You will need a valid passport to study abroad. If you don’t have a valid passport and are even considering study abroad, you should apply for or renew your passport as early as possible and plan to have your valid passport in hand by your program application deadline as some programs require visa paperwork at that time. Getting a passport can take up to eight weeks with regular processing or up to three weeks with expedited processing for an additional fee. Most countries require your passport to be valid for three to six months beyond your scheduled departure from that country.
If you need a passport to meet a visa application deadline in less than 4 weeks, or you need a passport for international program travel in less than 2 weeks, you must follow the steps below immediately:
- Make the first available appointment with the Regional Passport Agency closest to you. The 24-hour automated appointment system phone number is (877) 487-2778. Do not simply mail or submit a passport application to any agency with the extra fee to expedite; you must make an appointment to apply through a Regional Agency to obtain a passport in time.
- Contact Education Abroad to request a letter from us explaining that you need a passport in less than 4 weeks to meet a visa-related deadline or that you need a passport for your study abroad program that begins in less than 2 weeks.
- Review passport application instructions and fees on the State Department’s website. Select “Expedited at Agency” for the processing type.
- Gather the required materials and check your Regional Passport Agency’s website for any additional instructions.
- Bring your appointment confirmation number, letter from Education Abroad, and passport application materials to your appointment and wait for your passport to be processed. If you are not able to pick up the passport in person, you will need to submit a pre-paid USPS Priority Mail Express return envelope with your passport application.
United States citizens can obtain a passport application and view procedures on the State Department’s travel website.
If you’re a freshmen or first-year transfer student at Temple and have never applied for a passport, make sure to apply for Temple’s Passport Scholarship to help cover the cost of your passport fees.
For long-term study abroad programs (semester and year) and some summer programs, you will need a student visa to study abroad. Before you depart, you’ll apply to the consulate of your host country for a visa, and once it’s processed, they’ll stamp the visa inside your passport. Processing times vary by country, student citizenship, and consulate, and consulates base their processing times on the official program dates rather than individual travel plans. Therefore, we strongly discourage students from traveling outside of the U.S. between the program application deadline and the program start date. If you must be abroad between your program application deadline and the program start date, please contact Education Abroad immediately to discuss the feasibility of your plans.
Students accepted to an exchange program will receive some visa paperwork and advising from their host university; Education Abroad may also provide some assistance with the visa application when necessary.
Here are some tips to make the visa application process go smoothly:
- If you don’t already have a passport, apply for it now so you’ll have it by the time you apply for the program.
- If you already have a passport, double-check the expiration date. Your passport will have to be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your study abroad program.
- If you’re not a U.S. citizen, start researching visa requirements for the country you’re planning to travel to as early as possible since there might be additional requirements for you. You should also confirm your entry and exit requirements for the U.S. with immigration officials.
- If you're an international student, make sure that your F-1 will be valid from the program application deadline through your program's end date. If your F-1 will expire before your program's end date, please contact Education Abroad immediately. Also, consult your international student office regarding your re-entry into the U.S.
- Plan to take responsibility for your own visa paperwork, as busy as you are. For many students, dealing with a foreign consulate is their first introduction to the host country and can be a great learning experience--think of it as practice for studying abroad!