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Passports & Visas

You must have a valid passport before you can begin the visa application process. If you do not have a passport you should start the application process as soon as you are approved. If you have a passport, be sure it is valid for six months beyond the date you expect to return. The requirements for student visas vary from country to country, so allow sufficient time for processing your visa application. This cannot be a last minute procedure. Most foreign consular representatives are located in principal cities and, in many cases a student may be required to obtain a visa from the consular office in the area of his/her residence. 

Do I need a passport to study abroad?

Yes. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have a passport that is valid for 6 months beyond your expected return date. You need a passport before you can apply for a visa. The application process for a new passport can take from 4 to 6 weeks.

Will I need a visa?

Requirements for student visas vary from country to country. You will need to check the State Department website for the consulate that has jurisdiction over your residence. You must have all of your documents in order before you apply for your visa. Some countries also require proof of immunization in order to obtain your visa. Please be sure to read the information on the consulate website carefully! Consulates are very unforgiving if you are not prepared! If you have any questions you can consult the Office of International Programs or your program contact for non-Vassar study abroad programs for assistance.

Does Vassar process the visa for me?

Getting a visa is your responsibility. Most consulates require that you appear in person to obtain the visa. Please be aware that the application process can take several weeks and in certain cases, there may be a limited window of opportunity to apply for the visa due to restrictions imposed by the consulate. For example, some countries will not allow you to apply for your visa more than 60-90 days in advance of your departure.