A passport is a document issued by your national government proving your identity and nationality. Almost all international travel requires that you carry a passport. The passport serves as your official identification as a US citizen and is the most important legal document when outside the United States. A valid passport is required when crossing most international borders, and you will be expected to show it to immigration officers. Visit the US Department of State website for application or renewal instructions.

CGIS applicants are required to upload a copy of their valid passport to M-Compass. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months past the end date of your program. If your passport does not arrive before your application deadline, upload a copy of the receipt from your passport application and consult with your CGIS advisor for additional instructions.

Once you receive your passport, sign your name on the signature page and follow any other instructions you receive. Then scan the inside page that contains your picture and personal information and upload it your M-Compass portal. Images must be clear and words must be legible. You may be asked to rescan your passport and upload a new file.

If you already have a passport, check the date of expiration and make sure it will be valid for 6 months past the end of your anticipated time abroad. Renewing a passport while abroad is difficult, especially if a visa has been issued.

CGIS suggests that students make several copies of the signature page of their passport (along with other irreplaceable documents, such as the visa page, immunization cards, credit and/or debit cards, prescriptions, etc.). Students should leave one copy at home with a parent/guardian or friend, and take one with them—but keep it in a place separate from their passport. If a student’s passport is lost or stolen, it is much easier to get a new one if they have a copy of the old one. Students may also want to create secure and accessible digital copies of important documents.