A visa is essentially your permission to travel to and within a particular country. It may be required, in addition to your passport, to enter and exit a 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, which is usually longer than a typical tourist.
Visa requirements and application processes vary greatly by country, so be sure to look through the State Department's Country Specific Information to research the entry and exit requirements for the country or countries you’ll be visiting. If you’re going to SLU-Madrid (or any program in Spain), learn more about obtaining a Spanish Visa.
SLU may assist you with the visa process, however, it is your 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 three weeks prior to your departure date, please contact our office.
- You must have a valid passport in your possession to apply for a visa. If your passport is at home, have a parent or guardian mail it to you.
- Provide plenty of time to finalize your visa and passport paperwork prior to departure.
- 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
drive/fly to retrieve your visa.
- 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.
- Read and reread which documents are required for your visa application.
- Some visa applications require you to submit your actual passport with the application. Plan accordingly.
- Read all information from your host university about how to obtain a visa.
Common Visa Requirements:
- Valid passport (valid for six 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 driver’s 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 the host university
The following services may assist you with obtaining your visa. Please note that these services are not endorsed by or affiliated with Saint Louis University.
Visas for Visiting 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 intended destination requires a visa.