Tips for Applying for a Visa

Most countries have a time limit on how early you can apply for a visa.  In many cases, visa applications will not be considered more than 90 days prior to entry into the host country. 
In most cases, students MUST apply for their visa in their home country. This means that if you plan to travel or are planning back-to-back study abroad programs AND you will not be in the United States during the 3 months prior to your arrival in your host country, you may run into problems with securing a visa.  
Visa applications are generally not accepted through a 3rd-party country. This means, if you plan to study abroad in the U.K. for the Fall semester and then plan to study in Italy for the following Winter semester, you may not be able to apply for your Italian visa at the Italian Consulate in the U.K. You will have to apply for your Italian visa in the United States. If you are in the U.K. during the 90 days prior to your arrival in Italy, you can understand the dilemma. It may be possible for you to return to the United States between your semesters, but this does not guarantee that a visa can be processed during your brief return between semesters.      
It is not uncommon for a student to be required to apply for their visa in person. In some cases, students may also be required to pick-up their passport and visa in person.  This may mean that you may have to make two trips to the Consulate which has jurisdiction over your state of residence.  
Students often complain that they do not receive timely responses to their questions when they follow procedures for submitting an inquiry. Please allow plenty of time for your questions to be answered. If you are unable to secure an answer by phone, try email or fax a letter to the consulate requesting assistance.

While many of these requirements may seem burdensome, they are governmental regulations that must be followed. Due to constant changes in requirements and regulations, the Padnos International Center can offer very limited information regarding the procedures for applying for your visa. Our staff have been instructed to refer you to the appropriate Consulate for questions and advice.

Page last modified April 29, 2015