Not every student who studies abroad will need a visa. Visa requirements depend on the laws of the country to which you travel, the length of time abroad, and other factors. Although we can't process or issue visas for students or faculty, we can provide advice and assistance for the visa application process. Please read the information below, and contact a Study Abroad Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.
What is a visa?
A visa is a stamp or slip of paper attached to a page in your passport and is the official permission from a government for you to visit, study, or do business in another country. It is important to understand the visa requirements for the country you plan to visit.
How do I know if I need a visa?
All study abroad participants or international travelers should check the web pages of the consulate in the U.S. of the countries they plan to visit to determine whether they need to obtain a visa and what are the procedures to apply for the visa. Whether a student needs to obtain a visa depends on a few different factors, including length of stay, reason for travel (work, study, etc.), and country, among other things. There are different types of visas, including study, work, and tourist visas, so be sure that you understand the type of visa you need, as well.
How do I apply for a visa?
First, you need a passport. You will not be able to apply for a visa until you have a passport. Once you have a passport, start by visiting the web pages of the consulate in the U.S. for the countries you plan to visit. Look for the visa/passport section, which should have detailed information about how to apply for a visa. Visas can be obtained either directly from the consulate or from a visa service, depending on the country. Submitted paperwork must be completed fully with attention to detail to prevent delays.
How long will it take to apply for a visa?
The visa processing time varies quite a bit, country to country. With some countries the process can be quite lengthy; consulates generally take four to six weeks for processing. Some consulates require up to three months for processing. The important thing is to give yourself plenty of time to compile all the application materials and allow for processing.
Other important things to note:
- If you travel independently prior to the start of a program, please be aware that the visa application process for some countries may require students to surrender their passport for several weeks prior to the start of the study abroad program. These consular requirements may impact students’ independent travel plans. Visa requirements should be investigated and considered by all applicants prior to planning independent travel.
- The Study Abroad Office does not process or issue visas for students. It is the responsibility of each student to inform themselves on the visa procedures and to apply for the visa, if necessary, in a timely fashion.
- Some countries will require that you have an F.B.I report completed as a part of the application process. If the F.B.I report is required, keep in mind that it can take a long time for the F.B.I report to be completed.
- All consulates work on a per jurisdiction basis, meaning they divide the United States into regions. Your jurisdiction is determined by your permanent address, so make sure you are aware under which jurisdiction you belong.
- Some consulates require that you apply in person; others will allow you to apply by mail. If you apply by mail, it is always advisable to use some sort of Express Service via insured mail (again, each consulate will outline their policies on which services you may use. Some consulates will allow you to use UPS; some will only permit Federal Express Mail). Do not send your visa application through regular mail as you could risk losing your passport and other important documents.
- Remember that, in all cases, you must wait to apply for a visa after you have been accepted to your study abroad program.
Visa Database by Country
Below you will find links to the consulate or embassy to each country in which we offer study abroad programs. Consulates listed below have jurisdiction for residents of Kansas; if your permanent address is not in Kansas, consult the country’s Embassy website to find out which consulate has jurisdiction over your home state.