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How to Obtain a U.S. Passport

Students who are U.S. citizens should follow the instructions on the U.S. Department of State Website for obtaining a passport.

Applicants must submit supporting identification documents and a photo that meets application requirements. Remember that the processing time can take up to six weeks for routine submission. For an additional fee, you can request expedited processing to receive your passport within three weeks.

  • Students must have a valid passport for international travel with an expiration date that extends at least 6 months beyond the study abroad program end date. 

Special Note for International Students

If you are currently a UCO student on a J1 or F1 visa and would like to participate in study abroad, you should meet with an immigration advisor in the Office of Global Affairs to discuss your travel plans well in advance. Be sure to upload a copy of your current passport with the photo and signature pages along with your student visa page.

Waiting for Your Passport Document?

If you have applied for an official passport and have not yet received the document, please write to the appropriate study tour faculty leader/s or the Study Abroad Office, if you are participating in semester exchange to inform us of the date you submitted your passport application. Once the document arrives, upload a full-color scan of your passport document as part of your study abroad materials in the UCO Study Abroad Portal.

Visa Information

A visa is an official document or stamp contained within your passport that a foreign government issues to you, allowing you to legally travel to/from or within that particular country or region. 

Visa requirements and application processes vary by your destination and nationality. Though general visa information may be provided by the Study Abroad Office and/or the program provider, it is ultimately each student’s responsibility to determine if they require a visa to study in their host location/s and if a visa is needed, it is also the student’s responsibility to obtain the visa.

You must notify the director of education abroad in the Centre for Global Competency (CGC) or your host institution in a timely manner if documentation from UCO or your host institution is necessary to complete a visa application.

Students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact the appropriate consulate to learn the student visa procedures governing their nationality. Current international UCO degree-seeking students are also encouraged to consult with an immigration advisor in the Office of Global Affairs prior to completing the study abroad application process to determine if there are any visa restrictions related to studying abroad.

General Tips on Visa Processes

  • A visa is a stamp, seal, or official paper document that is affixed inside your passport so it is imperative that you have a passport that will be valid for the entire duration of your time abroad. Many consulates require the passport to be valid for at least six months after the anticipated end date of your program. 
  • Students may be required to make a personal appearance at the appropriate consulate to obtain a visa. Most consular offices with jurisdiction over the State of Oklahoma are located in Houston, Texas. Depending on the country, the nearest consular office may be on the west or east coast.
  • Students traveling to multiple countries, on consecutive programs, or for an extended period of time, may have complex visa requirements and should develop a plan to address these well in advance.
  • Some countries require that you enter your country of study directly from your home country or do not allow you to enter certain other countries before arriving in your country of study. Please contact the appropriate consulate before making travel plans.
  • Students are required to pay all fees associated with obtaining a visa unless otherwise noted.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to purchase refundable airfare or at the very least tickets which allow for a change of date as well as travel insurance. Some policies may include coverage for failure to obtain a visa.
  • A visa is a privilege, not a right. A consular officer may deny your visa application, so it is best to adhere to their requirements as closely as possible. Obtaining a visa is your responsibility. It is important that you know what is required of you before attempting to enter a country. Failing to obtain a visa or the correct visa could result in a denial of entry into a country and/or criminal charges, and additionally does not release students from adherence to the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy or from financial liability for a program.