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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Visa Information

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It is extremely important to enter the United States with the proper visa. Visa application procedures vary from country to country so we suggest that you call the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for specific instructions. Per federal regulations, "an applicant for a non immigrant visa shall be presumed to be an immigrant until the consular officer is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to a non immigrant status. The burden of proof is upon the applicant to establish entitlement for non immigrant status and the type of non immigrant visa for which application is made" [22CFR41.11] On the average, an applicant has three minutes to convince the consular official of their non immigrant intent. In preparation for the interview, we offer the following pointers:

  • Focus on how the U.S. training will help you with your employment at home.
  • Be familiar with job prospects at home.
  • Be prepared to discuss why you chose Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Do a practice interview with a friend, in English.
  • Have proof of adequate financial resources.
  • Be prepared to show "ties" to your home country.
  • Generally, applicants should take with them the following information according to their visa type. There are special instructions for transfer students.

F-1 Student Visa

This is the most common visa for most international students coming to the United States. You will need to take the following documents to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

  • Your valid passport
  • Health clearance documents
  • The I-20 form issued by Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Proof of financial support
  • Some students may also be required to present proof of an advance tuition deposit.
  • Proof of English(if not your native language)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not get a visa or enter the United States with an I-20 form from a different school. You must use the I-20 form from the school which you will be attending. Entry using another school's I-20 form will result in Immigration problems.

J-1 Student Visa

A J-1 visa is usually issued to persons who receive all or most of their funding from their government, Minnesota State University, Mankato, or a U.S. government agency. If you are sponsored by AID, LASPAU, AAI, IIE, or another U.S. government agency, you will receive an DS-2019 form directly from that agency. You will need to take the following documents to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

  • Your valid passport
  • Health clearance documents
  • DS-2019 form
  • Proof of financial support for the period of time indicated on the DS-2019.

If you enter the United States on a J-1 visa, you may be required to return to your home country for two years after you complete your academic program.

Other Visas

It is recommended that students enter on a proper "F" or "J" visa. If your country is on the "Visa Waiver" (W/T) program, do not enter the United States without a visa because this status cannot be changed to a student visa while you are in the United States. If you must enter on a B-2 tourist visa, make certain that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate stamps Prospective Student on it. Without this "Prospective Student" stamp, it will be impossible to change to a student visa in the United States.  Change of status to F or J within the U.S. involves filing forms and fees.

Canadians do not need a passport or visa, but must show an I-20 or DS-2019 form and proof of financial support to the officials at the U.S. Port of Entry.