Study Abroad Visas & the ACCeSS Program

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When it comes to things like study abroad visas, we’re all about making it as easy as possible so you can focus on the fun stuff, rather than the paperwork. Learn more about study abroad visas and the ACCeSS Program for obtaining your visa through IES Abroad. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

What is a Study Abroad Visa, and Do You Need One?

A visa is a government issued official authorization attached to your passport. Your visa allows you to stay in and travel around a particular country for an allotted period of time. This means you’re allowed to enter, exit, and travel within that particular country while you’re abroad.

Not every study abroad student needs a visa as it is dependent on where and when you study abroad. Similarly, the process to get a visa varies by country, so it’s best to work closely with your IES Abroad Program Advisor as you prepare to go abroad. Currently, these countries require United States citizens to obtain a visa before studying abroad for a semester or more:

Australia China France New Zealand
Austria Ecuador Italy South Africa
Chile England Japan Spain

Once you know if your study abroad host country requires a visa, you're ready to start the process of obtaining one. The process for obtaining a visa varies by location, but typically requires:

  • Documentation, including your passport, visa application, passport photos, acceptance letters, and financial documentation
  • Scheduling your visa appointment and planning travel to the consulate
  • Attending your visa appointment

The IES Abroad ACCeSS Program: We Can Help You Apply For Your Study Abroad Visa

If you're studying with IES Abroad in Italy or Spain, you may be eligible to use the IES Abroad ACCeSS program. ACCeSS, or the Application Check and Consular Submission Service, is our visa processing service in which we submit your visa application and supporting documents to the consulate for you.


  We Do the Legwork For You
We’ll collect and submit your study abroad visa application and supporting documents for you 
  There’s Little Room for Error
Don’t worry, we do this all the time! We’re familiar with the Consulates, what we need, how to get there, and all the other logistics that may get in the way.
  Save Yourself a Trip to the Consulate
For some students, their closest consulate office may be states away. Save yourself the time and the cost of getting to the consulate for your appointment.
  Your Passport & Documents Are Safe with Us 
We take good care of your most important travel documents while they’re in our possession to make sure they make it back to you safe and sound.
  It’s Affordable!
ACCeSS fees is $125, which can be much cheaper than airfare and hotel stay required for some visa appointments!
  Applying is Easy
Contact your Program Advisor about getting started! After being admitted to an IES Abroad program, you can learn more about the ACCeSS application and deadline information in your MyIESabroad account. ACCeSS deadlines are typically in Late May-Early June for Fall programs, and October-Early November for Spring programs.

If you’re studying abroad in another location that isn’t eligible for ACCeSS, don’t fret! Once you’re admitted to an IES Abroad program, you can follow the steps specific to your study abroad host country in your IES Abroad Predeparture Guide, and remember to contact your IES Abroad Program Advisor with questions. We’re here to help!