Visa Information 2020

SVA Destinations Visa Information for 2020
The following information is intended as a resource.  SVA makes every effort to provide students with updated information, but the College is not responsible for changes in immigration requirements, fees, and processes or the approval/rejection of visa applications.  Please note: SVA Destinations and the International Student Office are not responsible for obtaining the student’s visa.  Applicants must obtain their own visas.

U.S. Department of State, Study Abroad site

Visas for Education Abroad
NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Schengen (Short Stay) Visa, Frequently Asked Questions

Schengen visa is a single visa for visiting 26 European countries including SVA Destinations:
France, Italy and Spain. It is issued for short stays up to 90 days. You should apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination, the one where you will spend the longer period of time. For example, if you are attending a program in France but plan to visit Italy afterwards, apply for the Schengen visa at the Consulate of France in New York City.”For more information, visit

Insurance Coverage
All SVA Destinations program participants are covered by International SOS.  Detailed information will be given to students who register.  To obtain the insurance coverage letter required for your visa application, please contact Melinda Richardson, Manager of SVA Global,

It is recommended that you also check with your medical insurance provider whether coverage is extended during your trip abroad.


Applying for a U.S. Passport
Passport must be valid for six-months from the expected date of return from travel.  Processing takes approximately 4-6 weeks.

Please submit a copy of your passport with your program registration. If you are an American citizen, visas are generally not required to travel for up to three months in duration. However, requirements change frequently and students should contact the appropriate consulate for up-to-date information. Please visit for more information.

Applying for a new U.S. passport Renew a U.S. passport

Renew a U.S. passport


International students should consult with the International Student Advisor (Designated School Official) of your school regarding visas for your destination, also to ensure that you have a valid visa and endorsement to re-enter the U.S.  SVA students may contact the International Student Office:, 212.592.2236. 

1. Check your U.S. visa expiration date
You must make sure your U.S. visa (F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor, etc.) has not expired so that you will be able to re-enter the U.S. when returning from the SVA Destinations program. If your visa will expire during the summer while you are traveling outside of the U.S., you must return to your home country to renew the visa before you can return to the U.S. to resume studying at SVA.  Also, make sure the travel signature on your I-20 is valid for re-entry (F-1 students only). Please visit the International Student Office for U.S. visa immigration advice.

2. Make plans for all countries you will travel to and through
You will need to know your complete travel plans to make sure you have visas for every country you travel through, before, during, or after the SVA Destinations program. You may be required to apply for visas for some or all of these countries. For example, if you plan to pass through a country on the way to your destination country, don’t forget to check if a “transit visa” is required.

3. Apply for the visa as soon as possible
In general, you can apply for the visa up to 90-days before the date you are scheduled to arrive in that country.  You should gather all the application materials by 3-months before the start of the program.  If you wait too long to apply for the visa, you might not receive it in time to attend the SVA Destination program. If you cannot attend the program because you do not have a visa, you may still have to pay the entire program fee. For withdrawal and refund policies, please contact your program coordinator or

4. Apply for the visa from the U.S. (not from your home country)
Applying from the U.S. is faster and easier because you are an SVA student and you live in the U.S. for most of the year.  If you apply from your home country, the application can be difficult.  If your program takes place in May or June, you might not have enough time to apply for the visa in your home country after you complete the spring semester. Please contact SVA’s International Student Office to review your travel plans before you leave the U.S.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators, webinar training: “Advising International Students on Education Abroad,” and Michigan State University, Office of Study Abroad.

Traveling to Cuba
SVA’s Destinations program to Havana is covered under the Education License. U.S. citizens do not need to apply for a visa. International students may check with their home country’s Embassy in Cuba.

Visit the Consulate General’s web page to review details of the visa application requirements.

British Consulate General in New York
845 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Tel 212.745.0200
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.K. to study for less than 6-months. Students from countries required a visa must apply for the short-term study visa.
Check if you need a U.K. visa

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.K. to study for less than 6-months.  Students from countries required a visa must apply for the short term study visa.

Consulate General of France in New York
To streamline the visa application process and reduce waiting times, the Consulates of France in the USA have outsourced the collection of visa applications to VFS Global. VFS Centers are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington. Applicants can apply at the Center of their choice, regardless of their place of residence.

The VFS Center In New York
145 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
Tel 212.784.6157 or 347.252.3055
Check if you need a visa to France

American citizens who intend to study in France for less than 90 days do not need a visa.

Citizens of many other countries are not required to obtain a visa to enter France as long as their visit (for tourism or business) does not exceed 90 days over a period of 6 months.

Students from other countries may need to apply for the short stay student visa (Schengen visa).

Visit the online visa wizard tool to determine whether you need a visa. Complete the brief questionnaire even if you know you need a visa.  At the end of the questionnaire, you will be given a list of required items for your visa appointment and an amount of money in Euro that the visa will cost you.

Consulate General of Italy in New York

690 Park Avenue (corner of 69th Street)
New York, NY 10065
Tel 212.439.8607
Check if you need a visa to Italy

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Italy for up to 90-days.  Students from countries required a visa must apply for the short stay Schengen Visa.

Consulate General of Ireland
345 Park Ave
New York, NY 10154
Check if you need a visa to Ireland

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Ireland for up to 90-days.  Students from countries required a visa must apply for the short-stay visa.

Consulate General of Japan in New York
299 Park Avenue
(between 48th and 49th Streets)
New York, NY 10171
Tel 212.888.0889
Check if you need a visa to Japan

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Japan for up to 90-days. See this web site regarding visa exemptions.  Students from other countries may need to apply for the Temporary Visitor Visa.

Consulate General of Mexico in New York
27 East 39 Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel 212.217.6400

U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents do not need a visa to enter Mexico.  Other nationals visiting Mexico for tourist, business or transit won’t need a Mexican visa as long as they have a valid U.S. visa in their passport.  If your F-1 student visa is still valid during the SVA Destinations program duration, you do not need to apply for a visa to enter Mexico. If your F-1 visa is expired or would have expired by then, either plan to return to your home country to renew your F-1 visa prior to the program, or apply for a visa to enter Mexico.

The application form is available here.

Consulate General of Spain in New York
150 East 58th Street, 30th floor
New York, N.Y.10155
Tel 212.355.4080

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to study in Spain for less than 90 days.  The Student visa must be obtained for studies under 3 months by all nationals that are not EU citizens or they are from the countries that require visas to travel to the Schengen countries.

Updated 2/18/2019