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Legal Considerations

No country approaches foreign visitors in exactly the same way and laws and regulations can change at any time. Thatís why it is so important to make sure that you are up to date about the requirements involved with your destination country. Trying to understand another countryís methods might seem daunting, but it is all understandable and itís in your best interest to know what youíll need to do before you leave and while youíre there.

1. Travel Documents

For U.S. nationals, a valid passport is required for travel to most countries.
Exceptions are Mexico, where a certified copy of your birth certificate may be used for stays up to 6 months, and Canada, where a photo ID such as a driver's license may suffice for stays up to 2 months, but entrance is at the discretion of the immigration officer upon arrival (better to have a birth certificate, or for stays over 90 days, a passport).

If you don't have a passport, inquire at your main post office or courthouse for requirements on how to obtain one. Allow two months for processing. In an emergency, you may be able to get a passport within days, directly from a Passport Office (call the U.S. Government information operator for a location nearest you), or through a passport service. Visa and passport expediting agencies charge a fee. Ask your travel agent for local services.

Make several copies of your passport ID page and other travel documents and leave one copy with a relative at home and bring two copies along with you, keeping them in separate places. Once you arrive at your destination, you may want to pack your passport in a safe place and carry one of the copies along with you.

You can register your passport at your country's embassy office upon your arrival in a foreign country if you chose to do so. This greatly expedites the process if your passport is lost or stolen.

Some countries (Taiwan, Brazil, etc.) require that all visitors have a visa. Most countries only require a visa for visitors intending a stay of over 90 days. This includes all European countries. A visa may be applied for through the consulate or embassy of the country to be visited. It is an endorsement made in your passport indicating that the intended purpose of your visit is acceptable to the foreign government. However, while the Visa will legitimize your entry into the country, often times you will need to procure additional documentation (such as a temporary residency permit) once you are in the country, in order to be able to stay for a period of time. Familiarize yourself with the procedure required before you leave, as you may have to bring extra documents with you.

Remember*****It is your responsibility to have the proper documents and to be aware of current procedures. Verify that there has been no "document change" when you call the airlines to confirm your flight at least 72 hours before your departure.

Health Innoculations
You may want to check with your local public health office or physician. Even though they are not required, they may be "recommended," especially if you are planning on traveling to remote areas.

Other documents may be needed if:

1. You are a minor (under age 18) traveling alone. For example, minors traveling to Mexico alone or with one parent need a notarized parent permission signed by both parents.
2. Your passport has a different (maiden) name.
3. You are taking children other than your own.

4. You will be visiting countries other than the country in which you're studying; etc. Most countries require "evidence of sufficient funds for your length of stay" and a return or continuing ticket.

Please note: Some countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your visit to that country.

2. Government Resources

Provided are links to various foreign and national government agencies as well as information provided by these agencies.

These pages will be going through changes as we find new links and information, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, please E-mail us and let us know! We welcome your ideas!

The United Nations Homepage
This website provides access to information regarding global initiatives launched by the United Nations, job opportunities around the world and general information for those seeking to broaden their intellectual and global horizons.

The Center for Strategic & International Studies
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is dedicated to the the study of international foreign policy and it's impact on relationships between countries all over the world.

CIA World Fact Book
Statistical information about any country can be found here, inlcuding information about each countries system of government, currency, population, etc.