Your guide to getting a passport and visa for any trip abroad

A visa is a document that gives you permission to enter a foreign country. A student visa is only given out to people who have a confirmed place of study at a registered institution for a set period of time.

Different countries have different visa requirements, so your first port of call should be the embassy website of the country you want to study in.

Visa to study


There are two essential requirements before you reach your dream destination for anyone who wants to go abroad: a valid passport and the acquisition of the correct visa. Your bags, flight and accommodation can be packaged, but you can kiss your trip on behalf of yourself without these two documents.

We know that many students and travelers (and both parents) are intimidating about the passport and visa process. Boards? Documents? Honors? We’re not responsible for want to move in the other direction promptly. But you have nothing but a job to go surfing in Australia, walking El Camino de Santiago and hiking Machu Picchu.

(Pro tip: launch as quickly as possible!)

Fortunately, we’re here to assist you, so we’ve collected all the resources to find out what you need to know about getting passports and what visas you need to travel abroad. Requesting a passport is simple enough but visa applications may vary depending on where you go and what you plan to do on arrival. We have you covered, no matter what you need!

Before you apply for your visa, you may need proof of your place on a program from the university or college that you are going to attend.

The first thing you should do is contact the university or college to clarify which visa you need to apply for and/or to ask them to send you the necessary documentation for your application.

Once your university or college has informed you of the appropriate visa you need to apply for and any documentation that you need to submit, you should be ready to apply.

In some countries, applications can be done in a number of ways, by post, courier, in person or online for example. If you are unsure, visit the embassy or consulate of your host country and ask how you can apply for a visa or search their website.

A visa is not valid if false information has been given or important facts were omitted at the time of application.

How long will it take visa to study?

Visa processing can take as little as a couple of days to several months depending on the country and your nationality. Make sure you leave enough time to get your visa sorted as trying to rush an application is not advised – and can even mean you miss out on your place.

Do you need visa support?