Passports, Visas and Other Necessary Travel Documents

All students need to obtain one or more government issued travel documents in order to study abroad. Please note this is not legal, immigration advice.

  • CGE asks all students to have a valid passport at the time of application or to apply for a passport immediately upon acceptance. 
  • Your passport should be valid (not expire) for a minimum of six months after return from your study abroad program. Note: Some countries do not allow entrance if your passport will expire in under 6 months.

If you do not already have a valid passport, it is crucial that you apply immediately after acceptance to a program. For fall semester programs where visas are required, you must have your passport by mid-March at the latest. The passport application is available on-line at: A first time passport application must be submitted in person to a government office; usually a state or county office. A passport renewal can be mailed.



PLEASE NOTE: Your Passport will be the MOST IMPORTANT document of identity that you have while traveling abroad.

Every US Citizen traveling outside of the United States needs to have a valid passport in order to study abroad. Most programs require that your passport does not expire within 6 months of return from your study abroad.

If you do not yet have a passport and you have been accepted to study abroad you need to apply immediately. If your passport will expire within 6 months of the end of your study abroad program you need to renew your passport immediately. This can take up to 12 weeks (3 months) to process. Visit the U.S. Department of State's (DOS) Passport website to get started.

For your passport you will need to provide passport photos. Below are several places where you can obtain these. 

  • Cash Wise 
  • Walgreen's
  • The Post Office in St. Joseph 
  • The Passport Office (License Center) in the Administration Center in St. Cloud



A visa is a clearance from your host government to enter and stay in their country for a certain period of time. Every country has its own requirements for visas. These requirements will vary by your country of citizenship, the length of time that you will be there and what you purpose for visiting it. You can read more about the US Departmemt of State requirements at

The Center for Global Educationwill assist all of the students studying abroad on CSB/SJU sponsored programs to obtain any necessary visa materials. This information will be included in your pre-departure mailings and orientations.

Persons staying in a country for longer than three months will usually need a visa; however, this varies according to the country. CGE staff will communicated this to faculty and students.

Currently, the CSB/SJU programs which require visas of US citizens are :

  1. Australia, Austria, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, London, South Africa, and Spain. 
  2. US citizens on the Irish programs must obtain their visa from the police department in Cork or Dublin upon their arrival.
  3. US citizens on the Mexico program do not currently need a visa.

It is important for students to know that the visa application process can take up to 90 days. Typically during this time, you will have to submit your passport to the Consulate or Embassy of your host country. It is important to make any international travel plans accordingly. Please speak with your Education Abroad Advisor before making international travel plans!

Special Circumstances

If you are a U.S. Permanent Resident, an international student at CSB/SJU or a dual citizen of the U.S. and another country, it is best to discuss the visa requirements on an individual basis with the Center for Global Education. Please contact our office after acceptance to take the necessary next steps.

Please note: International students participating on a CSB/SJU study abroad program may have different visa requirements. These individuals should work with their CGE Advisor early in the process to check into the visa requirements for the program. They must also check on the visa requirements for each country they plan to visit, as it is possible they would need a visa for each of those countries. In addition, students must be sure to notify the Director of International Students of their plans to study abroad. International students will need an updated I-20 in order to return to the U.S. after the semester abroad.