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Passports and Visas

Want to study or travel abroad in 2022?
It's time to apply for a new or renewed passport!

A valid passport is required to enter most foreign countries. Obtaining a passport is an essential part of the study abroad process. COVID-19 has delayed passport processing times significantly. The U.S. State Department has announced that it now takes an average of 16 weeks — 4 months! — to process a passport.

Apply for your passport now — even if you're not 100% sure about going abroad

If you are considering studying and/or traveling abroad in 2022, you should apply for your passport as soon as you're done reading this paragraph. No, really — many countries also require that you obtain a student visa to study abroad, and you will need a valid passport before you can apply for your visa.

Other things to consider:

  1. In-person application is required if you are applying for your first passport or renewing a passport that was issued when you were under 16.
  2. Click here to find your nearest passport application location.
  3. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after you return from abroad.

Expedite both the processing time and the shipping time

To ensure your passport is issued as quickly as possible you will need to expedite every aspect of your passport process. Expedited passport service is $60, and this fee does not include expedited shipping. The State Department recommends paying the extra shipping fee to ensure expedited delivery of your passport.

Non-U.S. passports

Those with non-U.S. passports will need to check with the consulate of their home country about the passport renewal requirements and processing times if their passports are due to expire within the next year.

Passport Photos

One Card Services offers passport photo services on campus. Photo processing fees can be paid for via Spidercard account, cash (exact change), or check (payable to "University of Richmond").

Visas

Most students will be required to apply for and obtain a student visa in order to enter the host country. Your study abroad advisor at UR will provide you with further instructions if a student visa is required. The visa is usually a stamp imprinted on a back page of your passport.

Register with the Embassy

While studying or traveling abroad, students should register with the embassy/consulate of their home country. U.S. citizens can register through the State Department's travel registration website. This makes your presence and whereabouts known in the host country, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in case of emergency or a natural disaster.