To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of six months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! US Citizens can refer to the US Department of State’s website for more information regarding passports.
A student visa is official permission by a foreign government to live and study in that country. You must appear at your consulate in person in order to receive your visa, which comes in the form of a stamp that is inserted directly into your passport. This process can take 2–3 months or longer to complete. Traveling internationally prior to the start of your study abroad program will interfere with your visa application process. An FBI background check is required in some instances in order to apply for a visa and may take between 12-14 weeks in addition to the visa processing time to obtain so be sure to allow yourself time.
Further information will be posted to your USAC Student Gateway account in the USAC Visa Guide, which you will receive about four months prior to the program start. Program Advisors in the Central Office are also available to answer any visa questions you may have.
All costs related to obtaining a visa, including travel, are your responsibility.
Check with your home country consulate, as well as the embassy of the country in which you plan to study, regarding visa requirements. Permanent Residents of the U.S. should check with US Immigration as leaving the country for more than one year may jeopardize permanent resident status. Tax clearance and re-entry forms may also be necessary in these cases.