UWL DOES NOT arrange student visas. Students are required to independently arrange for their student visa and need to be aware that this is a TIME SENSITIVE requirement that will include an additional out-of-pocket cost. Students should learn about the process and requirements as soon as they start the UWL application, but they won't be able to apply for their visa until they receive their acceptance letter from their host institution. Get more information under the "Exit, Entry and Visa Requirements" section for a specific host country at Travel.State.Gov, or visit the Consulate General's website of the host country that serves your area of U.S. residency. 

Is a student visa required? expanding section

In many countries students are required to obtain a visa in order to study for a summer, semester or year.

Best Resources Are:

  • Embassy or Consulate Website for the host country
  • Visit the U.S. Department of State Travel Website to search for a specific countries regulations
  • Many students, will receive more visa information, or visa guidance, from the host universities or program providers after being accepted into their program
What is the Process for Apply for a Student Visa? expanding section

This varies from embassy to embassy, so it is best to contact each directly. Some things to keep in mind and ask the embassy would be...

  • Average time it takes to process a visa.
  • Whether a student should apply in the jurisdiction where they go to school or through their permanent residence is located.
  • Whether a student must appear in person to obtain the visa.
  • Whether students need to appear in person to get biometric data (photo & fingerprints) taken.
What Are the Requirements to Obtain a Student Visa? expanding section

Each country will have different requirements; however, items that may be required include:

  • Photos
  • Fee
  • Proof of funds to support program abroad
  • Proof of enrollment
  • Fingerprints and other biometrics
  • Criminal Background or FBI background check
Does a Student Have to Appear in Person at the Consulate to Obtain a Student Visa? expanding section
  • Sometimes. Student may be able to use a visa service that stands in on their behalf, such as Zierer Visa Service (www.zvs.com) or Perry Visa (perryvisa.com). Some visa applications such as the Australian visa can be completed online. 
Can a Non-U.S. Citizen Apply For a Student Visa Through a Consulate in the United States? expanding section
  • This will depend on both the country of the student and also the country the student wishes to study abroad in.
  • Please refer to the embassy or consulate page of the country the student is looking to study in.
How Long Does a Student Visa Take and When Should I Apply? expanding section
  • Visa processing can take as little as a few days for some countries to months for others
  • Be sure to plan in advance in the event that it does take several months
  • Keep in mind, students will not be able to apply for a visa until they have been officially accepted by a program, host university, and has received their official admissions or offer letter
  • Students studying France, will need to initiate their visa application process with CampusFrance before being able to secure a visa appointment.
Will Consulates Make Exceptions and Allow for Emergency Applications if a Student is Leaving Sooner Than the Standard Processing Time? expanding section
  • In general, trying to rush an application is not advised.
  • This will vary greatly from country to country. Review the website of the consulate or embassy to see if this is a possibility.
Can a Student Obtain a Student Visa Once Overseas? expanding section
  • A Tourist Visa, often yes. However, it is important to research this in advance and know the legal ramifications of coming in under the wrong visa status.
Can a Student Extend His/Her Visa in Country (for a second semester, for example)? expanding section
  • In certain countries it is very challenging to extend. In others it is very easy to make the change.
  • Generally speaking this is something a student should discuss with his or her host university or program in order to determine if it is feasible.
Can a Student Travel After the Program Even if His or Her Student Visa Has Expired? expanding section
  • Do extensive research on the country and their rules before deciding to travel on an expired visa.
  • Not researching or following the rules and regulations of a country could leave students with a fine or stuck in a situation where they are unable to return to their original country of study.
If a Student is Having a Problem Obtaining a Visa, What Should They Do? expanding section
  • Contact the consulate directly!
  • If the problem persists, contact IEE and they will try to contact the consulate on the student's behalf to resolve the issue.