Most countries will require that you obtain a student visa prior to your departure for study abroad. A student visa is a document issued by the government of the host country, giving you permission to live and study there.
Visa requirements vary greatly from country-to-country. The fees and regulations will also vary.
Depending on the visa needed, a student will have to apply either online or at the country's conulate. Students will have the support of the CLU Study Abroad Center and Partner-Affiliate programs to assist them with the Visa application process.
|Apply for a passport||You will need the application, two color 2x2 inch photos (free in the Study Abroad Center), birth certificate and photo ID. It may take up to 6 weeks to receive your passport after sending the application. More information on the process can be found here.||Minimum: 6 months prior to departure. (Expedite the passport process if under 6 months.)|
|Find your consulate||There are often multiple consulates across the U.S. for each country. Determine which consulate you will need to work with in order to apply for your visa. Consulate jurisdictions are determined by state and can usually be found on the consulate's website. You can find those websites here.||3-5 months prior to departure|
|Research visa requirements||You can find visa information on the country-specific consulate's website. You may need to call the consulate directly to ensure you have the appropriate application. You can search entry/exit requirements here.||3-5 months prior to departure|
|Gather supporting documents||Often times, consulates require that you provide a number of supporting documents as part of your application. This can include an acceptance letter from your program, evidence that you can support yourself financially while you are in country, and proof of departure. Determine which supporting documents you will need early (i.e. bank statements, flight itinerary, background check, photos, etc.)||2-3 months prior to departure|
|Make an appointment||Some consulates require that you submit your application in person along with all supporting documents. It's critical that you check and double check your information prior to arriving at the consulate. If something is completed incorrectly, you may have to restart the process.||TIME FRAMES VARY: Often between 1-2 months prior to departure|
|Study Abroad!||Your visa can take anywhere from a few days to a couple months to be returned to you. Make sure that you DO NOT plan to travel internationally during this period sinece the consualte will have your passport and you will be unable to travel without it.||Bon voyage!|
*Please note: This is merely a guideline. It is ulitmately the student's responsibility to research visa requirements for his or her specific country. Every consulate has a different timeline and varying requirements to consider. Determine the specifics for the consulate early and leave plenty of time to apply.
Study Abroad Center staff will assist you in navigating the visa application process for your particular country. A laptop is needed for the workshop.