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Passports and Visas


Everyone needs a valid U.S. passport to study abroad.

If you don't already have one, you should apply for a passport immediately.  The standard processing time can take from 4-6 weeks, but you need to plan for any delays and complications caused by misplaced documents, wrong mailing address, typos, or possible government shutdowns.  

Passport information and copies are required well in advance of study away departure dates.  There are many situations where passport information is needed to complete travel arrangements and those deadlines are set by airlines and other outside agencies.  Global Engagement has no control over those.

If you already have a passport, please check the expiration date to make sure it is valid for at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your study away program.  U.S. passports are valid for 10 years. 

Forms and instructions on how to apply for a new passport, either the first time or to renew, are available on the U.S. Department of State website.  The  DS-11 form (first time passport application) is also available in the Office of Global Engagement as well as copies of the current
Fee Chart 2023.pdf.  In addition to the appropriate government form, you will need the following documents to apply for a passport:
  • Your original birth certificate
  • A copy of your drivers license or state ID
  • Passport photo (this can be done at CVS, Walgreen's or photo studios.  U.S Post Office is able to take your photo when you apply)
If you want to know where you can apply, please visit Where to Apply for a Passport and type in your ZIP  Code. In LaGrange, you can apply at the following locations:
  • Main U.S. Post Office, 950 Lafayette Boulevard, 706-883-7126
  • Troup County Probate Court, 100 Ridley Avenue, 706-883-1690

Once your passport application has been submitted, you may track its process by accessing the Online Passport Application Status System or contacting the National Passport Information Center at , 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) to speak to a Customer Service Representative (Se habla español):
    Monday- Friday            8:00 am to 10:00 pm Eastern Time
    Saturday                     10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time
    *Excluding Federal Holidays

Expedited Service
Expedited service is available by mail and costs an additional $60 per application.  If you need a passport in a hurry, contact the Atlanta Passport Agency, operated by the U.S. Department of State. The Atlanta Passport Agency only serves customers who are traveling within two weeks or submitting their passports for foreign visas within 4 weeks. To apply at the Agency you must schedule an appointment by calling this 24-hour, toll-free number:

Atlanta Passport Agency
230 Peachtree St NW, Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30303

Appointments Available From: 
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday
All Federal Holidays are excluded


For those students going to study in another country for less than eight (8) weeks, you will more than likely not have to get a student visa for that country, your passport will do.  If a tourist visa is required, it will be included in the course description and the faculty leading the program and the Office of Global Engagement will provide instructions on what you will need to do.  You will need a valid passport before you can apply for a visa.

For those students who will be studying abroad for a semester or academic year, you will need a student visa from that country to show you have been approved to study there. Visa requirements and application processes vary greatly by country, so be sure to contact your host country’s embassy or consulate to learn the specifics. 

The Office of Global Engagement or the program provider will help you with information about visa requirements specific to your host country. Some providers will help you apply for your visa; others leave it up to the student to arrange their visa. Check your program information to learn more about the procedures.