Passport & Visa Information
If you are traveling abroad you are required to have a valid passport. If you don’t already have a valid passport, you should apply for one as soon as you decide to participate in a global program. This process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.
If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date; countries often require your passport to be valid for several months after the completion of your program. Requirements for passport validity lengths vary by country and citizenship, and it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid for the appropriate period of time.
You may need a visa to participate in a global program. If you need a visa for your program, you should apply as soon as possible. Please be advised that visa application procedures and required supporting documentation can vary greatly between consulates and can often depend on the citizenship of the applicant.
Please contact the Global Experience Advisor for your program to find out if you require a visa. While GEO can help you navigate your visa process, GEO does not process or issue visas for students. It is your responsibility to apply for and obtain the appropriate visa in a timely manner.
Passport and Visa FAQ
US Citizens: When applying for a passport for the first time, you have to submit your application in person. Everything you need to know about U.S. passports (how to apply, how to expedite a passport application, and how to renew your passport) is on the following website: U.S. Passports and International Travel.
International Students: Please consult directly with your home country passport processing agency for further information on the procedure for renewing a passport.
Information on visa requirements for most study abroad programs can often be found through the relevant consular website, and through the university or program where you are intending to study while abroad. Contact your Global Experience Advisor if you need additional support.
You should apply as early as possible, as processing times can vary. GEO recommends beginning the visa process 8-12 weeks prior to your intended departure, though occasionally, obtaining a visa can take longer.
Please check the application processing time frames on the appropriate consular website very carefully. Processing times are at the sole discretion of the consulate, and can vary greatly. Time frames indicated on consular websites may not include the time it takes you to gather supporting documentation, book an appointment, or return your documents at the completion of processing.
It can take up to 16 weeks to obtain this clearance, so begin this process as soon as possible. For information on the FBI background check process, please consult with the FBI Identity Summary website directly.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents may want to consider utilizing a channeler to expedite the process. Further information on using a channeler can be found on the FBI Approved Channeler List. Please note that use of a channeler may incur a fee, payable directly to the channeler; you should consult directly with the channeler for pricing and timeframe information.