Global prep: learning about visas

By Pavel Zlatin & Skylar Diamond – 1851 Staff 

The Office of International Services held a visa information session on Thursday, April 4, at the Science and Technology Center from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. This session was intended to help students prepare for the visa application process they would endure as they get ready to study abroad.

Visas and passports are both important documents that possess individual qualities. According to Envoy Global Inc., a passport “is issued to a country’s citizens for international travel and identification,” but a visa is “an endorsement placed within a passport that grants the holder official permission to enter, leave or stay in a country for a specified time period.”

Program Coordinator of International Services Stacy Weltzin was responsible for giving the presentation that explained the importance of both aspects. Weltzin was as descriptive as possible when it came to explaining the types of visas that exist, which countries require a visa and how to go about obtaining a one.

In her presentation, Weltzin stressed the importance of time management. Every country has its own visa requirements, that is why it’s important to prepare and submit all the visa application materials in a timely manner. If something goes wrong, submitting materials with time to spare is the best way to prepare.

For countries that students normally visit, like Italy and Australia, specific visa application requirements are listed on the mandatory Canvas course all students studying abroad are enrolled in. For less traveled countries like Japan and Thailand, there is currently no information on Canvas about their visas. However, students are emailed by their program providers with specific information they will need.

According to Weltzin, a lot depends on the visa category a student needs. Lasell resources try to make the process as easy as possible for students. In many instances, students are required to work on the application process themselves. While some documents essential for the application process are provided by the school, some still need to be obtained by students. It all depends on each country’s visa requirements. According to junior communications major Michael Salem, who went on a Shoulder-to-Shoulder trip to Vietnam in January, Lasell did the entire process for the participating students.

Weltzin encouraged students to research visa requirements for their countries of interest and urged them not to hesitate and contact the office of International Services with any questions.

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