Passports and Visas

You must have a valid passport to study abroad. To account for any potential delays and ensure the visa application process can be completed on time, we recommend you apply for a passport at least 6 months before your program start date, preferably sooner.

Essential information:

  • Required to enter or leave the U.S. and the host country.
  • Should be valid at least 6 months beyond your program end date.
  • Takes 6-8 weeks to obtain (potentially longer during busy times).
  • Expedited service is available for an additional fee.
  • Filling out forms can be done online, but you need to apply in person if you’re applying for your first U.S. passport, your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16, or your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Most locations (post office, library, state or country courthouse) need appointments (they can fill up quick, so call a few weeks in advance).
  •  Check what you need (passport photos, citizenship evidence, ID, fee, etc.) before your appointment.

For information about applying for or renewing your passport, click here.

The Squires Passport Acceptance Facility also offers its services for fees ranging from $25 to $110 for first-time passport and renewal passport applications. Visit them on the first floor of Squires Student Center.

A visa is an entry permit to a foreign country and is issued in the U.S. Students participating on a semester-long program at the Steger Center are required to obtain a Swiss national visa. Students participating on summer programs are not required to obtain a Swiss national visa. If you are not a U.S. citizen, your visa requirements may be different. Please contact the Global Education Office for more information.

You do not need to apply for your visa on your own. Before departure, the Global Education Office and the Office of International Support Services will work with you to gather the necessary documentation to apply for a visa. We will mail the visa applications and communicate with the Swiss Embassy in D.C. In order to start the visa process on time, you need a valid passport no later than 4 months prior to departure.

If you are traveling independently during your study abroad program, remember that it is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad. The Department of State International Travel website is a good resource.