Passports & Visas-Study Abroad - Carnegie Mellon University

Passports & Visas

All international travel requires a valid passport.

Have a passport?

Ensure that a current passport will be valid for at least 6 months beyond the study abroad program’s end date.

Need a passport?

U.S. passport applications must be done in person at a designated site such as a courthouse or post office. Passport applications can take approximately 6 weeks to process. See the U.S. State Department website at for more details.

Need to renew a passport?

U.S. passports may be renewed by mail only if it expired after age 18 or less than 2 years ago. Renewal forms are available online at and at passport agencies. The process generally takes about 4-6 weeks but can take up to 12 weeks, so plan ahead!

The process for renewing a passport that was originally issued to a minor is the same as applying for the first time.

Need a visa?

A visa states the purpose of entry into a foreign country and is required by most countries. Apply early. This process can take up to several months. A valid passport is required to apply for a visa. It is important to find out what the visa requirements are for the host country. Embassies serve citizens based on home address, so students need to go to the Foreign Embassy closest to their hometown. This may mean taking time out of winter or spring break to visit the consulate or making a special trip home. For those with a Pittsburgh address, the New York embassies are generally the designated consulates.

Need a visa letter?

Some countries require a letter from the home institution (that’s us) verifying the payment method and ensuring that the student will return to the U.S. to complete their degree. Students who need a visa letter should complete the visa letter request form (.pdf) and submit it to the study abroad office on the 3rd floor of Warner Hall or email the form to Letters take 3-5 days to process and may be picked up at the front desk.