Visa Application Process
Once you have obtained your passport, it is time to start your visa application.
- Each country has its own visa application process. Please be aware that the timing of a visa application process can vary. Some may take months to complete and may require a special visit or two to that country’s nearest consulate or embassy. Also be aware that specific countries require a specific type of visa for students studying abroad. The earlier you apply, the better.
- Be prepared to pay a one-time fee for your visa. This charge can range from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on the country.
- While each country will have different requirements, there are some general items that are typically required, such as photos, a fee, proof of funds to support you abroad, proof of enrollment at the host university, proof of housing in the country, fingerprints, etc. Please note that enrollment in the host university precedes application for the visa. The best resource is to consult the official embassy or consulate website to find out their requirements.
- For some countries, you may be required to appear in person to obtain your visa.
- NAFSA provides an easily accessible page to each country’s visa application that will help you through the process. Or simply search for the country’s embassy in the U.S. and use the link to the official embassy website to take you through the visa application requirements and process.
Note: Some European countries fall under the Schengen Agreement, which means there is a specific Schengen Visa for those intending to be in the country for no more than 90 days. This list of countries includes Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland and Greece. You may apply for the Schengen Visa or for a national visa under the specific country in which you wish to study.