Travis Stalcup: Hi, I'm Travis Stalcup with IES Abroad. Today I'm talking about how to prepare for a semester abroad and now, I'm going to discuss how to get a passport or visa. Most US travelers and students studying abroad are required to have a passport and/or a Visa to travel to and live in another country.
A passport is an official document issued by a government certifying the holder's identity and citizenship and entitling them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries. A Visa is an endorsement usually in the form of a stamp or seal affix to the holder's passport indicating up a holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time or purpose business, vacation, study etc.
To apply for a passport, your citizens must submit a passport application, evidence of US citizenship, a password sized headshot photo, and payment for the appropriate fee. Passport applications can be submitted in person at most large US Post Offices. Applications are also accepted by mail, if the applicant meets certain criteria.
To apply for a visa US citizens must submit application materials to the consulate of the nation for which the visa is being sought, and within the applicant's jurisdiction based on their home or school address. The timeframe and cost associated with acquiring a passport or Visa depends on the applicant status and destination.
The US Department of State website lists the most up-to-date passport application fees and requirements. Regular passport processing is about four to six weeks, expedited service requiring an additional fee takes about two to three weeks. Many consulates list their processing times on their websites.
Applying for a passport or Visa is an important part of your preparation to study abroad and I hope this video has helped to answer any questions you have about the process.