The current pandemic has unfortunately changed some of the usual visa procedures. Therefore, some information listed below does not reflect the current consulate requirements. The ACA Visa Specialist keeps monitoring all updates posted by consulates in an effort to provide students with the latest information on this matter. More than ever, please direct any questions to the ACA office.
The ACA office is NOT an immigration office and does not have direct connections/access to foreign consulates. If a visa is needed to attend an ACA program, the ACA office will notify you with instructions and the necessary documents for obtaining a student visa in the United States. Before the end of July you need to be actively working on your student visa. Some visas can take as long as 2 months (e.g. France). Apply for your visa as early as possible (and no earlier than 90 days before the start date of your program)!
Attention I-20 students – If you are studying in the United States with a student visa (I-20), all related documentation to your status in America needs to be provided by your American university. We strongly advise you to plan on obtaining your student visa for the ACA program in the United States, and to start the process at least two months prior to departure for the ACA program.
Any questions regarding student visas for ACA programs need to be emailed to ACA.
- All VISA questions MUST be directed to the ACA Headquarters in Maryland (NOT your home school). See country-specific information below, or on your school’s page.
- Remember, the visa process takes time, so it is important that you apply for the ACA program early enough. Click here for how to apply.
- Carefully read the instructions in your ACA acceptance package regarding the visa process and procedure.
- Official Translators: For the purpose of getting documents translated, official/authorized translators are available in a Court House or in a Law Office. (must use only authorized translators). Also the information is available online if you Google.
- Fingerprinting: Your local police station will be able to direct you to the nearest fingerprinting facility. Most states have their own fingerprint process on their website.
- Please remember to travel to your program abroad with all the documents that the consulate provides you.
Please read carefully the following important information:
- STUDENTS STAYING ABROAD OVER 90 DAYS, MUST HAVE A VISA. NO ONE MUST TRAVEL OR STAY IN EUROPE WITHOUT A LONG-TERM STUDENT VISA IF STAYING MORE THAN 90 DAYS. If you are a non-US or non-Canadian citizen, you must have a visa even for a shorter stay. ACA will not be responsible for any inconvenience you may face travelling in and around Europe without valid visa documents. The foreign government can fine and/or deport you if this law is broken.
- A VISA IS A STAMP IN YOUR PASSPORT. Therefore, a valid passport is required before applying for a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months longer than your anticipated stay abroad.
- IF YOU HAVE DUAL CITIZENSHIP, DO NOT SWITCH PASSPORTS. If you use an American passport, then you must only use that one, no matter where you travel.
- DO NOT BUY AIRLINE TICKETS BEFORE GETTING YOUR VISA. You must have the entry and exit dates. More detailed information and important documents will be provided in your acceptance package. The visa office requires only a round-trip travel itinerary–not an actual ticket. However, some consulates insist upon an actual round-trip ticket. Please check with your host country’s consulate.
- ACA WILL PROVIDE SOME IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR A STUDENT VISA. A list of requirements will be enclosed in your acceptance package. Obtaining a student visa is entirely your responsibility as a student.
- CHECK YOUR HOST COUNTRY CONSULATE’S WEBSITE FOR ANY CHANGE IN REGULATIONS OR REQUIREMENTS. These things change often. However, please contact the ACA office before you take any action.
- ACA WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CHANGES IN YOUR CONSULATE’S REGULATIONS OR FOR THE OUTCOME OF YOUR VISA REQUEST. However, please contact the ACA office for assistance with ANY visa situation. Your home school CANNOT help you with your visa issues.
- YOUR VISA MUST BE OBTAINED IN THE COUNTRY OF YOUR RESIDENCE BEFORE LEAVING. Students cannot apply for any visa while in a foreign country (except for Argentina, Austria, and Germany). Most consulates require the applicant/student to appear in person at least once. Appointments are made on the consulate’s website.
- KEEP SECURE ALL THE DOCUMENTS ACA SENDS. Make and keep copies of all documents before you submit them to the consulate.