Visa regulations vary by country and by each student's country of citizenship. Most of the Suffolk study abroad programs do require a student visa. Here are some things to keep in mind when applying for a visa:
- It is the student's responsibility to obtain your visa. Consular officials will only correspond with the person who is applying for the visa, and will not disclose any information regarding an application either to the university or other third party (including parents). The university cannot obtain a visa for you and can only provide very basic advice as we deal with many different countries, all with different requirements.
- To find out what documents are required for your application, visit the website of the nearest consulate of the country where you intend to study. The required documents for visas vary by country. Consular officials may change the list of required documents at anytime so it is important that you check the requirements frequently as they may change. You will not be able to submit a visa application until you have been accepted to your program of study.
- Most countries require that your passport be valid for a certain period of time after the end date of your program. Check with the consulate, however a good guideline is to make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your program end date.
- Visas are a privilege, not a right. The consulates reserve the right to deny an application. To better your chances of obtaining your visa, pay careful attention to the list of required documents. If there is a recommend format for certain pieces of your application (i.e. insurance letter, parental letter of support, financial documents), make sure you follow the instructions exactly as they are stated. The most common reason for a denial of a visa is due to missing or incorrect documentation. Always be courteous and respectful of the consular officers.
- Do not wait for the last minute in order to apply for your visa. Processing times vary by country and some require an application no later than 120 days prior to the start of your program. There generally is no way to expedite visa processing times, so apply early. Consulates will not make exceptions to the rules.
- If a visa is required for your country of study, you cannot study abroad without it. Do not attempt to attend your program if you have obtained the required visa.