Passports & Visas

You will need a valid passport to study abroad. If you do not have a passport or your current passport will expire soon, apply for a new passport now. You will need a passport that is valid for six months beyond the end date of your program.

If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. Passports obtained before turning 16 years old are only valid for 5 years.

All students will also be required to apply for and obtain a student visa. Your program advisor will assist you by providing detailed instructions and working closely with you during the visa application process.

In most cases, semester students will need to have a passport in hand by May 1 (fall programs) or by October 1 (spring programs) in order to apply for a student visa. It is highly advised that you do not travel internationally in the months leading up to your departure as this can impede your ability to obtain a student visa by the start date of your program.

Note to U.S. citizens applying to study abroad:  Both the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Postal Service are experiencing delays in the processing/mailing of passports.  Syracuse Abroad encourages you to consider applying for an expedited passport which will cost an additional $60 but will reduce the processing time. Check the U.S. State Department website for more information. Depending on your timeframe and because mailing times can be lengthy, you may also want to have your passport application express delivered to the U.S. passport processing agency and have your new passport express delivered to your home. 

Your passport will be your primary source of identification abroad. We recommend that you make copies of the picture and signature pages of your passport and of your visa (if required for your program); leave a set with your family and bring a set abroad with you. It is always good to have copies of your passport in case of an emergency.


A visa is official permission by a foreign government to visit that country for a specified purpose and a limited time. The visa is stamped onto one of the pages of your passport and generally is not a separate document. After you have been admitted to a Syracuse Abroad program, your Syracuse Abroad program advisor will provide you with information on obtaining your student visa.

Learn more about Group Visa Submissions for Florence and Madrid semester programs.

Passports for Non-U.S. Citizens

If you do not currently have a U.S. passport, it is your responsibility to have a valid passport from your country of citizenship. Notify your Syracuse Abroad counselor of your citizenship status and the type of passport you hold so you may be properly guided to acquire necessary visas for your time abroad.