the mail and others are submitted online.

Source: Gettysburg College, Center for Global Education

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