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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CENTER - STUDY ABROAD

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CENTER - STUDY ABROAD

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Information & Resources

Visas

What is a visa?

Image: student visa exampleA visa is an official document that allows each traveler to legally enter and stay in a foreign country for given period of time.  Visas are issued by the host country and therefore each student upon acceptance into a study abroad program must apply for one.  Most commonly, the visa is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport.

Applying for a visa

Visit the NAFSA Association of International Educators Visas for Education Abroad webpage for more directions. It is each student’s responsibility to review the necessary consulate or embassy website for directions on applying for a visa.  Apply as early as allowed because processing can take anywhere from a few days to months.

  • The U.S. Department of State has an Americans Traveling Abroad alphabetical list of countries with specific entry requirements and background information.
  • Each consulate requires different materials from applicants, but generally these include a completed application form, photos, fee, program acceptance letter, proof of funds and housing.
  • In some cases, a criminal background check is also required.  Some countries only require a local or state police report, while others specifically require an FBI background check.

Visa agents

If allowed by the consulate, you may be able to use a visa or travel document service which can submit your visa application on your behalf.  The SDSU Education Abroad Office does not endorse or affiliate with any visa agents, but these are services that you might consider:

sdsu study abroad. explore. discover.

Requirements vary

Visa requirements will vary widely by country and the type of activity engaged in while living there.  In order to ensure you apply for the most appropriate visa, access the country’s consulate or embassy website for visa instructions.  In most cases, you will need a legitimate sponsor to receive a visa.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CENTER
5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-5101 Tel: 619-594-1982 Fax: 619-594-1973 Email: isc.reception@sdsu.edu