Student Visas

Depending on which site you select for your API program, the length of your program, and your country of citizenship, you may be required to apply for a student visa in order to enter the host country for purposes of study. API will provide guidance and the required documents for the student visa process after you have confirmed participation in your program.

Policies
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A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT COVID

Because most people were grounded over the last couple of years, there is high demand for passports and visas. Consulates are overwhelmed and the process for acquiring passports and visas is greatly enlongated. It is critically important that you *get started early* if you want to get your paperwork in time. Please do not delay in completing your onboarding forms and working with your Program Coordinator to complete this critical process.

The Basics of Securing a Student Visa

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What is a visa exactly?

A student visa, which is an official stamp or seal that is affixed to the inside of your passport before your departure, can only be granted to you by the consulate if you supply the proper documentation. A consulate is an official office of the government of a particular country that is based in the territory of another. 

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Who needs a student visa?

Your Program Coordinator will confirm if you are required to obtain a student visa. While it varies by country, generally, you will need to obtain a student visa if:

  • Your program is longer than 90 days.
  • You do not have citizenship in the country to which you are travelling.

If your program requires a visa and you do not obtain one, you risk being denied entry into the country or of being deported after you arrive. 

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How long does it take to get a visa?

This varies by consulate, but it can take time and it is best to plan ahead. The sooner you complete your API application, enrollment and onboarding forms, the quicker you can begin applying for your visa. When we receive your application, we will advise you if we feel that you do not have sufficient time to obtain the visa.

Note: You will not be able to travel internationally between the time that you submit your visa application and when your visa/passport is returned to you. Do not make international travel plans prior to the start of your program.

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How do I get a student visa?

There is no single application for a student visa as the requirements differ from country to country. Your API Program Coordinator will let you know if your program requires a visa, and will provide you with information outlining the steps to acquiring one. There is no single, universal application for a student visa as the requirements differ from country to country, and may vary by consulate as well. Additional information about the documents that your Program Coordinator will provide is in the “What do I need” section, and more information by country is below.

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What do I need for my visa appointment?

  • Passport – Check your passport to ensure that the expiration date is not within 6 months of the end date of your program. If so, you will need to apply to secure a new one, and you may need to pay for the expedited service (depending on timing). Instructions for obtaining or renewing a passport are available from the US Department of State by clicking here.
  • API Acceptance Letter – Students will receive this letter by mail or email if required by the consulate. It will provide verification that you have been accepted into an API program and are eligible to apply for a student visa.
  • API Visa Letter –  All students will receive this letter from API by mail if it is required by the consulate. It is addressed to the the appropriate Consulate Official and provides verification of enrollment, proof of insurance coverage, and a guarantee of living expenses (including room & board) for your time abroad, as specified on the Consulate’s list of visa requirements.
  • CISI Insurance Letter –  All students will receive this letter from API by mail or email. This will serve as your proof of insurance coverage for your time abroad.
  • Letter of Acceptance from the Host University – This is proof that you are enrolled in the host university abroad.
  • Express Authorization of Caretaker – For participants under the age of 18 only. Our Resident Directors will sign this letter indicating their willingness to be a caretaker for a minor.
  • Additional Requirements by Country – If your host country has additional requirements, you can find them using the links below.
  • Time – API will advise you when we receive your application if we feel that you do not have sufficient time to obtain your visa; however, we are not able to provide refunds for students who are unable to obtain a visa prior to their program start date. 
  • Note for Minors: There may be additional requirements for minors. Contact your consulate for details.

Take Advantage of

API Visa Processing

For many students studying abroad with API in Italy and Spain, API offers visa processing services that will help make the visa attainment experience faster and easier. To take advantage of this great benefit, apply early, and see more details by clicking the Learn More tabs by country below!

API VISA PROCESSING: SPAIN

To use our optional, but highly beneficial service, eligible students submit their passport and student visa application to API. API acts as a legal representative and submits the visa application to the Spanish Consulate on the student’s behalf. If you use this service, you do not need to go to the consulate in person. Only some Spanish Consulates allow API to act as a legal representative. If you are not eligible or do not wish to participate, you must apply for a student visa directly with the Spanish Consulate yourself.

DEADLINES HAVE PASSED FOR THIS SERVICE FOR SPRING.
Please speak with your program coordinator about how to proceed individually. 

Learn More
  • Eligibility: API is typically able to secure group visa appointments for students that fall within the jurisdictions of the Boston, Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco consulates. To be eligible for this service, you must hold a driver’s license from or attend school in a state within one of these consulate’s jurisdiction, and you must send your passport and materials to API by the visa deadline. 
  • Passport: Do you have a passport? If you do have a passport, please ensure that it is valid for at least 6 months after the program end date. Please note that we will need to provide your passport to the consulate with your visa application. If you do not yet have a passport, you will need to apply for one immediately and have it expedited! Instructions for obtaining or renewing a passport are available from the US Department of State here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html
  • Dates: Appointment dates are decided by the Spanish Consulates and we are unable to offer this service outside of these dates. We strongly recommend submitting your APIConnect application early in order to qualify for this service!
    • Chicago-October 7th
    • New York-October 11th
    • Miami-October 14th
    • Houston-October 15th
    • Boston-  October 21st 
    • LA and SF – October 31st
  • Cost: $185-API Visa Service fee plus $160 Spanish Consular fee (subject to change) for U.S passport holders. For non-U.S. passport holders, students must check their consulate’s website for the exact fee.
  • Service includes:
    • API will provide expert review of submitted visa materials along with individually customized feedback regarding any corrections needed for submission.
    • Optional one-on-one Spanish Visa Advising via zoom or phone call.
    • Assistance with completing and ensuring accuracy of visa application and supplemental information required for our batch processing appointment.  This will save you time and the expense of multiple trips to the Consulate.
    • API will appear on your behalf at the Consulate’s Office to submit your visa materials.  
    • After your student visa has been issued into your passport, API will retrieve it from the consulate and return it to you via FedEx.
  • Visa Processing Timeline: Though processing times vary by consulate, it typically takes 4-8 weeks to issue a visa once applications have been submitted. 
    • Rushed or expedited service is not available. Visa processing cannot be expedited-please plan accordingly! 
    • Visa requirements are set and governed by the Immigration policies of the Spanish government. API cannot influence or control the time it takes to process visas nor check the status of student’s applications. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate visa prior to departure.
  • How to Opt in: You can select this option in your APIConnect portal and our Visa Director will be in touch with more information.

API VISA PROCESSING: ITALY

API’s Visa service is an optional, but highly beneficial service. To use our service, eligible students submit their passport and student visa application to API in Austin. API acts as a legal representative and submits the visa application to the Italian consulate on the student’s behalf. If you use this service, you do not need to go to the consulate in person. Only some Italian Consulates allow API to act as a legal representative. If you are not eligible or do not wish to participate, you must apply for a student visa directly with the Italian Consulate yourself.

DEADLINES HAVE PASSED FOR THIS SERVICE FOR SPRING.
Please speak with your program coordinator about how to proceed individually. 

Learn More
  • Eligibility: API is typically able to secure a group visa appointment for students that fall within the jurisdiction of the Boston consulate.
    • To be eligible for this service, you must hold a driver’s license from or attend school in a state within the Boston consulate’s jurisdiction, and you must send your passport and materials to API by the visa deadline.
    • Additionally, only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible.
  • Dates: Appointment dates are decided by the Italian Consulates and this spring, you must submit all materials by October 24, 2022.
  • Cost: $185-API Visa Service fee plus $57.30 Italian Consular fee (subject to change) for U.S passport holders. For non-U.S. passport holders, students must check their consulate’s website for the exact fee. (A Permesso di Soggiorno will be obtained on-site. This permit has a fee of approximately 130 euro that will be paid via credit card or cash once in Italy.)
  • Service includes:
    • API will provide expert review of submitted visa materials along with individually customized feedback regarding any corrections needed for submission. This will reduce the offs of applications being rejected giving you peace of mind.
    • Optional one-on-one Italian Visa Advising via zoom or phone call.
    • Assistance with completing and ensuring accuracy of visa application and supplemental information required for our batch processing appointment.
    • API will appear on your behalf at the Consulate’s Office to submit your visa materials.
    • After your student visa has been issued into your passport, API will retrieve it from the consulate and return it to you via FedEx.
  • Visa Processing Timeline: The average processing time for the Boston consulate typically takes 15 days to issue a visa once applications have been submitted.
  • How to Opt in: API will email a student visa guide and deadline to all eligible students. For Spring 2023, the deadline is October 24th, 2022. 

Student Visa Resources by Country

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Asia/Middle East

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Latin America

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South Pacific

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