Passports and Visas
Once you have your passport make 2–3 copies. Leave one with a family member or friend and put one in your suitcase. If you lose your passport, report it to local police, get written confirmation of the police report, and take the above documents to the nearest US consulate or embassy to apply for a new passport.
Birth CertificateIf you will be going abroad for a semester or year, it is a good idea to bring a CERTIFIED copy of your birth certificate (not the original). You may need it for visas or other official visits in your host country.
FBI Background CheckSome countries require that you have a national police report as well as a local report. Please note that these background checks can often take a significant time to process (up to four months) unless you work through an FBI Channeler (see below).
The national police report for students from the United States this background check will be a FBI Identity History Summary Check. For information on how to request an FBI Background Check consult this link. When requesting your FBI Background Check, you should submit a request that the document include the FBI seal and the signature of a division official. You will need the signature and seal to obtain the Apostille Seal of the Hague from the U.S. Department of State. The FBI Background Check can take up to 16 weeks. For a faster processing time CIE highly recommends that students submit their request via Electronic Departmental Order, or use a FBI-approved channeler. Loyola has worked successfully with the National Background Check, Inc.
Please note that University Police can take your fingerprints officially for this background check.
Visa InformationIt is important to always review your host university website on visas and the official government websites for visa application. The ISEP Country handbooks also provide detailed information. The information below was up to date when reviewed in August 2018. Visa requirements change regularly and you must check with the consular websites of the host country to ensure that you comply with the current regulations.Non-U.S. students are responsible for verifying which additional Visa requirements they may have to meet (e.g. certified translations into English, additional documentation, etc.).
- Argentina Visa Information
- Australia Visa Information
- Brazil Visa Information
- Ecuador Visa Information
- France Visa Information
- German Visa Information
- Ireland Visa Information
- Italy Visa Information
- Japan Visa Information
- Korea Visa Information
- Mexico Visa Information
- The Netherlands Visa Information
- New Zealand Visa Information
- Norway Visa Information
- Spain Visa Information
- UK Visa Information
All students studying in Argentina for more than 90 days will be required to obtain a student visa. You will enter the country as a tourist and then switch to the student visa once in Argentina. You must enter the country on a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the last date of studies. According to the latest regulations, only students who plan to stay in Argentina for longer than six months must begin collecting specific documents to prepare for the student visa process prior to departing for Argentina (see below).
IMPORTANT: Occasionally airlines do not seem to be aware of the process of entering Argentina as a tourist and then switching to a student visa once in-country, and so student can sometimes be denied boarding at the airport. It is a good idea to bring a copy of the visa section of the ISEP Country Handbook and the regulations surrounding this processto the airport in case it is necessary to verify Argentina’s official policy with airline personnel.
Students who are going to study in Argentina for any period longer than six months must obtain a national police report or certificate of good conduct prior to departing for Argentina. You will have to get the document translated by a certified translator after you arrive in Argentina.
- Universidad del Salvador visa information page
- Argentine Government Immigration Website
- ISEP Overview of Argentine Visa
The Australian Student Visa application process is completely electronic for U.S. citizens and for most other nationalities. The student visa is recorded electronically with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA). Students will need their Confirmation of Enrollment form (COE), their passport (be sure the passport will remain valid until 6 months after the return to the U.S), a major credit card (to pay the application fee) and the ability to print the confirmation. During the online visa application process (or on your visa application form), you will be asked for the number that appears in the upper-right hand corner of the COE.
Please note: You will not receive your COE from your host institution until after you have enrolled in the Australian Health Insurance, OSHC. Your host university will send you information about how to apply for OSHC.
A student visa (VITEM-IV) is required for study in Brazil. The process of gathering the appropriate documents and applying for the visa can take six to eight weeks, so begin early! Under NO circumstances should you apply for a tourist visa. Tourist visas are valid for only 90 days and cannot be extended. Once you decide to study in Brazil, you need to apply for the Student Visa in your home country. There is no way to change your visa status after you have arrived in Brazil.
You must obtain the visa from the Brazilian consulate in your area of jurisdiction and in some cases a personal visit to the consulate may be required. You should apply for a visa from the consulate whose area of jurisdiction includes your permanent residence. If this is not possible or is very inconvenient, you may request that the consulate within the area of jurisdiction of your home institution accept and process your visa application.
In order to obtain your visa, you must provide the documents as listed on the website for the Brazilian consulate in your area of jurisdiction. The Brazilian consul processing the visa reserves the right to make other requirements when deemed necessary. Important: contact the consulate in your particular area of jurisdiction to confirm the procedure.
The Brazilian authorities require International student to register their visa in the first 90 days of their arrival. Please do not forget to bring the form with you to Brazil. Without this document, you will not be able to register with the Federal Police. If you do not register by the 90th day after your arrival, you will be considered illegal in Brazil and will have to pay a daily fee until manage to go.
- PUC Rio visa information
- General Consulate of Brazil
- Student Visa ("VITEM IV")
- ISEP Visa Information
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Each consulate has slightly different paperwork and application requirements. You should follow the specific requirements given by your consulate exactly. Your local Ecuadorian consulate is the official source of all visa information. If you have questions regarding the student visa application, you must contact your local Ecuadorian consulate. ISEP cannot contact consulates on behalf of students.
Campus France: You must first create and complete an application with Campus France. You will have to upload the official acceptance letter from your home institution so you will not be able to finish this part until you have been accepted. The application process can begin no sooner than 90 days before the departure date, but students may start the Campus France application as soon as they have received their acceptance letter. It is strongly recommended that students begin the process at the earliest possible time in the event of unforeseeable delays.
Once in France, contact your host coordinator to help you navigate the visa process. Long stay visa holders who need to complete the OFII form will have to register with the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) within a few days of arrival in France
ALL students should begin the visa process as soon as possible as it can take eight weeks for the consulate to issue the visa, depending on your jurisdiction. Students should verify estimated wait times with their specific consulates and plan accordingly.
US Citizens do not need a visa to study in Germany but may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa. Nevertheless, within 90 days, you will have to go to the "Ausländerbehörde" (foreigners' registration office) of the city of Dortmund to apply for a visa. The staff of the International Office will be there to assist you and already make appointments for you at the Ausländerbehörde in advance.
- German Visa Information (Government website)
- ISEP Country and Visa Information
- Dortmund University Website
US Citizens do not need a visa to enter Ireland but will need to present the Maynooth University offer letter to Immigration at the port of entry. Please ensure you have your letter with you in your carry-on bag when boarding your airplane!
Even though U.S. citizens do not need a visa to study in Ireland, you will need to register with the local police department/immigration after you have registered as a student at the University. You can find more information on the Maynooth Visa Page and on the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service website.
U.S. citizens need to obtain a student visa prior to departure in order to study in Italy. You must apply for a visa through the Italian Consulate with jurisdiction over your permanent residence, not your school address. Please note that each consulate may differ slightly in its application requirements for the visa. The consulate’s website should indicate visa requirements, whether an in-person appointment is necessary, and hours of business. Consulate appointments fill quickly so you must make an appointment in advance.
Make sure that you show up to your appointment with all of the required documentation. It has been our experience that consulate requirements change frequently and that consulates will not accept incomplete applications or those that do not comply with each consulate's criteria. Start researching the visa process as soon as you are accepted to your ISEP program. Students holding visas are required to enter Italy within 60 days of the issuance of the visa. Remember to ask how long your relevant consulate takes to process the applications, so that you will not submit it too early or too late. Student visas are generally valid for the duration of your program.
For students applying for the spring semester, or for students within the Houston district, you can work with the Honorary Consulate in New Orleans, if closer to the student's home, to have your signature notarized on the application and then mail the application to the consulate for processing. This saves you the expense of a personal appointment.
Students on a short-stay study visa (up to 90 days) must declare their presence in the country with the local police (Questura). Students on a long-stay study visa (more than 90 days) must apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno at the local post office within eight working days of arrival.
- List of Italian Consulates in USA
- ISEP Country Handbook with overview of Italian Visa
- NAFSA Overview of Italian Visa Requirements
Exchange students who are not Japanese citizens must obtain ‘college student’ or other suitable visa status in order to register for courses at Sophia University. ‘College student’ visa is valid for one year and should be obtained in student’s home country. In order to apply for a College Student Visa, the student will need the Acceptance Letter from Sophia University and CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY issued by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.
Students on programs that last fewer than 90 days, including summer programs, can enter the country without a visa, as long as they have a valid passport from the U.S. or another country with visa waiver agreements. Students from countries that don't have a visa waiver agreement may need to apply for a D-2-8 short-term study visa.
Semester and Full Year students must apply for a D-2 visa, not a tourist or visitor visa. Do not apply for a visa until having received an Acceptance Letter and a Certificate of Admission from the host university.
Once you arrive on campus, you must register at a local immigration office within 90 days from the date of entry and apply for an alien registration card. It is illegal to stay in Korea for more than 90 days without being registered, regardless of your visa at entry.
- Sogang University Visa Issuance Information
- Hi Korea Portal with information on visas
- ISEP Visa Guidelines
U.S. citizens entering Mexico for more than 180 days or who intend to do an internship require a visa. Applications should be submitted through the appropriate Mexican consulate and luckily, there is one in New Orleans.
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands but you will need a “Residence Permit.” Both of our partner institutions will apply for the Residence Permit for you once you have been admitted. You will have to submit all documents to the international office at your host institution and pay the fees for both the residence permit and for insurance.
In order to study in New Zealand, you must apply for a "Student Visa" prior to your departure. Generally the visa is issued about two to three weeks after an application is submitted. For more information, see the Immigration New Zealand's page.
If you are not an EU citizen, then you must obtain a student visa prior to departure if in Spain for more than 90 days, then all. It is important to start this process early, before you are accepted because it can take months to secure your visa. For students staying over 180 days, most consulates require an FBI Background Check or State Police Records. (See here for information on FBI background checks.
Students will need to enroll in a supplemental Spanish insurance policy that meets the requirements for the Spanish visa. Details can be found here: http://oncampus.es/index.php?route=common/home
You are typically required to apply in person at the consulate assigned to your permanent residence, and in many cases these in-person visa interviews are by appointment only. If required, you should reserve your visa appointment a minimum of five months in advance of departure for Spain, or as early as possible. You can reserve your visa appointment before you have assembled all required documentation. When making an appointment, check with your local consulate the earliest they will accept your visa application, as at many consulates you may not apply for your visa more than three months (90 days) in advance of the start of your program.
Each consulate has slightly different paperwork requirements but remember that you need your official letter of acceptance from your host university or ISEP, a certification of insurance from CIE, plus other requirements before you can apply for a visa. On your consulate’s webpage you will find a checklist of needed documents, specific to your application. Follow the requirements given by your consulate exactly. Your local Spanish consulate is the official source of all visa information. If you have questions regarding the student visa application, you must contact your local Spanish consulate.
- List of Spanish Consulates
- NAFSA Overview of Spanish Visa Requirements
- ISEP Country Handbook (With Overview of Spanish Visa)
For study abroad less than 6 months, you will typically apply for a Student Visitor Visa. You may only study up to six months in the UK and you cannot work at all during that time. Please note that U.S. citizens are non-visa nationals and so you do not have to apply for entry clearance before you travel, if you wish to come to the UK as a short-term student for up to 6 months. This means that you can normally apply for the Student Visitor Visa directly at the port of entry when entering the UK. But remember that you do need to have all your documents prepared for the port of entry.
For study abroad a one-year exchange program or will be applying for an internship in the UK, you will have to apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa in advance. The earliest you can submit your application is three months before your courses start, and you should try to submit your application as soon as possible.
Start planning your visa application early - make sure that you have the required document and proof of the required funds.
While it may be cheaper to fly to the UK through the Republic of Ireland, this is not advised for students coming to the UK on a visa (Tier 4 or Short-term student visa). There is no passport control between Ireland and the UK which means students who arrive via this route will not have the required UK stamp in their passports and will not be legally in the UK. This will cause delays to starting study and students will incur additional expenses for trips out of the UK and back to validate their travel documents.
- UK government website
- ISEP Country Handbook, Visa Guidelines
- University of East Anglia, Visa websites
- University of Birmingham Visa Website
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