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Passports & Visas

Passports and Visas
Key Definitions and Information

Passport: A passport is an official government-issued document that indicates your country of citizenship and is an official form of identification required for traveling abroad.
  • All students are required to have a passport in order to study abroad
  • Your passport must be valid at least six months after the end date of your program.  
Visa: The stamp or “pass” that permits you official entry into the country you intend to visit
  • Not all students who participate on a study abroad program will need a visa, but the visa rules vary from country to country. 
  • Note: If you intend on doing an exchange program, long term program, or remaining in a country for over 90 days, it is more likely that you will need some type of visa. But some countries require visas simply for entering, or may require them at 30 days - it depends!
  • It is crucial that you do your research early for the country you intend to visit to determine whether you need to apply for a visa or not.

I am a new applicant. How do I apply for my Passport?

All passport application forms and information about required documents for U.S. Citizens can be obtained from the U.S. Department of State website.  Standard processing for all passport applications is 6-8 weeks.  Therefore, getting started earlier is to your advantage.

If you are applying for your first passport, you must apply in-person. You can review instructions on how to apply in person HERE.

  • Please note that you may fill out the application form in advance, but do not sign until you are submitting the form in the presence of an authorized official.  

First-time passport applicants will also need to submit evident of their U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate.  Additionally, all applicants for a passport will need to submit up-to-date standard passport photo.  Typically these can be taken at a location like Walgreens or UPS Store.  

New passport applicants must submit their application at a Passport Acceptance Facility.  In Statesboro, this is the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts.  

You should bring your passport application, passport photo, required documents, drivers license or government issued ID, necessary photocopies, and method of payment.  A notary public will review your application and provide you with permission to sign the application form.

I already have a passport, but the date expires before 6 months after my program ends. How can I renew my passport?

If you are still in possession of your most recent U.S. passport, you may renew by mail.  Students should complete and sign the proper application form, and send the signed application, new passport photo, method of payment, and your most recent U.S. passport to the National Passport Processing Center.

For questions and assistance, please visit the Office of Global Engagement.

When should I apply for my Passport?

Students should begin the process of obtaining a passport as soon as they decide to apply for and commit to a study abroad program.  Obtaining a passport early will allow students ample time to receive the passport and any necessary visas in a timely fashion prior to the program departure date. Your passport must be valid at least six months after the end date of your program.

Already abroad and need passport help?  

Lost or stolen passports should be reported immediately.  

Contact the Consular Section your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for U.S. Citizen Services, and notify the Office of Global Engagement.

Visas and Other Entry Requirements

Each country has different requirements and procedures for entry. Students should:

  • Determine if there is a need for a visa for their program depending on their location, duration and activities
  • Identify the appropriate consulate or embassy which issues the visa
  • Obtain up-to-date visa instructions from the consulate or embassy
  • Submit the visa application, passport, and other supporting documents according to those instructions provided from the consulate
It takes time to obtain a visa, so good planning is required!

Specific country entry requirements (i.e., visas, immunizations, additional fees, etc.) can be found at and

For additional information, visit the required travel documents page for Study Abroad students on the Department of State's website.