Get Your Passport

One of the first steps you should take when preparing to go abroad is to apply for a passport. You must have a valid passport in order to enter most countries, so make sure that you apply for one sooner rather than later.

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One of the first steps you should take when preparing to go abroad is to apply for a passport. You must have a valid passport in order to enter most countries, so make sure that you apply for one sooner rather than later. Regulations on apply for passports may vary depending on your citizenship, so pay careful attention below to the specifics that pertain to you.

If you are a U.S. Citizen Applying for a U.S. Passport

Take some time to review the U.S. State Department's website to learn more information about  How to Apply for a Passport. A passport is good for up to ten years, and is required if you wish to leave the country. Typically it takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks to process a passport application, so make sure you submit an application as soon as possible to avoid additional expedited processing fees. 

Even if you already have a passport, check when it expires to ensure that your passport will not expire while you are abroad. This can leave you stranded at airports or borders that have strict rules about expiration dates. Often times, countries won't even let you pass immigration checks if your passport is set to expire within six months!  

 Also, remember that you must have your passport prior to obtaining a  student visa if you travel to a country that requires student visas.

Check U.S. Passport Details for the most up-to-date information on passports.

 If you are a Non-US Student or have a Non-US Passport

Apply for your passport in person at one of the 9,000 plus locations that accept passport applications. In order to get your passport, you will must:

  1. Complete the application for a U.S. Passport and then take note on where and when to apply.
  2. Obtain proof of U.S. citizenship, which includes:
    1. Consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth 
    2. Certificate of citizenship 
  3. Provide proof of identification, which includes:
    1. Previous U.S. passport
    2. Naturalization certificate
    3. Current and valid: Driver's license, Government issued ID (city, state, or federal) or Military ID (military and dependents) 
  4. Obtain two passport photos. Photos must be:
    1. 2x2 inches
    2. identical and in color
    3. taken within six months of applying for a passport
    4. of the full face, front view with a white or off-white background
    5. uniforms may not be worn unless it is a religious uniform worn daily
    6. dark glasses or non-prescription tinted glasses are not permitted
  5. Pay Passport Fees. Payment methods vary depending on where you apply, but options may include credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), debit/check cards (not ATM cards), checks, or money orders. You will be expected to pay for:
    1. Application fee: $110 for a passport book (required for international travel), $30 for a passport ID card (NOT VALID FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL) or $140 for both. Read more about the difference between a passport book and ID card.
    2. Execution Fee: $25
    3. Rush order fee (to be delivered within two weeks): $60
  6. Provide your Social Security Number (SSN).


Non-US Students or Non-US Passport Holders

Are you an international student studying at a US university? Are you an undocumented student? Do you have a non-US passport? Don’t worry, you can still study abroad! To make sure your study abroad experience goes off without a hitch follow these steps: 

  1. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months. If it has already expired look up your countries embassy and find out how to renew it. 
  2. Know all of the restrictions associated with your U.S. student visa. Does your visa allow you to enter and leave the U.S. freely? Will you still be “enrolled” in your home institution if you go abroad?  
  3. Check the visa requirements for students from your home country to get a student visa from the country you’re going to study abroad in. 

Keep these points in mind! Be sure to check with your study abroad advisor for further details.


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