A visa is an official document placed within your passport by a foreign government, allowing you to legally travel to, from, and within that particular country or region for a specific period of time and for a specific purpose. Countries typically break visas down into types that reflect the purpose of your visit—tourism, study, business, and work, among other varied classifications. You may be denied entry into, or be deported from, a country for which you have not obtained a required visa.
How to obtain a visa
Securing a visa is an individual responsibility. Although it can be a lengthy and complicated process, it generally requires no expertise other than patience and an ability to read carefully and pay attention to required details. It also requires time—to determine which visa type is appropriate, to complete the application, and for visa processing by the government of the country to which you’re hoping to travel. Always plan for processing time when securing a visa that can take from a few days up to ten weeks.
For country-specific visa information, please direct your inquiries to to the CIBT widget above (or another visa service provider of your choice), or the consulate of the country to which you plan to travel. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is not legally in a position to offer advice on obtaining a visa. You can find the most up-to-date visa information by contacting the consulate or embassy of the country to which you hope to travel.
US Citizens can find current visa requirements and health and safety travel information on the US State Department website.
is a document issued by your national government proving your identity and nationality. Almost all international travel requires that you have and carry a passport. When traveling ouside the US, some countries require the passport to be valid for six months upon entry. When applying for a visa, many consulates will require that you have at least two blank visa pages to process your visa. Your passport will be sent with your visa application, so please note that you cannot travel abroad during the visa processing period. UNL faculty, staff and students can apply for a U.S. Passport at the Passport Acceptance Office located in the Business Service Complex at 1700 Y Street. Please visit passport.unl.edu for information.
Visa processing options
Visa applications can be complex and typically contain many details that must be followed or risk application denial. Most travel professionals recommend using a third-party visa service that will work directly with the consulate of the country to which you are traveling.
Visa processing services are fee-based, but they also serve as the experts in their field. Since consulates have jurisdiction to change visa requirements on a regular basis, and they do make changes quite regularly and unexpectedly, using a visa service can give you some peace of mind that your application will be handled efficiently and correctly. Visa service agencies serve as the intermediary between you and the consulate and will provide feedback or request additional materials as needed so that your application will be complete upon submission.
UNL Procurement maintains an account through the visa processing service CIBT. UNL faculty, staff, and students will recieve a 40% discount on CIBT service fees by using our online account linked above. In addition, UNL faculty, staff, and students will have access to customized customer support and real-time order tracking through our customized portal.
Students and scholars with citizenship from countries outside the US should understand that visa requirements often vary based on the citizenship of the traveler. You will need to contact your destination country's embassy/consulate for information about what is required to obtain a visa and/or travel to that country.
If you are an international student or scholar at UNL and you have questions about your visa, please contact UNL's International Student and Scholar Office for assistance.
All UNL undergraduate and graduate student travelers must register with UNL’s Education Abroad Office and enroll in UNL's HTH Worldwide insurance. According to the Chancellor's Policy Memorandum 2013-10: "It will be assumed that any education abroad activity not registered with the UNL Education Abroad Office is not sponsored by the University and thus its participants are not eligible for scholarships, travel reimbursement, or academic credit."
International Travel as a UNL employee:
For details about foreign travel policies, definitions, and an online currency converter, please visit UNL Travel Services Foreign Travel Webpage.
Travel Warning reminder: Executive Memorandum No. 25
"It is the policy of the University of Nebraska that no university sponsored program of travel for students and members of the general public shall depart from the United States for a country for which the US Department of State has issued a Travel Warning or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Travel Health Notice at Warning Level 3. If such a warning is issued after departure, the guidance provided by the warning shall be followed by participants in the affected area until the senior international officer for the University of Nebraska provides guidance and direction regarding the steps necessary to insure health and safety, including possible return to the United States.”
For more details, please see the State Department Travel Warning list.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
Overseas Evacuation Insurance
On February 1, 2015, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln secured blanket international travel coverage for all faculty and staff who travel outside the country on UNL business with the correct visa. Faculty and staff no longer need to purchase this insurance individually. See details at: http://travel.unl.edu/new-evacuation-coverage-unl-personnel-traveling-abroad.
Are you traveling internationally? Some countries are subject to US federal international travel and Export Control regulations. Please see the UNL Office of Research Compliance Services guidelines for international travel and research. If you are traveling internationally, you must complete a travel checklist within five days of booking your flight. Please see the UNL guidelines along with the required travel checklist for your use.