What is a visa? A visa is a document that denotes the conditions of entry into a country, and usually appears as a stamp or adhesive document in your passport. In most countries, Americans will need permission to enter the country as a student. Summer programs less than 90 days are often (but not always) exempt from this regulation and students may be able to enter as tourists without a visa.
** Depending on your destination country, you may or may not need a visa to study in that country. As you progress with the study abroad application process, you will be advised on whether or not you need to obtain a visa prior to leaving the U.S.
Visas are obtained from the host country's government. Foreign countries have consulates in designated cities across the United States. Usually, NDSU students must apply for the visa (either by mail or in person) at the country's Consulate (Consul General) in Chicago. The cost, requirements and ease of this process vary from one country to another. This process often requires patience and many phone calls to the embassy or consulate of your host country. It is your responsibility to contact the embassy or consulate and submit the proper documents. You can be denied entry to your host country if you do not have the proper documents - even if you have been accepted by your study program and have your plane ticket. For a complete list of visa requirements, contact:
Visa Requirements of Foreign Governments
Office of Passport Services
Department of State, Room 306
1425 K Street NW
Washington D.C. 20524
Note: Typical (not all) visa applications will ask for medical check-ups, proof that you have not committed any felonies (copy of your criminal record), financial support verification for the length of your program, a letter of acceptance from your program or host school, your passport and a processing fee, among other documents. This is the system your host country uses to determine who they will allow into their country. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary documents!
Note: Not all consulates accept visa applications by courier. Please check with consulate or your study abroad advisor before using a courier service.
Do you need to get your visa as quickly as possible? Think about expediting it.