Passport & Visa Information

Getting a U. S. Passport 

One of the most important documents you must obtain before entering a foreign country is your passport. This is a relatively simple task, but it must be taken care of immediately. We have prepared a checklist to assist you in obtaining your passport. 

U. S. passports are issued through the downtown Springfield Post Office or check online for other issuing offices. To determine if the post office in your region offers this service, simply call and ask. Following are the items you must take with you to the post office when you apply for your passport: 

  1. An official copy of your birth certificate 
  2. One form of picture identification (driver’s license is best) 
  3. Two recent passport photos (Some Post Office locations are equipped to take passport photos.) 
  4. $97 passport fee (Checks and money orders only; cash not accepted) 

The post office will take care of the processing and your passport will be mailed to you in about 6 weeks. 

Getting a Foreign Visa 

Your passport identifies you as a citizen of a specific country and allows you to travel in other countries. A Visa is official permission by a foreign country for you to reside there for a certain length of time. Not all countries require a visa for a single semester’s study. Each country has a different set of forms and requirements. Up-to-date information about visa requirements for every country is available online. 

You must have your passport to apply for your visa. You should get all visa information pertaining to your target country as soon as possible. Visa applications can sometimes be complex and it’s not something which can be put off until the last minute. 

Below you’ll find information concerning visa requirements for U.S. citizens in the most popular study abroad destinations. If your target country is not among those listed here, check with that country’s embassy here in the U.S. 

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to check the visa requirements of any country where you expect to study. 

Australia: United States citizens are required to obtain a visa when studying in Australia for a semester. For more information, including an on-line application process, visit the Australian Government web site

Ireland: United States citizens are not currently required to obtain a visa when studying in Ireland. 

Netherlands: United States citizens are not currently required to obtain an entrance visa (MVV) for a single-semester stay. However, it is advisable to have a copy of your acceptance letter from your Dutch institution with your passport when you meet with immigration officials at the airport. 

South Korea (The Republic of Korea): If you plan to stay in Korea for more than 90 days, you must obtain a long-term visa. 

United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland): United States citizens are not currently required to obtain a visa when studying in the United Kingdom for one semester or less.