Depending on your nationality and your destination, you may require a VISA or Study Permit in order to study abroad.

International exchange students will generally require a visa/study permit for their study abroad destination unless they hold a passport for the country they will study abroad in. Visa requirements will be available on the immigration website for your destination. Students are responsible for their visa applications, and need to do their own research to ascertain if a visa is required for their destination.

General Visa Application Process

If a visa is required, generally you will be asked to complete the following:

  1. Receive an acceptance letter from your host. You cannot apply for your student visa without a formal acceptance letter. Your host university will issue this to you. You could also be sent additional documents to support your visa application such as DS-2019 for the USA, or enrolment confirmation from Australia.
  2. Complete an application form. As soon as you receive your acceptance letter and documentation from your host, you should apply for your visa. Generally this will mean completing an application form, paying a processing fee or fees, preparing supporting documentation, and booking an appointment (if required).
  3. It's important to check lead times for interviews or visa processing to ensure you have enough time to apply for your visa before you leave for your destination. Lead times are available on the relevant embassy websites.
  4. Prepare your documentation. Common documents required for visa applications are:
    • A passport valid for at least six months
    • Completed visa application forms
    • Host university offer letter
    • Passport sized photographs
    • A receipt confirming the application fee has been paid
    • Confirmation letter from your Exchange coordinator at University of Galway stating you will be returning to University of Galway after your exchange programme to complete your studies and graduate
    • Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses during the period of your study. The level of financial evidence you will need to show will differ depending on your destination but will be available on the host countries embassy website. You can use the following as proof of funds:
      • Up to date personal bank statements
      • Letter from your bank on headed paper
      • You may be able to use bank statements from a parent or guardian providing a letter is also provided from the account holder confirming the funds are available to you
      • Confirmation of your SUSI funding and the amount you receive

USA Visa Application Process

For students travelling to the USA, you will require a Visa unless you hold a USA passport. Most students will apply for an 'Exchange Visitor Visa' It's important to consult your local embassy for the most up to date information regarding visa processing. There is further information available on the US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs website -

Step-by-Step Visa Application USA