Visas & Passports
As a satellite campus of an American college, Kasteel Well does not adhere to the Dutch government's higher education regulations; therefore, Kasteel Well students are not eligible to apply for student visas. Participants are limited to a maximum 90-day stay in the Schengen Region (see below).
U.S. Passport Holders
Kasteel Well does not adhere to the Dutch government’s higher education regulations; therefore, Kasteel Well students are NOT eligible to apply for student visas. Participants are limited to a 90-day stay in the Schengen Region without a visa. This is why we have specific arrival and departure dates.
During each 180-day period, you have 90 days of visa-free travel within the Schengen area. When you leave the Schengen area after 90 days, you must wait another 90 days before you can enter the Schengen area again without a visa.
Non-U.S., Non-E.U. Passport Holders
Non-U.S. and non-E.U. passport holders may need to obtain a Schengen Visa in order to attend the Kasteel Well Program. Please consult with David Griffin, Director of International Study and External Programs, and the Dutch consulate, embassy in the U.S., or in your home country for further information, requirements, and procedures.
The Schengen Region
All Schengen countries are in Europe. However, it should not be confused with the EU (European Union). The Schengen Area is a group of European countries which have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. The Schengen Region functions as a single country for international travel purposes.
U.S. Passport holders are advised not travel within the Schengen Region 3 months prior to the start of the program, and 3 months after the end of the program. Travelers who exceed the 90 days within 180 days period of legal stay in the Schengen area risk being fined, deported and even banned from entering the entire Schengen area for a period of time. Please visit this site for more information on overstaying the 90-day limit. You can read more information about how a 90 day Schengen stay is calculated here.
It is important to get your passport stamped when entering the Schengen area. Every American castle student should get their passport stamped when entering or exiting a Schengen country. This way, they can keep track of the exact number of days spent in the Schengen Region. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen point of entry could result in a fine or create difficulties during encounters with police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area.
SCHENGEN COUNTRIES: The Schengen Region includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. By virtue of their location the European microstates, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are also included in the Schengen Region. Croatia became part of the EU on July 1, 2013 but has not yet joined the Schengen Region.
NON-SCHENGEN COUNTRIES: United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and No. Ireland) and The Republic of Ireland are not part of the Schengen Region. Bulgaria, Cypress, and Romania are are NOT part of the Schengen Region as of February 25, 2014.
View more information on the Schengen Regions »
Obtaining a Passport
Any U.S. citizen traveling to Europe must have a valid passport that does not expire within the time period of his or her travel plus 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting. To obtain a passport, you can visit a passport acceptance facility or you can phone your local courthouse, post office, or city/town hall to see if they offer passport services. Bring with you the following materials:
- $110 fee plus $25 fee to be paid to the acceptance facility (or $110 for renewal of passport)
- Two (2) official passport photos (see below link to passport photo requirements)
- Proof of U.S. citizenship (i.e., previous passport, certified birth certificate, etc.)
- Proof of identity (i.e., driver’s license, previous passport, government I.D., etc.)
Once your application is complete, your passport should be mailed to you within 25 business days. It will be valid for ten (10) years.
If you live in the Boston area and need to obtain a passport within 14 days of departure, visit the passport office in the Thomas P. O’Neill Federal Building, 10 Causeway Street (next to the TD Banknorth Garden), Room 247.
View comprehensive information on obtaining U.S. passports and download the application forms and instructions. Please make arrangements to secure your passport as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute, you will have to pay an additional $60 to expedite your application.
- Your passport is your only legal, official proof of citizenship and will be your most important possession while traveling.
- You must carry your passport with you at all times while in Europe. Any police officer can ask for your identification; if you don't provide it, you will be fined.
- You may need to use your passport when making reservations for plane and train and often when using a transportation ticket.
- REMEMBER TO SIGN YOUR PASSPORT; it is not valid until you do.
- Store it in the same place every time you travel. Keep track of it at all times.
- In the event it is lost or stolen, contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate and the local police in the country in which you are traveling.
- Leave a photocopy of your passport with your parents or responsible family member so they can assist you from home.
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in your dorm room and with you, or in your luggage when traveling.
- If necessary, the U.S. State Department maintains a website specifically for students studying abroad.
- View passport photo instructions.