UVM Study Abroad Pre-Departure Guidebook

Section 1 Before You Go:

Passport & Visa Information

Passport Requirements

You will need a passport to enter the country where you plan to study abroad. Be sure that it is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended date of return. If you do not have a passport or need to renew it, submit the application as soon as possible. If you are applying for a passport now, you will need to use expedited service. (There is a fee attached to this service.)

For full instructions or information on obtaining a passport, see the U.S. Government’s Website: http://travel.state.gov/ or call the Chittenden Superior Court at 802-863-3467 or 802-863-2738.

Register with the U.S. Embassy

All U.S. citizens must register themselves at the U.S. Embassy in their country of destination before departure from the U.S.

As the Department of State continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.


A visa is special permission (usually as a stamp or endorsement on your passport), granted by a foreign government, to enter their respective country. Visas are granted for travel, extended stay, work, and study. There is usually a required fee to obtain a visa. In most cases, you will need to obtain the student visa before leaving the United States. Passport Services of the Department of State cannot help you obtain a visa. Note that visas can only be obtained by applying directly to the foreign government via their diplomatic office(s) in the U.S. It is your responsibility to be informed of the entry and exit requirements of your host country(ies). Please check with the consulate or embassy for the specifics (e.g., requirements, application process, need to validate in the country of destination, etc.)

Check with your study abroad program to see if you require a visa, and if so, which type of visa you need. Check to see if your program will process the visa for you or if it will be your responsibility to do so. If your program does not process visas for its participants, or your Consulate requires you to apply directly, you will be responsible for securing your own visa. The easiest way to obtain a visa is by applying to a foreign Consulate (located in most major U.S. cities) or to the foreign embassy in the U.S. You need to contact the foreign consulate or embassy for the visa application. You may find visa application forms on the Consulate website.

For instructions or more information, see the Government’s website: http://travel.state.gov/

Refer to the visa processing instructions of the Consulate Office having jurisdiction over your home address, as Regional Consulate offices can have different requirements. Note that some countries and their diplomatic offices do not accept applications through the mail, but require you to appear in person at their U.S. office in order to secure your visa.

Contact OIE to request confirmation of your full-time status as a UVM student, if such
documentation is required by the Consulate. Please plan in advance as the production of consulate letters can take up to five days to process.

A word of advice: DO NOT wait until the last minute to apply for your student visa! As with passports, this can take many weeks to process, and if you do not have your student visa (and passport), you could miss your flight.

When applying for a visa, it’s important to remember to:

Additional Logistics To Consider Before you go

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