A visa is an endorsement or stamp inserted by consular officials of a foreign country into a passport that legally authorizes the bearer to visit, study, reside, or work in that foreign country for a specified time period.

It is the students’ responsibility to obtain any and all required visas before departing for their program location.

U.S. Citizen Visa Requirements

BOSP center locations that always require a visa:

  • Australia
  • Istanbul
  • Kyoto

BOSP center locations that sometimes require a visa:

  • Berlin
  • Florence
  • Madrid
  • Paris

U.S Citizens going to the Berlin, Florence, Madrid, and Paris Programs

  • Germany, Italy, France, and Spain are all part of the 26 countries that signed the Schengen Agreement. This agreement standardizes visa requirements and eliminates border control between them. As a U.S. citizen, you may continuously travel within the Schengen countries for 90 out of 180 days. Most quarter-long programs are between 75-85 days, leaving few additional days for travel. For more information regarding the Schengen countries, please read the Schengen Fact Sheet.
  • For up-to-date information on international visa requirements as a U.S. citizen, please visit the Country Specific Information section of the U.S. Department of State website.

Non-U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Resident Visa Requirements

Depending on their nationality, non-U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States are normally required to apply for a visa for all of our overseas programs. With a typically longer processing time of 6-8 weeks, it is essential that non-U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents notify the Program Advisor of their immigration status as early as possible in the orientation quarter in order to facilitate the visa application process.

All participating non-U.S. citizens who are studying at Stanford on a F-1 or J-1 status need to request a “travel signature” on their DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) or I-20 from the Bechtel International Center before departure. You will be permitted to re-enter the U.S. on the same student status only if you get this signature before you leave. For more information, visit the Bechtel International Center site.

CONSULAR and government website links

More information about visa requirements can be found on these consular and government websites:

Statement of Student Responsibility (Taken from the BOSP Participation Agreement)

“I understand that I am subject to the laws and immigration regulations of the host country and agree to abide by all such laws and regulations. I am responsible for completing all the necessary steps to obtain a visa (if required) in a timely manner and am responsible for associated costs. I understand that I am fully responsible for the visa process and Stanford University cannot guarantee that the appropriate visa will be issued to me.”

  • For up-to-date information on visa requirements at each program location, please go to the website of the U.S. consulate or embassy of the country that you will be traveling to.
  • Information on visa requirements for Overseas Seminars can be found on individual program pages.
  • Learn more about Visas for Students Abroad.

Recommended Visa Service Providers

VisaCentral by CIBT 

VisaCentral by CIBT offers online Stanford rates, or contact the local office:

  • In person: 555 Montgomery St. Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94111

                              Walk-in hours:  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • By phone: (877) 535-0688

VisaBy Casto for Stanford Travel Program

VisaBy Casto offers special rates for Stanford online, or through the local office:

  • Address: 2560 North First Street, Suite 150, San Jose, CA 95131
  • By phone: (408) 553-4735
  • By email: