Visas and Money
Traveling abroad doesn’t have to be confusing if you have the right information before you go. This section provides information about visas and banking for Americans traveling abroad. For information about visas for visitors coming to the U.S., see the Labor Considerations page. Your campus international scholars office advises scholars and students from around the globe in visa matters as they pertain to their programs of study. UC policy requires that all enquiries about visas for visitors to the UC campus should go through that office.
Each country has separate visa requirements for Americans traveling abroad. If you are not an American citizen, your visa requirements are specific to your citizenry. In some cases you can purchase visas at the airports when you arrive or as you cross borders. In other cases you must have applied for and purchased your visa ahead of time, often traveling to a personal interview in the process. You must have enough blank pages in your passport to accommodate all of your visas and stamps of entry/exit. Most countries require your passport to be valid for 3 months past your anticipated date of exit.
Consult the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Embassies for information on visa requirements, crime and security information, health and medical conditions, drug penalties, and localized hot spots. This is a good place to start learning about where you are going.
Before you leave for your travels, consider the following:
- Check and understand exchange rates before you travel.
- Notify your bank, credit card company, or other financial institutions that you are going overseas.Inform them of where you will be going so they won’t freeze your account.
- Talk to your bank about fees and ATMs.
- Have your credit card pin sent to you. It can take a few weeks.
- Download ATM mapping apps for your bank.
- Change traveler's checks only as you need them. They make you a target for theft and have high exchange rates.
- Determine which brand of traveler’s checks is accepted in your country, and where they can be cashed (usually the best hotel in town).
Exchange Rates and Currency Converter
See the UC Campus Directory for contact information if you have additional questions regarding Visas and Money.