A visa is a document granting permission for entry and/or extended stay in a country. Visas are stamped or fastened into an applicant’s passport. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and for all associated costs. In most cases, the process of obtaining a visa is smooth when the application is made well ahead of time and the destination country’s instructions are followed carefully.

Requirements for student visas vary from program to program, country to country, consulate to consulate, and term to term. The type of visa you will need depends on your citizenship, type of experience (study only, internship, tourism, and so on), the country or countries you visit, and the duration of each stay.

You may seek advice from a CGIS advisor or program sponsor, but obtaining the appropriate visa is your responsibility. Familiarize yourself with the host country visa requirements for citizens of your own home country. CGIS cannot obtain a visa for you nor does CGIS have control over consulates and the regulations they impose.

Be aware that you need a passport before applying for a visa, that some countries have certain medical requirements, and that the application process can take up to 4 months. Begin investigating visa requirements immediately after being accepted into a program to provide enough time for the entire process. You might be required to go in person to your host country's consulate or embassy to apply, which might require travel to another city or state.

If you are not US citizens but possess a Green Card (Permanent Residence) for the US, follow the visa instructions for the country that issued your official passport. Contact your host country's consulate immediately and follow their instructions. If you do not have a Green Card, inform the UM International Center that you are going abroad to ensure all conditions of your US student visa are met.