Students may need a visa to go on a Global Co-op, Study Abroad, or Dialogue of Civilizations program. Students are responsible for contacting the Global Experience Office (GEO) for support regarding foreign visa requirements. For visa support and guidance for all international programs, please contact the GEO Mobility Team:

General Information:

If you need a visa, you should apply as soon as possible. Please be advised that visa application procedures and required supporting documentation can vary greatly between consulates and can often depend on the citizenship of the applicant, so please plan accordingly.

Jurisdiction: Many embassies, consulates, and missions have jurisdictional requirements for visa applications and only serve residents of their jurisdictions. Please ensure that you are applying for your visa through the consulate, embassy, or mission that serves the jurisdiction where you are a permanent resident or where you maintain residency during the academic year. For further information on consulate-specific jurisdictional requirements, please consult with the appropriate consular authority directly.

Consular Appointments: You may need to visit a consulate in-person to submit your visa application and may need to undergo a consular interview.

Many consulates will require you to appear in-person in order to process your visa application. Please consult with the relevant consulate to confirm if this is required. If so, please note that it is imperative that you book a consulate appointment as soon as possible. Additionally, please note that consular appointments are quite fluid and are at the sole discretion of the consular authority, so if you are unable to obtain an appointment that is suitable for your time frame, you may need to check the consular booking system site several times in order to reschedule for an alternate appointment date.

Processing Timeframes: Processing times can vary and are at the sole discretion of the consulate. Any estimated processing times are general guidelines from the date of application submission, and are subject to change at the discretion of the consulate. For this reason, it is recommended that you apply as soon as you are able to do so. Please be advised that you will likely be required to surrender your passport and supporting documents to the consulate for the entirety of the time that your application in process, so please plan accordingly.

International Students: Please be advised that some consulates and embassies may require that your F-1 visa be valid for a period of time past your date of departure from your host country when applying for a visa. A general best practice is to ensure that your F-1 visa is valid for at least 6 months past the end date of your program abroad, although in some cases, a longer validity may be required. Please consult directly with the relevant consulate or embassy for further information on these requirements.

It is the responsibility of any international student to check with the Office of Global Services prior to departing for his or her international program for any information relating to his or her visa status in the U.S. and information related to re-entry at the close of your program abroad.

Disclaimer: Any information relating to foreign visas is provided as general information and is for reference only. GEO does not process or issue visas for students. It is the responsibility of the student to apply for and obtain the appropriate visa in a timely manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

A visa is an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter and stay for a specified period of time – and for a specified purpose – in a country. Visa application requirements and processing times vary by country, citizenship, and consulate.

You may need a visa to go on Global Co-op, Study Abroad, or Dialogue. You are responsible for contacting GEO for support regarding foreign visa requirements. Please see the “Visa Information” tab for contact details of the GEO Mobility Team.

Information on visa requirements for Study Abroad programs can often be found through the relevant consular website, and through the university or program where you are intending to study whilst abroad.

For information relating to Global Co-op, you should first contact your co-op coordinator, and then the GEO Mobility Team for further information.

For Dialogue of Civilizations programs, please consult with your faculty leader. Contact the GEO Mobility Team if you need additional support.

Many consulates will require you to appear in-person in order to process your visa application. Please consult with the relevant consulate to confirm if you are required to either submit your application and/or retrieve your visa in-person. If you are required to attend an appointment in-person, please note that it is imperative that you book a date and time as soon as possible.

Please book the earliest available appointment. Consular appointments are quite fluid and at the discretion of the consular authority, so if you are unable to obtain an appointment that is suitable for your time frame, you may need to check the consular booking system site several times in order to obtain an alternate appointment.

Many embassies, consulates, and missions have jurisdictional requirements for visa applications and only serve residents of their jurisdictions. Please ensure that you are applying for your visa through the consulate, embassy, or mission that serves the jurisdiction where you are a permanent resident or where you maintain residency during the academic year. For further information on consulate-specific jurisdictional requirements, please consult with the appropriate consular website directly.

Please start this process as soon as possible, as it can take up to 16 weeks to obtain this clearance. For information on the FBI background check process, please consult with the FBI Identity Summary website directly.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may want to consider utilizing a channeler to expedite the process. Further information on using a channeler can be found on the FBI Approved Channeler List. Please note that use of a channeler may incur a fee, payable directly to the channeler; you should consult directly with the channeler for pricing and timeframe information.

No, all consulates and embassies do not require the same supporting documentation. In fact, not only do the supporting document requirements vary by country, but they can also vary by individual consulate. Please be sure to consult directly with the consulate with jurisdiction over your residency for the appropriate guidance on supporting documents.

Typically, the GEO Mobility Team is able to provide support and guidance as to the appropriate visa category for your global experience.

If you would like assistance in filling out your application or collecting your supporting documents, you might consider utilizing a visa facilitation service. Although Northeastern University does not officially endorse any visa facilitation companies, here are a few options should you decide to employ facilitation services:

Travisa

A.Briggs

The cost of applying for a visa can vary based on country, citizenship, and visa type. Please consult with the relevant consulate directly for up-to-date information on costs.

Visa processing times vary greatly, so you should apply as early as possible. The GEO Mobility Team recommends beginning the visa process 8-12 weeks prior to your intended departure. Please note that this recommendation is fluid and that some visas may take longer than this time frame.

Additionally, please check the application processing time frames on the appropriate consular website very carefully. Please note that any time frames indicated on consular websites are for reference only and are only from the point of submission (meaning it does not include the time taken to gather supporting documentation, book an appointment, or return your documents at the completion of processing). Processing time is at the sole discretion of the consulate.

The procedures that you will follow may be different from those for U.S. citizens. Please consult directly with the GEO Mobility Team and the appropriate consulate for further guidance. It is important to initiate the visa process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy processing procedures. Additionally, it is your responsibility to check with the Office of Global Services prior to departing for your international program for any information relating to your visa status in the U.S.