We strongly recommend that you apply for a passport as soon as you consider that you may want to study abroad.
Students who are U.S. citizens must hold a passport in order to travel abroad, and should apply for one immediately if they do not now have one. (Passports that will expire within six months of the end of the program should be renewed before going abroad.) If you begin to apply for a passport after you are accepted to a program you may find you have a difficult time completing all of your paperwork before your departure. Students will need a passport to apply for a visa which is necessary in order to study in most countries. Passport agencies and helpful information can be found on the State Department web page at http://www.travel.state.gov/passport.
U.S. passports can be obtained or renewed at:
Tompkins County Clerk's office
320 North Tioga Street
or the passport agency nearest to your permanent address.
Non-U.S. citizens with U.S. Permanent Residence status may travel to most places, although they may have to complete special visa application procedures.
Students who plan to travel on a passport issued by a country other than the U.S. are advised to check visa requirements for all countries they plan to visit. Feel free to speak with Cornell Abroad staff if you have any questions or concerns.
Many countries also require a visa for entry into their country. A visa is a passport stamp or document issued by a destination country to permit a foreigner access to their country. Application procedures vary depending upon the country and type of visa sought. Check the embassy's website for updated information on visa requirements. Your program sponsor should provide visa information.
You will apply for your visa only after you have received a valid passport and acceptance to your abroad program or institution.
When you receive the passport, make sure that all of the information on the data page of the passport is accurate, sign it, and make several photocopies of that page. Give one copy to your parent or guardian, one to Cornell Abroad and take several copies with you overseas. Be sure to complete the information page on the inside of your passport providing the name, address and telephone number of an emergency contact. If your passport is lost in the USA, contact the nearest passport agency or the Department of State. If you lose your passport abroad, notify the nearest consulate or embassy immediately.