A passport is required for everyone traveling out of the country. Many times this can be a time consuming process, so taking care of this early on in your travel preparations is the best idea. Keep in mind that all students studying outside of the U.S. will need to have a passport before departure and a copy of your passport will be needed in the UALR Office of International Services.
A visa is permission granted to foreign visitors to enter a country provided the visitor presents the proper documents at the port of entry. This permission is in the form of a stamp placed in your passport. Visas can be obtained from the embassy of the country you wish to visit. Usually you will complete the necessary forms and send your passport, application form, and additional requested information to the consulate located in the U.S. Other information may include proof of health insurance, admission letter from host institution, and/or financial verification of bank acccounts.
Applying for a Passport
To begin the application process for first time adult applicants you should:
1) Download and complete the Application Form:
- The application can be found on the following website: www.travel.state.gov
- Click on Passports and then First-Time Adult Applicants
2) Get your passport pictures taken.
- Passport Pictures can be taken at Walgreens (across the street from campus) and/or at the Main Post Office (600 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock) when you drop off your Passport Application. When you take you pictures, remember not to wearsunglasses or a hat ā and do not smile.
3) Documents to bring with you:
- Completed Passport Application ā NOT SIGNED
- Passport Pictures
- Your certified birth certificate and one photo copyā you may get a copy of this at the County Health Department in Little Rock
- Your Valid Driverās License and one photo copy
- Your checkbook, debit card, or cash to pay the fee
4) Take your Application and the require documents to a Passport Acceptance Facility
- The closest Passport Application Facility is the Main Post Office in Little Rock. The address is 600 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, AR. Passports are accepted from 8am to 4pm (Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri) and 8am to 3pm (Thurs) ā the office is closed for lunch from 11:30am to 12:30pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do I need to get a Passport Book and Card?
- You will need a Passport Book to travel by air to all countries.
- You DO NOT need a passport card. Passport cards are designed for individuals who drive across the border to Canada or Mexico on a regular basis.
2) How much is the application fee?
- The current cost for an Adult Passport Book is application fee $110 plus execution fee $25 = US $135*. Rate is subject to change. You may find the most up to date rates on the website www.travel.state.gov.
Make several photocopies of your passport. Give one to the Office of International Services for your file, leave a copy at home with your family, and carry a copy with you at all times when you are overseas. Be sure to keep an additional copy with your belongings. If you should lose your passport, the copies may speed up the process of replacing it. If this happens, immediately notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
How do I know if I need a visa?
U.S. citizens traveling to a European Union nation for less than 90 days generally do NOT require visas.
You may need a visa if any ONE of the following statements apply to you:
- You are not a U.S. citizen
- You will be staying abroad for more than 90 days
- You are visiting a country outside of the European Union
You can find out if you need a visa by contacting the consular section of the embassy of the country you plan to visit. You can find the consulate contact information at www.embassy.org/embassies/. Read the instructions carefully, they may require you to call, fax, or e-mail your request to them. Others may not have a website so you will have to call.
Many embassies have regional consulates that serve several states. Find the contact information for the consulate that serves the state of your permanant address. Most consulates serving Arkansas are located in Houston, Dallas, or New Orleans.
When contacting consulate for instructions, be prepared to provide the following information:
- purpose of your visit
- the institution in which you will study
- the date of your departure
- the date of your return
- the maximum amount of time you plan to spend in that nation.
Some consulates will require you to fax this information to them and then they will send you a visa application.
Apply early as it may take 3 months to receive your visa. Different countries have different regulations regarding visas and not all nations require that you obtain a visa, it all depends on your country of citizenship, the purpose your visit, and length of time your stay. Most European destinations do not require a visa if your visit is for 90 days or less.
Mailing Your Passport and Visa
Your passport & visa application should be mailed via trackable overnight express mail. It is highly recommended that you pre-purchase a return trackable overnight express mail envelope for the consulate to use to return your passport and visa to you. Some consulates may require you to apply for the visa in person. This can require travel to Houston, New Orleans, Dallas, or Kansas City.
Where can I find additional help?
You can get more information about passports on line at Passport Services or by calling National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778.
Information and extra help with visa application and processing can be found at Travel.State.Gov
Help with your visa and passport application can be obtained fromĀ the Programs Abroad Coordinator or the Office of International Services.