Passports and Visas

Passports and visas are official government documents that allow you to legally travel abroad. A passport is issued by your country of citizenship and is required for international travel, while a visa is issued by your destination country.

Apply for a passport

No matter when you are planning to study abroad, it is best to apply for a passport now, as your passport will be valid for 10 years. The routine processing time for a new US passport is several months, although it could take longer. If necessary, expedited options are available, but it is best to start the process early.

  • You must apply for your first passport in person. 
  • Select Cincinnati Public Library locations offer both accept passport applications by appointment only.  Make an appointment and confirm what documents are needed before you go.  
  • Our office sometimes holds a Passport Day where you can apply for a passport with Acceptance Agents on campus. Sign up for our listserv to receive information on events like Passport Day.
  • Be sure that your passport is valid at least 6 months past the end date of your program. 
  • If it isn't, you'll need to renew your passport before you depart!

Apply for a visa

A visa is an entry/residency permit granted by the authorities of the country(ies) where you will travel.  Students should verify if a visa is needed based on their country of citizenship, travel destination, length of stay and purpose of their visit.

Each country issues its own visas through its embassy and consulates located throughout the United States. Countries will vary widely in visa requirements and processing times. Be sure to review entry requirements on your destination country's embassy website.

UC International is happy to direct you to helpful visa resources; however, it is the student's responsibility to know the entry requirements and acquire their visa prior to travel.  

Some UC travelers choose to have a third party assist with this process such as A Briggs

International student travel

As an international student, it is possible for you to participate in a study abroad program outside of the US. However, you may need to complete some additional steps.

To maintain your nonimmigrant status, you need to contact UC International Services for a travel signature on your I-20 / DS-2019. Complete the Request for a Travel Signature eForm on iBearcatsGlobal to set up an appointment.