- Pre-Departure Information
Passport and Visa Information
You must have a passport to travel abroad and to apply for a visa.
Please verify that your passport is up to date and will be valid for 6 months after your departure from the host country.
Obtaining a passport
Apply for a passport as soon as possible! Obtaining a passport can take quite a bit of time and can delay the visa process and flight reservations. The sooner you have it the easier the process will be! You can find a passport office close to you in the following link: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/
For more information on passports and how to apply for one, please visit the following link:http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
What is a Visa?
A visa is a formal travel document (sticker, piece of paper, electronic number synched to passport) issued by the embassy of the country you wish to visit. A visa is often required, in addition to your passport, to enter and exit your final destination. A visa is an official document that confirms that an individual is authorized to enter the territory for which the visa was issued. A visa is essentially your permission to travel to and within a particular country.
A student visa, issued by the host country, confirms that you are approved to study in the host country for the duration of your study abroad program. Your student visa provides the opportunity to remain in the host country longer than a typical tourist.
Visa requirements and application processes vary greatly by country, so please be sure to contact your host country's embassy or consulate to learn the specifics for your trip. Look through the State Department's Country Specific Information to research entry and exit requirements, gather additional details about required documentation, and determine how to apply.
The Study Abroad Office may assist you with the visa process, however, it is your responsibility to apply for and obtain a visa. Visa requirements vary by country and by jurisdiction. The Study Abroad Office will assist with any questions you may have, but it is each student's responsibility to apply for and obtain a visa. Please note that these are regulations imposed by the government of the host country, not Saint Louis University.
If you do not have your returned passport and visa 3 weeks prior to your departure date, please contact the Office of Study Abroad!
- The timeline to obtain a student visa varies from country to country. Please be sure that you plan accordingly and provide plenty of time to finalize your visa and passport paperwork prior to departure.
- For some countries, if your stay is less than 90 days, you will not need a visa.
- You must obtain your visa before you leave the United States.
- Some consulates may require that you apply for the visa in person. You may be required to purchase a visa or drive/fly to retrieve your visa (or hire an agency on your behalf to assist with your visa). Other students may only need to mail in an application.
- If you are required to apply in person, schedule your appointment with the consulate as soon as possible. Consulates have limited availability and appointment times book quickly. The earlier you confirm your appointment, the easier the process.
- Make sure that you read and re-read which documents are required for your visa application.
- Some visa applications require you to submit your actual passport with the application. Plan accordingly and do not submit your passport and visa application if you have any upcoming international travel scheduled (family vacation, etc.) and will need your passport before you leave to study abroad.
- Please be sure to read all information from your host university with regards to instructions on how to obtain a visa.
Common Visa Requirements:
(Please check the specific requirements of your host country)
- Valid passport (valid for 6 months after departure date from host country)
- Completed visa application
- Two passport size photos
- Payment of required fees
- In some cases, additional identification such as a drivers license, birth certificate, or bank statement showing that you have the necessary funds to complete your journey.
- Some countries require a copy of your travel ticket and acceptance letter from your/the host institution abroad
The following are visa services that may assist you with obtaining your visa.
Please note that these services are not endorsed by or affiliated with Saint Louis University.
Visas for Travel to Other Countries While Abroad
Please keep in mind that some countries require visas, even for short periods of time.
Be sure to research the entry requirements of the countries you intend to visit, before you depart for your destination.
Check with the U.S. Department of State to see if your destination country requires a visa: http://studentsabroad.state.gov/traveldocs/visas.php