Visas and Passports

People with flags photo taken by NMU student
Photo by Darcie Cook,
Quito, Ecuador

NMU strongly believes it is the student’s responsibility to know and comply with all laws and regulations concerning international travel.  In many cases, our partner programs will provide advice and the necessary admission documents a student will need to present to the embassy or consulate for the host country/destination. International Programs can provide helpful Web sites and help you determine your jurisdiction – for Michigan residents, usually in Chicago.  It is ALWAYS advisable to telephone or e-mail the consulate for your jurisdiction for up-to-date, accurate information. NMU is in no way responsible for visa acquisition and/or denial. 


Your passport is a government document that identifies your citizenship.You must have a passport to exit or enter the United States.  If you have a passport that will expire before you return to the United States, you must apply to have your passport renewed before you leave.

If you do not have a current passport, you should apply for one immediately. In many cases, your host country visa process will require you to submit your passport.You will want to allow time for its return prior to your departure date. 

Your application can be made at any U.S. State Department Passport Office.  They are located in Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago, as well as many federal and state courthouses and post offices.

In Marquette, you can apply for a passport at the Marquette County Clerk’s Office, located in the old courthouse building on Third and Baraga Streets, or at the Peter White Public Library reference desk, located on North Front Street, at the corner of East Ridge.

Information concerning passport applications – including official application form(s) – can be downloaded from:


A visa is an entry/residency permit and official permission granted by the authorities of the country(ies) where you will study or travel.  The visa outlines the terms of your permission to enter and remain in the country.  A visa is usually stamped in your passport, but in some cases may be a separate document.  Some countries will require a visa for student residency, others do not.  Visa requirements are individual to each country and are largely determined by treaty and are to some degree reciprocal.

To find out whether you need to apply for a student visa, you must contact the country’s embassy or its consulate in the United States.   The process requires your U.S. passport and may take some time, so start the application process EARLY.

The cost and requirements for obtaining a visa vary.  It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit, including those you plan to visit before and after your study abroad program.  You can consult with an authorized travel agent or check the following Web sites:

Visas are serious business.  You may be denied entry into, or be deported from, a country for which you have not obtained a required visa.  For some countries, certain medical requirements must be met before a visa is issued; many countries will not issue visas to persons with any type of police record.

International Programs and Northern Michigan University are in no way responsible for obtaining visas nor are they in any way responsible for visa denial.

NON-U.S. Citizens

If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements.  You may find the following Web sites useful:

Foreign consulate offices:

Embassies and Consulates:

The procedures you will follow may be different from those for U.S. citizens.  It is important to begin the process early in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.  International NMU students must visit International Programs to obtain a signature on visa documents which permit re-entry to the United States for continued studies at NMU.