Frequently Asked Questions

Apprentice / Career


Journeyman


ISC


Masters


Volunteers



Apprentice / Career

Who can I talk with about missionary service?

Call the toll free number 1-888-422-6461 to speak with an Initial Contacts Representative who can answer questions about applying for missionary service. A representative is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), Monday through Thursday, to respond to individuals who have not begun the application process.

How can I prepare for future service?

 

Be sure to discuss your preparation with a Personnel Consultant who can advise you about each area listed below:

 

  • Education. If needed, begin working on your college and seminary requirements. You may want to begin working on biblical, missiological and theological training. 
  • Discipleship training. Look for opportunities to learn more about discipleship. Also, you might choose to order Explore Pathways to Missions, from IMB Resources at imb.org. This set of learning experiences is designed for individuals exploring the possibility of missionary service.
  • Experience. Go on an overseas volunteer trip. Be involved in mission projects locally.
  • Evangelism training. The primary role of a missionary is to share Christ, leading people to make a commitment to Christ. A course with a practicum is required.
  • Stewardship. Be a good steward of your financial resources. Consider IMB's debt limit for missionaries.
  • Physical health. Live a healthy lifestyle. Be in good health with a healthy body weight.
  • Learn about the nations. Do research on people groups. Pray. Become involved in ministry to internationals in the U.S. or abroad. Many have found English as a Second Language training and experience to be very helpful.

 

How long does it usually take to go through the application process?

Prospects work with a Personnel Consultant who will give the best estimate depending upon your situation. On average, the process takes more than a year. The process includes completion of paper work, personal interviews, missions EXPO, job match, medical clearance, appointment and orientation. Applicants can slow down the process to pray through questions and decisions that may arise.

Do I have to raise my own support?

No, your support comes from Southern Baptists who give to the Cooperative Program and to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

How do we find out about salary and benefits and when do they begin?

Salary and benefit information is shared with applicants during a missions EXPO held in various places around the U.S. Participation at an EXPO is by invitation only. Salary and benefits for apprentices start up to one month before Field Personnel Orientation near Richmond.

How often are appointment services held?

Appointment services are scheduled four times a year. They are conducted as a part of the regularly scheduled meetings of the trustees.

What are the medical requirements?

There are two primary issues regarding medical concerns. First, does the applicant or a family member have lifestyle/emotional issues that will make it difficult to live and function in another country?

Second, is there adequate medical care for the applicant or a family member where they will live?

IMB personnel consultants and the medical department will work with applicants to determine the answers to these questions. Candidates must receive medical clearance from the medical department before they can serve overseas.

Applicants must be in good health and have a healthy body weight. Many prospects start early to work on wellness issues to avoid delaying the process. Talk with your consultant if you have concerns.

What are the witnessing and evangelism expectations for new missionaries?

The first responsibility of all missionary personnel is to be involved in evangelism.

Apprentices will need formal evangelism training demonstrating an active witnessing lifestyle. They will be asked to share a recent experience where they were instrumental in leading someone to faith in Christ.

What are the debt limitations?

Missionary personnel receive adequate but limited support. Debt places a significant burden on the missionary. New personnel must have less than $1500 of unsecured debt at the time of appointment. No more than $200 a month can come out of your salary for debts back home (example school loan debts). During the application process, seek the counsel of your consultant about this issue.

What if I am divorced?

Individuals with a history of divorce (at least five years in the past) may be eligible to serve through the Apprentice/Career program.

Can a single man or woman be appointed?

Yes. IMB appoints a significant number of single men and women every year.

What are the age limits for Apprentice and Career? Age limits for children?

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.

Younger dependent children transition overseas easier than teens; however, we will carefully consider families with teenagers.

What if my spouse is not sure about his/her call?

IMB appoints both husbands and wives as missionaries and assumes that both are able to articulate a definite call to mission service. If your spouse is not comfortable with applying for service, then you would want to wait and simply make it a matter of prayer. We do not recommend that you pressure your spouse in any way. God will lead them if that is genuinely what you are supposed to do.

What is the role of the missionary wife?

When couples are appointed as Apprentice or Career personnel, both husbands and wives are appointed and are considered fully qualified missionaries. It is assumed that both the husband and wife will express a clear sense of call to missions. Both husbands and wives will complete all of the application materials.

Husbands generally are matched to the primary assignment of a job description. Their education, skills, and experience are considered when choosing this assignment.

The majority of wives are appointed in the role of community and home outreach. In many situations, the wives take on the responsibility of providing for the home and the education of their children. The community and home outreach assumes that the wives will also find a significant and meaningful area of ministry outside the home. At the same time they are able to limit that involvement when there are family responsibilities that need to be handled. This provides for the best of both worlds: the opportunity to dedicate time and energy on family needs while at the same time having a significant involvement in the ministry on the field. Consultants can offer additional information on job roles including situations where the couple does not have children on the field and the wife desires to fill a specific job request.

What do you do about children’s education?

IMB is dedicated to providing adequate education for your children. Each job request will define the educational options for missionary children. In general there are the following options: homeschooling, local national schools, local international schools, and boarding schools. This varies with assignments.

Can I take my pets?

For Career missionaries, taking a pet overseas can be a huge challenge. Many countries require that a pet be kept in quarantine for a period of time before letting it into the country and difficulties can arise later with other travel demands. IMB does not pay the cost of transporting pets overseas. Check with your consultant about this.

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Journeyman

How can I prepare for service?

Although not a prerequisite for short-term service, previous overseas experience is something that is extremely helpful for someone who desires to spend the next two years in ministry outside of the United States. Since IMB does international cross-cultural missions, perhaps you have some involvement in the international community here in the States. Consider talking to your church or associational office about ethnic ministry in your area or work with your BSM's international ministry on campus. A volunteer trip overseas is always good preparation. Formal witness training is a real plus.

Should I pursue a Journeyman position or seminary first?

If you wish to pursue both a Journeyman position and a seminary degree, there is no right or wrong way to approach this. If the passion for missions is strong right now, take the Journeyman route. Seminary will be there when you get back, and there may be scholarships available from the seminary for a returned Journeyman.

On the other hand, if missions is your life’s calling, you need to get prepared. Go ahead and get a seminary degree (or the needed 20 or 30 hours) then come through our application process.

You may want to check with the Southern Baptist seminaries about the International Church Planting degree that combines seminary education and IMB service on the field. This is also referred to as 2+2 or 2+3 programs.

How much financial support is provided?

Journeyman missionaries are fully funded through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®. This is the backbone of Southern Baptist missions. The only support that needs to be raised is prayer support!

We provide an adequate system of support that meets basic needs. Monthly support includes a base salary with cost of living supplement (field parity). The base salary remains constant, but the supplement may be adjusted up or down depending upon the cost of living in your particular country. Housing and work-related transportation are provided on the field, so basically the expenses you will pay out of your salary each month will be for your food, utilities, and personal expenses. If you choose to travel on your vacation time, that is also your personal expense.

Support begins the day you travel to start orientation. It is normally paid by direct deposit. Field Personnel Orientation expenses are covered by IMB. 

Is insurance provided?

IMB provides comprehensive medical insurance and modest life insurance. There are no retirement benefits provided through the Journeyman program. We also provide travel insurance. IMB continues to provide medical coverage for up to two months after completion of service (for a two-year term of service). After this, obtaining other coverage will be necessary.

What about my student loans?

If you have recently graduated and have student loans, you may go ahead and start paying them, but your payments must be within the limits of $75 per month if you are single and $125 per month if you are married. Many times, however, student loans are more than this debt limit. This does not necessarily disqualify you from service — student loans may be eligible for deferment until you return. Typically you will qualify for deferment because either 1) your monthly income is below the minimum required to make payments or 2) you are working for a non-profit organization overseas. Not all loans qualify for deferment — you will need to contact your lender to determine if deferment is an option.

What about other debt?

Get any consumer debt paid down to within our debt limits of $75 per month if you are single and $125 per month if you are married. It is always best to go to the field debt free.  Please note: this monthly payment limit includes the total of all payments. Most people will sell their car before coming to orientation or just after leaving orientation. If you choose to keep paying for your car (for when you get back), we will ask you to write a letter of how you intend to get within the debt limit.

Some people sell their homes while others will rent them out while they are overseas. If you rent, have someone here in the States who has Power of Attorney manage the property for you. Your consultant will request a letter from you explaining your plan of action to be within the debt limit.

What will my housing be like on the field?

Your housing will probably not compare to western standards, but it will be adequate in which to live. Depending upon the country and the city, you may live in a house, or an apartment, or maybe just a room with a local family. You will learn more about the accommodations as you are matched with a job.

How do I exchange money while on the field?

Exchanging money varies from country to country. Depending upon the country, you might be able to go to a bank and write a personal U.S. dollar check and receive the balance in local currency. Most likely you will either use your Visa or MasterCard at a bank to get a cash advance (but watch out for fees), or receive a cash advance from your mission treasurer (whereby you write a monthly personal check to IMB to clear your personal account).

Do I need to know a foreign language to go?

Knowing a foreign language is not necessary. If you need the local language to do your work, you will have some intense language study during the first few months. This may be in a school setting or a more casual context of learning from a tutor or nationals.

You should expect to learn to speak the local language while in country. You may not need the language to get your work done, but you will need some language to show the local people that you care about them, their heritage and culture — and that you are not a tourist! Certainly you will learn proper greetings and departures, and how to bargain at the market. The main focus of your language learning will be in order to build relationships and share the gospel.

What if my friends and I wish to apply together?

The Journeyman Program is an individual and not a group opportunity. You will come through the application and interview process individually, though you and a friend may come through simultaneously and be able to serve together. 

Can my family or friends visit me on the field?

We encourage you to invite family and friends to come and visit you! They will return to the States with a bigger heart for missions and will become an advocate for your people group.

What if I am engaged or seriously dating someone?

If you are engaged now (or soon to be engaged) this is not the time to think about being away from that person for the next two years! You will definitely be distracted from developing relationships on the field and focusing your attention on your main task of missionary work.

It is best to perhaps go ahead and get married, then come through the interview process together. You will need to have been married at least a year before starting your assignment. Participation in an EXPO is by invitation only, and you should be married at least 4-6 months before attending an EXPO. Talk with your Personnel Consultant to help determine the best timing of attending an EXPO and starting an assignment.

I'm an MK — can I go back to my parents' country?

For MKs, IMB's policy is that adult family members do not serve in the same country. You can serve as a Journeyman in your parents’ country only if they are no longer serving there.

What is the process for applying for a passport?

Begin to apply for a passport as soon as you sense God’s leadership overseas. It takes a number of weeks to get a passport, (even if you have all your "proof" documents in order). So, when God leads you overseas, you will then be ready to go. If He leads you to stay, you will have a good source of I.D. and will be ready for any international volunteer trips that come your way. It is always a good idea to keep your personal documents up to date and in order, including your driver’s license.  

If approved to serve, IMB will pay for your expenses getting to the field.  This means reimbursement for passport fees and required inoculations. You will learn more about this at an interview conference. You are required to get your own passport. The passport-type photos you sent with your application are not for passport purposes. The place to start your passport process is the U.S. Post Office or online.

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ISC support

Should I pursue an ISC position or seminary first?

If you wish to pursue both an ISC position and a seminary degree, there is no right or wrong way to approach this. If the passion for missions is strong right now, take the ISC route. Seminary will be there when you get back, and there may be scholarships available from the seminary for a returned missions worker.

On the other hand, if missions is your life’s calling, you need to get prepared. Go ahead and get a seminary degree (or the needed 20 or 30 hours) then come through our application process.

You may want to check with the Southern Baptist seminaries about the International Church Planting degree that combines seminary education and IMB service on the field. This is also referred to as 2+2 or 2+3 programs.

How much financial support is provided?

ISC missionaries are fully funded through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®. This is the backbone of Southern Baptist missions. The only support that needs to be raised is prayer support!

We provide an adequate system of support that meets basic needs. Monthly support includes a base salary with cost of living supplement (field parity). The base salary remains constant, but the supplement may be adjusted up or down depending upon the cost of living in your particular country. Housing and work-related transportation are provided on the field, so basically the expenses you will pay out of your salary each month will be for your food, utilities and personal expenses. If you choose to travel on your vacation time, that is also your personal expense.

Support begins the day you travel to start orientation. It is normally paid by direct deposit. Field Personnel Orientation expenses are covered by IMB.

Is insurance provided?

IMB provides comprehensive medical insurance and modest life insurance. There are no retirement benefits provided through the ISC program. We also provide travel insurance. IMB continues to provide medical coverage for up to two months after completion of service (for a two-year term of service). After this, obtaining other coverage will be necessary.

What about my student loans?

If you have recently graduated and have student loans, you may go ahead and start paying them, but your payments must be within the limits of $75 per month if you are single and $125 per month if you are married. Many times, however, student loans are more than this debt limit. This does not necessarily disqualify you from service — student loans may be eligible for deferment until you return. Typically you will qualify for deferment because either 1) your monthly income is below the minimum required to make payments or 2) you are working for a non-profit organization overseas. Not all loans qualify for deferment — you will need to contact your lender to determine if deferment is an option.

What about other debt?

Get any consumer debt paid down to within our debt limits of $75 per month if you are single and $125 per month if you are married. It is always best to go to the field debt free. Please note: this monthly payment limit includes the total of all payments. Most people will sell their car before coming to orientation or just after leaving orientation. If you choose to keep paying for your car (for when you get back), we will ask you to write a letter of how you intend to get within the debt limit.

Some people sell their homes while others will rent them out while they are overseas. If you rent, have someone here in the States who has Power of Attorney manage the property for you. Your consultant will request a letter from you explaining your plan of action to be within the debt limit.

What will my housing be like on the field?

Your housing will probably not compare to western standards, but it will be adequate in which to live. Depending upon the country and the city, you may live in a house, or an apartment, or maybe just a room with a local family. You will learn more about the accommodations as you are matched with a job.

How do I exchange money while on the field?

Exchanging money varies from country to country. Depending upon the country, you might be able to go to a bank and write a personal U.S. dollar check and receive the balance in local currency. Most likely you will either use your Visa or MasterCard at a bank to get a cash advance (but watch out for fees), or receive a cash advance from your mission treasurer (whereby you write a monthly personal check to IMB to clear your personal account). 

Do I need to know a foreign language to go?

Knowing a foreign language is not necessary. If you need the local language to do your work, you will have some intense language study during the first few months. This may be in a school setting or a more casual context of learning from a tutor or nationals.

You should expect to learn to speak the local language while in country. You may not need the language to get your work done, but you will need some language to show the local people that you care about them, their heritage and culture — and that you are not a tourist! Certainly you will learn proper greetings and departures, and how to bargain at the market. The main focus of your language learning will be in order to build relationships and share the gospel.

What if my friends and I wish to apply together?

The ISC program is an individual and not a group opportunity. You will come through the application and interview process individually, though you and a friend may come through simultaneously and be able to serve together. 

Can my family or friends visit me on the field?

We encourage you to invite family and friends to come and visit you! They will return to the States with a bigger heart for missions and will become an advocate for your people group. 

What if I am engaged or seriously dating someone?

If you are engaged now (or soon to be engaged) this is not the time to think about being away from that person for the next two years! You will definitely be distracted from developing relationships on the field and focusing your attention on your main task of missionary work.

It is best to perhaps go ahead and get married, then come through the interview process together. You will need to have been married at least a year before starting your assignment. Participation in an EXPO is by invitation only, and you should be married at least 4-6 months before attending an EXPO. Talk with your Personnel Consultant to help determine the best timing of attending an EXPO and starting an assignment.

I'm an MK — can I go back to my parents' country?
For MKs, IMB's policy is that adult family members do not serve in the same country. You can serve as an ISC worker in your parents’ country only if they are no longer serving there.
What is the process for applying for a passport?

Begin to apply for a passport as soon as you sense God’s leadership overseas. It takes a number of weeks to get a passport, (even if you have all your "proof" documents in order). So, when God leads you overseas, you will then be ready to go. If He leads you to stay, you will have a good source of I.D. and will be ready for any international volunteer trips that come your way. It is always a good idea to keep your personal documents up to date and in order, including your driver’s license.

If approved to serve, IMB will pay for your expenses getting to the field. This means reimbursement for passport fees and required inoculations. You will learn more about this at an interview conference. You are required to get your own passport. The passport-type photos you sent with your application are not for passport purposes. The place to start your passport process is the U.S. Post Office or online.

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Masters

What sorts of jobs are available?

 Specific Masters job requests will be shared later in the application process.

Do I have to raise my own support?
You will be expected to share in the responsibility of your financial support by providing your own salary, cost of living supplement (field parity) and insurance. IMB will provide all expenses related to travel, orientation, field housing and transportation as well as ministry budget.

We would expect people to provide part of their support which would generally range between $25,000-$35,000 per year for a couple depending upon the cost of living where you serve. For a single it would range around $17,000-$24,000.

More specific information will be provided later in the application process.
What sort of benefits and insurance do you provide?

IMB has prepared an affordable medical/travel life insurance package for you. Masters personnel will be asked to pay the premium for this benefits package. Further information will be provided later in the process.

When does the financial support begin?

Support begins the day you travel to start orientation. It is normally paid by direct deposit. Field Personnel Orientation expenses are covered by IMB.

What about my credit card debt?

Get any consumer debt paid down to within our debt limits of $75 per month if you are single and $125 per month if you are married. It is always best to go to the field debt free. Please note: this monthly payment limit includes the total of all payments.

What about my car payment or house mortgage?

Most people will sell their car before coming to orientation or just after leaving orientation. If you choose to keep paying for your car (for when you get back), we will ask you to write a letter of how you intend to get within the debt limit.

Some people sell their homes, while others will rent them out while they are overseas. If you rent, have someone here in the States who has Power of Attorney manage the property for you. Your consultant will request a letter from you explaining your plan of action to be within the debt limit.

What will my housing be like on the field?

Your housing will probably not compare to western standards, but it will be adequate in which to live. Depending upon the country and the city, you may live in a house, or an apartment, or maybe just a room with a local family. You will learn more about the accommodations as you are matched with a job.

How do I exchange money while on the field?

Exchanging money varies from country to country. Depending upon the country, you might be able to go to a bank and write a personal U.S. dollar check and receive the balance in local currency. Most likely you will either use your Visa or MasterCard at a bank to get a cash advance (but watch out for fees), or receive a cash advance from your mission treasurer (whereby you write a monthly personal check to IMB to clear your personal account).

Do I need to know a foreign language to go?

Knowing a foreign language is not necessary. If you need the local language to do your work, you will have some intense language study during the first few months. This may be in a school setting or a more casual context of learning from a tutor or nationals.

You should expect to learn to speak the local language while in country. You may not need the language to get your work done, but you will need some language to show the local people that you care about them, their heritage and culture — and that you are not a tourist! Certainly you will learn proper greetings and departures, and how to bargain at the market. The main focus of your language learning will be in order to build relationships and share the gospel.

Can my family or friends visit me on the field?

We encourage you to invite family and friends to come and visit you! They will return to the States with a bigger heart for missions and will become an advocate for your people group.

What is the process for applying for a passport?

Begin to apply for a passport as soon as you sense God’s leadership overseas. It takes a number of weeks to get a passport, (even if you have all your "proof" documents in order). So, when God leads you overseas, you will then be ready to go. If He leads you to stay, you will have a good source of I.D. and will be ready for any international volunteer trips that come your way. It is always a good idea to keep your personal documents up to date and in order, including your driver’s license.

If approved to serve, IMB will pay for your expenses getting to the field. This means reimbursement for passport fees and required inoculations. You will learn more about this at an interview conference. You are required to get your own passport. The passport-type photos you sent with your application are not for passport purposes. The place to start your passport process is the U.S. Post Office or online.

 

What health insurance is available upon returning to the States?

Masters personnel are able to continue paying their health coverage for up to 60 days following their return to the U.S. If needed, an individual policy can be explored with the insurance company after the 60 days.

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Volunteers

Prepare for Service

Who makes the travel arrangements?

Volunteers are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. You are free to use any travel agency that you find helpful. You may want to contact a travel agent experienced in working with volunteers from IMB. Make sure that you inquire about visa requirements for entry into your country of service. Some countries require visas, while for others, only a valid passport is needed.

For up-to-date information on travel to foreign countries, including current travel advisories, please check with U.S. Department of State. Additional information on a specific country can be found at the U.S. Embassy website in that country. The U.S. Department of State also has links to U.S. Embassies around the world.

Plan ahead and take every precaution necessary to improve the safety of your group. Both seasoned and novice travelers will be made more aware of potential safety concerns while developing strategies to reduce risk to their group. E-mail for information on Safe Travel training materials.

What should I do if I need to cancel my volunteer trip?

If you decide to cancel a volunteer assignment for any reason, please notify your field contact as soon as possible so they can open the project up to other groups.

What safety or security precautions are being taken to ensure that volunteers will be safe while on the field?

The field does not cancel volunteer projects except in the case of extreme circumstances. The local field missionary, who has the greatest knowledge and understanding of any potential danger or threat to volunteer team members, makes decisions on cancellations of volunteer projects in times of emergencies.

We monitor situations, and we have field personnel who closely monitor all situations. Where situations dictate, a crisis management team will let the appropriate IMB personnel know if it becomes unsafe for volunteers to come.

All IMB field personnel maintain current evacuation plans for their families and any volunteers that may be serving with them. These plans differ by location, so you will need to check with the missionaries with whom you will be working on the field to see what is in place.

It would be good to monitor the State Department’s website, which lists all travel warnings that they have in effect. Purchase your travel insurance. It is advisable for volunteers to register at the local U.S. Embassy in the country to which they are traveling. Some embassies now allow registration online. Click on the embassy for the country you will visit and click on "U.S. Citizens Services" to determine if on-line registration is allowed. In some cases, your field personnel can do this prior to the team’s arrival. This will ensure that the volunteers are notified if the U.S. Embassy in that country mandates any emergency steps.

Is insurance provided?

IMB policy requires all volunteers involved in an IMB volunteer project to purchase insurance for their protection.

Gallagher Charitable International Insurance Services (formerly Adams & Associates) provides medical, accidental death, medical evacuation, disability and many other benefits and has been used by most IMB volunteer teams. The volunteer or sponsor is responsible for the cost of this coverage.

What do I do if I have an emergency while traveling, while on the field, or on the way home?

Only medical emergencies can be reimbursed by insurance. However, emergencies of a medical (including emergency medical evacuation), legal, and transportation nature may be reported to Specialty Assist (SAS). Gallagher Charitable International Insurance Services will provide you with a telephone number for SAS with 24 hour service. Call SAS first. By simply calling the telephone number provided, the 24 hour service will assist you by providing medical assistance, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, family coordination and/or legal assistance. If you have a life or otherwise threatening situation, GET HELP first (local help appropriate to situation), then call SAS.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Changes to your flights (including emergency evacuation) made without first contacting SAS will result in your being held responsible for substantial costs. SAS must make the arrangements for any emergency travel and other major expenses. SAS does not provide reimbursement for loss incurred due to acts of war, weather, etc. while on the field. However, they will provide assistance at no charge with changing flight arrangements if it becomes necessary due to one of these reasons while on a trip. They can also provide assistance (not monetary) for other types of problems on the field. Only medical emergencies are covered for reimbursement.

Do I need immunizations?

The immunizations required and recommended for your country of service are listed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC. It is always best to get the advice of your missionary on the field since they will know what you need specific to the area of the country and conditions where you will be working.

Shop around for the best price on immunizations. Here are some suggestions:

  • County health clinics, in general, will give you the best price.
  • A doctor whom you know personally may be willing to give you the immunizations at cost (or even free if he or she wants to contribute to your mission in this way). Be aware, however, that several of these immunizations are not standard vaccinations most doctors keep on hand. A private doctor will most likely have to order some of the vaccinations and that will raise the cost.
  • Walk in clinics like PrimaCare and Patient First may also cost more than other sources because they will have to special order certain immunizations unless they support the cause of global missions and want to give you a reduced cost.
  • A travel clinic may be your only option for the Japanese B encephalitis immunization. This vaccine is expensive, and the visit to the travel clinic will carry a consultation fee in addition to the cost of the vaccine.
  • Larium, the preventative medication given orally for malaria, has a generic equivalent that is less expensive.

What is the process for applying for a passport?

Items to keep in mind about passports:

  • Processing a new or renewal passport request generally takes six to eight weeks. Winter and spring are peak times for people to request passports because summer is peak travel season. At this time passport processing can take eight to 12 weeks. Please allow plenty of time for your passport to be processed so that you receive your passport back several months before you leave for your project.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your return to the United States.
  • You must have a valid passport to apply for a visa. You will need to send your passport to visa processing eight to 10 weeks before you leave for your trip.
  • If you need to apply for a passport or renew your passport: U.S. Department of State online.
  • DON’T FORGET TO SIGN YOUR PASSPORT!

 

Do I need a visa?

Some countries require a visa in order to enter the country. This document, which is stamped in your passport, is obtained through the country’s consulate offices in the United States. Your travel agent will help you acquire a visa or will give you further instructions about what to do if your country of service requires a visa.

Keep in mind that you must have a valid passport in order to apply for a visa. A visa could require six to eight weeks to process, so please plan accordingly, especially if you have to apply for or renew your passport.

To find out if your country of service requires a visa, go to the U.S. Department of State Visa Requirements.

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