Passports & Visas


We recommend that any student considering studying abroad apply for a passport as soon as possible, even if you are not 100% sure that you will study abroad. Acquiring a passport can be a lengthy process, and it is best to give yourself ample time in order to avoid any possible delays or complications. Take note of the expiration date of your passport – many countries will not allow you to enter if your passport expires within six months of the departure date from the host country.

Applying For a Passport (U.S. Citizens)

  • The U.S. Department of State website should always be your first resource when applying for a passport.
  • If you have never applied for a passport before, you must bring all required documentation with you to a Passport Acceptance Facility. Find more information for first time applicants here.
  • The standard processing time for a passport is six weeks. Expedited processing is available at an additional cost, which cuts the processing time to three weeks. If you find that you need a passport within two weeks, you may apply in person at the Colorado Passport Agency in Aurora. Applications at the Colorado Passport Agency are accepted by appointment only.
  • You will need passport photos in order to apply for a passport. These can be taken at FedEx, UPS, and Walgreens. Do not attempt to use a photo you have taken yourself. The Department of State often does not accept these photos, and this will delay the processing of your passport application.

Renewing a Passport (U.S. Citizens)

  • You may apply to renew your passport by mail if your passport meets the following criteria:
    • Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;
    • Was issued when you were age 16 or older;
    • Was issued within the last 15 years; and
    • Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change.
  • If your current passport has been lost, damaged, or destroyed, you must apply in person.
  • If you are abroad while applying for a passport renewal, contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for passport renewal guidelines and requirements. Keep in mind that passport renewal requires surrendering your current passport, which may have travel implications if you are not in your home country.


It is your responsibility to ensure that you take all necessary steps to secure a visa. Note that you must have a valid passport before you begin your visa application process.

Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and length of stay abroad. Some CU Denver programs require a visa for U.S. citizens. Be sure to check with the Office of Global Education for travel requirements if you are unsure if you need a visa. Students who are non-U.S. citizens may face different visa requirements; be sure to do your research and check with the embassy of the country in which you wish to study. In general, students studying abroad for a period of 90 days or longer will require some sort of visa in the host country. Check the website of the host country’s embassy, or contact your program advisor for more information.

Because visa requirements vary from country to country and also vary by nationality, we cannot provide detailed information regarding the visa process. However, some documents that you may need to provide are proof of finances, proof of enrollment at the host university (if applicable), proof of health insurance, and a return ticket or proof of further travel. Some countries require students to apply for visas before arrival, while other countries allow students to make appointments for a visa after arrival.

Office of Global Education

CU Denver

Tivoli Student Union Annex

900 Auraria Parkway

Suite 339

Denver, CO 80204

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Suite C8000A

Aurora, CO 80045

(303) 315-2001

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