Do your research early and determine whether you will need a visa and also, what you will need in order to process the visa application. Visit the website for the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be studying and any other countries you plan to visit. To begin the visa process, we recommend that you use the consulate or embassy website for information. Each consulate has jurisdictions based on regions within the United States. For example, residents of the state of Kansas must apply for French visas at the French Consulate located in Chicago. For a list of some embassy/consulate websites for the most popular destinations for WSU students click HERE.
Some consulates require that you apply in person; others will allow you to apply by mail. If you apply by mail, it is always advisable to use some sort of Express Service (again, each consulate will outline their policies on which services you may use. Some consulates will allow you to use UPS; some will only permit Federal Express Mail). It is important to use a mail provider like the ones listed above because they offer package tracking, which allows you to check on the status and delivery of your package. Do not send your visa application through regular mail as you could risk losing your passport and other important documents. If you must apply in person, then you will need to make travel arrangements at your own expense to visit the Consulate.
Other consulates allow or require you to apply via a visa agency, such as students applying for student visas for China. Visa agencies will apply for the student visa upon your behalf rather than you going in-person to the Consulate. In these cases, you can contact the Office of International Education study abroad advisor for information on recommended companies based on past student experiences. Students will be responsible for paying any fees to the visa agency in order to have their visas processed.