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Passports & Visas

All students need a passport in order to go abroad.  Review this crucial information about passports and visas so you are prepared for your study abroad experience, including useful links for passport applications and visa resources.  

Students planning multiple or back-to-back programs must review this important warning about the visa application process.

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Obtaining a passport is one of the first and most important steps for study abroad.  Whether you are applying for the first time, or renewing an old passport, it is crucial that you start the process as early as possible.  It can take a very long time to receive a passport, and failure to apply far enough in advance may delay the application process or prevent you from being able to go abroad at all.

Even if you are just beginning to research study abroad options, you should apply for a passport immediately.

Porter Passport Fund

If you are a current Davidson student and require assistance in paying passport application fees, either for a first-time passport or to renew a passport that is expiring, you are invited to submit an application to the Porter Passport Fund.  Thanks to the generous support of Mary Margaret Porter '98, this fund provides grants to help cover the fees associated with passport applications.  Please contact an OEAA advisor or email with any questions.

Learn More & Apply

Applying for a Passport

This information in this section is relevant for U.S. citizens only.  Students who do not hold a U.S. passport should consult with their home country's embassy or consulate for more information.

Review these links from the U.S. Department of State for more details about the application or renewal process.  Remember that it is the individual student's responsibility to follow all official guidance throughout the application process.

Determining Passport Validity

If you already have a passport, please check its expiration date.  Generally, most countries require that a U.S. passport be valid for at least six months after the end date of your planned travel. 

To confirm the validity requirements, look up your host country on the official U.S. Department of State website (enter the country's name in the "Where Are You Traveling?" box, then carefully review the Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements tab).  If your passport does not meet the validity requirements, you will need to renew it as soon as possible.  

International students should contact their home country's embassy or consulate in their planned destination for guidance.


A visa is an immigration document that is an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a particular country. A visa is issued by the host country government and is usually a sticker or stamp that is affixed inside of your passport.
  • You must have a valid passport BEFORE you can apply for a visa.

  • You will not be able to apply for a visa until AFTER you are officially accepted to your program - most student visas require proof of acceptance as part of the application.

  • Refer only to official resources from your program and government websites for visa information - do not rely on third-party sites or other students' experiences.


For Students Considering Back-to-Back Programs

In many cases, the visa application process has a very specific timeline and students may be required to surrender their passports to the host country's embassy or consulate for an extended period of time.  For this reason, participating in consecutive study abroad programs in different countries, especially between summer and fall, may be problematic or impossible.  

Please contact an Education Abroad advisor as soon as possible if you are considering back-to-back study abroad programs.

Visa Resources

It is the student's responsibility to research their program and host country visa requirements in advance, and to submit all required documents and fees in a timely manner.

Some documents required for the visa application process, such as letters of acceptance, will come directly from the partner organization in charge of the program.  However, in some cases students may need certain additional documents from Davidson.  Please plan ahead so you can request these documents in advance.
  • Enrollment Verification Letter: request a letter verifying Davidson enrollment through the Registrar's Office

  • Transcripts: Students may place orders for transcripts 24/7 through the National Student Clearinghouse.

  • Insurance Letter: In most cases, the partner organization provides their own international insurance to students, and will include a verification of insurance letter in the acceptance materials if needed.  In some limited cases where the partner organization does not offer its own insurance, students may request a verification letter for Davidson's international insurance instead.  Email OEAA at to request a letter.