Student Visas for International Travel

While this may be the first time you apply for a student visa, this isn't our first rodeo. Every year our team of visa specialists support thousands of IES Abroad students to have the proper documents to study abroad their host country. More detailed instructions are available in your MyIESabroad account once you are accepted to an IES Abroad program.

A student visa is a government-issued immigration document granted by a consulate general or embassy which allows you to legally study abroad in a specific country for a specific date range. Typically, a visa is an endorsed sticker or stamp placed on the inside pages of your passport. Your student visa is as important as your passport; without it you will not be able to study abroad if your program requires a student visa. 

Depending on your study abroad program and legal citizenship, you may need a student visa to study abroad. Every country has their own process, requirements, and fees for applying for a visa. Some countries may require you to travel to an in-person appointment at a consulate or embassy in select U.S. cities.

We can't wait for you to embark on your adventure abroad. We're here to help—every step of the way.

NOTE: Visa processes and requirements are determined by the government and consulate of each country, not by IES Abroad. While our team of visa specialists regularly updates information on our website, the most up-to-date and official information can be found on government and consulate websites.

United States Citizens: What to Know

You may need a visa depending on where and when you study abroad and your legal citizenship. Once you are accepted to an IES Abroad program, more detailed instructions are available in your MyIESabroad account to determine if you need a visa, what type of visa you need, and what the process will be to apply for your visa.

Not a U.S. citizen? Consult the consulate website of your passport country and contact your IES Abroad Advisor with further questions.

an artistic shot of the Colosseum in Rome

You Need a Passport

Before you can apply for a visa, you need a passport that is valid for at least six months after your program end date. Find your program dates in your MyIESabroad account and on the webpage for your program.

Visas Cost Money

The cost to apply for a visa varies by country, but typically includes a fee paid directly to the consulate (ranging from $55-$1,000). These fees are set by the consulate, not by IES Abroad, and can fluctuate.

a Seoul city street near sunset

You Apply to a Consulate

A consulate general or embassy is a government office operated by the country you will be studying in, but located in your home country. Note that visa requirements, processes, and timelines may vary between consulates of the same country.

students sitting in a boat in Cambridge, looking behind them at the architecture

You May Need to Travel to Your Consulate

Visa processing procedures vary by country. In most cases, students are required to appear in person, with a scheduled appointment, at the consulate. Keep in mind that your consulate may be out-of-state, requiring you to fly, drive, and/or stay overnight to make your appointment.

the Roman Forum in Rome

There Are Processing Times

Most consulates accept visa applications 90 to 120 days before your program start date. When requesting an appointment, account for your program start date, the 90 to 120-day timeframe, and the processing time required for the consulate to issue your visa. Processing times vary and can take up to 8 weeks.

student smiling in front of tree-filled landscape

IES Abroad ACCeSS Saves You Time

If you're studying abroad in Italy or Spain, you may have the option to skip a visit to the consulate by participating in our ACCeSS service (for an additional fee).

Need a student visa for Spain or Italy?

Save yourself a trip to the consulate with IES Abroad's ACCeSS. With ACCeSS, we review and submit your visa materials to the consulate, and pick up your issued visa on your behalf—talk about a game-changer!

Learn More

Visa Resources by Country