Travel Documents

Make sure you have a valid passport

Check the expiration date. Existing passports must be valid 6 months beyond your expected departure from the destination country. You can get passport photos on campus at Photoland, at the US Post Office on Jefferson St., local drugstores, UPS Stores, and many other places. Start the application process and see fees online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html . Turn in your application packet to the US Post Office at 900 Jefferson St, Olympia. TIMELINE: 3-6 months in advance to avoid last-minute fees for an expedited process. 

Entry Visas

To enter another country, you need some form of permission from that country’s government. Each countries' requirements are different. Allow plenty of time to research and ask questions. Visit the Office of International Programs & Services if you need help. There are several types of entry visas: 

  • Visa Waiver: Per agreement with many countries, no visa required for up to 90 days stay (varies). Tourist entry.
  • Permit upon Arrival: Some countries allow you to pay a fee upon arrival to receive a permit with an end date.
  • Visa: Some countries require you to apply for a visa (tourist, student, etc) in advance through their embassy in the US BEFORE departure. This may involve mailing your passport with an application, or sometimes appearing in person at the embassy or consulate for an interview. Sometimes you must submit biometrics or negative HIV test results.
  • Entry/Transit Permits & Fees: Some countries require you to complete an online form and pay a fee in advance. Save the receipt as evidence of payment at entry.
  • Europe’s Schengen Group: Many European countries are part of the Schengen Agreement, which governs the rules of entry and exit as a group, not by individual country. Visa waiver for up to 90 days; otherwise a visa or permit is needed.
  • Check entry/exit requirements at the U.S. State Department’s Country Information Pages, where you can also find links to embassy sites. TIMELINE: Check the rules 6 months in advance. Apply for visas 4-6 weeks in advance or per embassy rules.