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Passports and Paperwork

Obtain or renew your passport immediately

If you do not already have a passport that will be valid for at least six months after your return to the U.S., you should apply for one as soon as possible.

  • Passport photos: Take additional photos for ID cards, visa applications, and to bring abroad. Local options for passport photos:

Obtain a visa (if required)

It is your responsibility to verify the visa requirements of your host country, and if necessary, to obtain your visa. Contact your program to find out if you need a visa and if they provide assistance or have suggestions for obtaining one. 

  • International students: If you are an international student enrolled at Northwestern and planning to study abroad outside your country of citizenship, you will need to work closely with your program and the appropriate consulate(s) to ensure that you have the proper documentation, which will likely differ from that of students who are US citizens. 
  • Typical processing time: Anywhere from two weeks to over three months
  • Warning about international travel: You typically give up your passport to obtain a visa; so international travel during the months before your departure date (especially during the summer) is not recommended.

Special note for non-U.S. citizens

Contact the Northwestern International Office at (847) 491-5613 immediately to ensure you understand any INS requirements. Make sure you do not jeopardize your residency status by participating in a program abroad.