Visas & Passports

Your passport is your most important legal document while traveling overseas.

Obtaining your passport may take 6 to 8 weeks, so do not wait until the last minute.

I Already Have a Passport

Great! Make sure that it is still valid beyond your return to the U.S. and you have a sufficient number of pages for visa stamps. Some countries require your passport to be valid six months beyond the date of your return. You should renew your passport before departure if it will expire while you are abroad. Check out the information below on making copies of your passport before departing.

I Don't Have a Passport

If you do not have a passport, you can apply for one at the post office on 125 W. South Street or you can visit here to search for a location near you. For more information on passports please see the State Department’s website.

How Do I Apply for a Passport?

To apply for a passport, please visit the U.S. Department of State website to find the most up-to-date information on applying for a passport.

IU Discount for Passport and Visa Services

IU negotiated a significant discount with CIBTvisas for Passport and Visa Expediting Services. This not only includes new passports, but also renewals, additional pages, photo services, and visa services. This discount is available to all IU Faculty, Staff, and Students traveling abroad. Orders must be placed here

Once You Have Your Passport

Don’t forget to make copies! Make two copies of the photograph page and any pages with current visas. Leave one copy with your family in the U.S. and take the other one with you. Keep your copy in a separate place from your original passport. The photocopy will make it easier to replace a lost or stolen passport.

It is a good idea for your parent, spouse, or designated emergency contact to have a passport so in the event of an emergency, they can travel abroad to be with you.

Visa—Your Ticket into the Country

To visit certain countries you will need a visa. A visa is a stamp or sticker placed in your passport by a foreign government that permits you to visit that country for a specific purpose and for a limited time. Some countries will also require you to get a visa to transit through the country on your way to your final destination. The U.S. Department of State allows you to learn about your destination, including visa and passport requirements, by searching the country.

If you plan to travel to other countries after your program, be sure you are aware of those countries entry requirements (you may need another visa!).

Registering with the U.S. Embassy

The Study Abroad Office strongly advises students to register with the U.S. Embassy in the country you are visiting before you leave. In the event of an emergency or an overseas disaster; the U.S. embassy will be able to contact you and assist you with your needs.

To register, please visit the Department of State’s website.

For more on this topic and other important travel information, please review the Pre-Departure Handbook.