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Visa & Passports

Visa and Passport Information – Introduction

If you are planning on studying abroad, then you may need a visa to enter the country in which you are going to be a student. It is important that you know what visa requirements will apply to you so that you can prepare for this well in advance. Generally speaking, many embassies and consulates now require that students appear in person to apply for their visa. You may want to take these visa requirements into consideration when choosing the country where they want to go when spending a summer, semester, or year abroad.

If you need a student visa, applying for it can be an involved process that requires your careful attention. You should begin to do research about the student visa requirements for the country or countries you will be visiting and living in well in advance. Collecting the required documentation for your student visa may take as much or more time than your study abroad application itself.

Passport as the First Step

In order to apply for entry into another country, you must have a passport, which is valid for up to 12 months past your return date. If you do not currently have a passport with this validity, you should apply for a new passport immediately. Regular passport processing times could be as long as 4 weeks. Expedited passport services are commonly available for an additional fee.

Applying for an Entry Visa

Please note that Global Learning is not responsible for obtaining student visas nor are they in any way responsible for visa complications, delays, or visa denials – the decision to issue you a visa rests solely with the consulate or embassy. As entry requirements can change basically at any time, we advise that you pay close attention to consular updates. Please remember that you are responsible for knowing and addressing the requirements for your host country and study abroad program. All students must obtain a visa if required of their host country to participate in their program. Failure to obtain a visa will result in you not attending the program.

Independent Travel Before, During or After the Study Abroad Programs

The visa application process for some countries may require students to surrender their passport even for several weeks prior to the start of the study abroad program. These consular requirements may impact students’ independent travel plans. Visa requirements should be investigated and considered by all applicants prior to planning independent travel before and after the study abroad program or over holidays and other breaks during the semester. All students are required to be in possession of the proper visa documentation in order to participate in a Global Learning program.

Planning Ahead

We recommend becoming familiar with the general process well in advance. To familiarize yourself with country-specific visa requirements, refer to your host country’s embassy website. You can usually find your host country’s embassy website with all the important visa instructions and resources on the website of your home country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please remember that you should always refer to the visa instructions on your host country’s official embassy website. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further queries.


Student Visas – FAQ

What is a student visa for? A visa is a document that gives you permission to enter a foreign country while a student visa is only granted to people who have a confirmed place of study at a registered institution for a set period of time. Different countries have different visa requirements, so your first port of call should be the embassy website of the country you want to study in.

When should I apply for a student visa? You should always apply for a visa before you travel to your study destination. You will normally have to wait until you have a confirmed offer from our partner university before you can submit your visa application. Allow enough time for any complications or supplementary exchange of information to take place before you intend to travel. The embassy staff should be able to provide you with more information.

What type of visa do I need? The exact name and type of visa you require will vary from country to country but it is likely you will need a non-immigrant student/study visa that will basically entitle you to take up permanent residence in that country and that your stay is for temporary study. However, to find out the exact type of visa you need and what appropriate application formy your should complete, go to the embassy or consulate of your intended study destination in your home country (this must be where you legally live or where you are a national).

How do I apply? Before you apply for your visa, you may need proof of your place in your chosen study abroad program from the university that you are going to attend. Once you have been accepted to your study abroad program and after we have received the application fee, we will send you the necessary documentation for your visa application. In some countries, applications can be done in a number of ways – for example, by post, courier, in person or online. If you are unsure, visit the embassy or consulate of your host country and enquire how you can apply for a visa or visit their website. Please note that a visa is not valid if false information has been given or important facts were omitted at the time of application.

How long does it take to process the visa? Visa processing can take as little as a couple of days to several weeks depending on the country and your nationality. We advise that you leave enough time to get your visa sorted as trying to rush an application is not advised.

Can I extend my visa while I’m in the study abroad destination? This completely depends on where you study. In some countries, extending your visa is very simple, while in others it involves a challenging proces and you may even have to leave the country – and undertake what is known as a ‚visa run‘ – to extend or renew your visa.