FAQsPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/international/newstudentsfaq.html
Admission and Travel
- What should I bring to my trip to U.S?
- What are the weather conditions in Mankato, MN?
- What airport is the closet to Mankato?
- How do I get from the airport to Mankato?
- How do I get around in Mankato?
- Where can I live in Mankato?
- How to get the latest news and events information for international students?
- Can I study with a tourist visa (B-1/B-2)?
Change of Status
- Is it better to apply directly for the F-1 student visa at home or apply for a change to F-1 status here?
- Am I eligible for a change to F-1 status?
- What if my authorized stay in the U.S. has expired?
- Should I hire a lawyer to help me?
- Can I start school before I change my status?
- If I decide to file an application with the U.S. Immigration Service to change my status, when should I apply?
- What documents are required for the change of status application?
- How do I file my application?
- What happens to my status while I am waiting to receive an answer from the CIS?
Admission and Travel
Traveling to the United States need not be a difficult process, especially if you are organized and knowledgeable about how to avoid any inconveniences during your trip here. The following information should help you to plan and answer any questions that you might have regarding the long journey ahead.
Obviously, you are very concerned about what things to carry. We have compiled the items that are worth carrying with you and the items that you are better off buying in the U.S. Among the items discussed are clothing, electronics, and household goods.
Almost every kind of the clothing, electronic and household items listed are available in the U.S. Our recommended packing list is made with the idea that immediate expenditure on arrival in the U.S. should be minimal.
Your visa documents allow your entry into the U.S. and should be carefully arranged and kept together at all times. You will find information regarding what you should carry and have with you at all times during your journey. There is also information about the different types of student visas available.
Mankato has relatively cold winters and pleasant summers. You will need a good, warm jacket or coat starting in about October and lasting through April or May. The summer heat sets in around the middle of May and continues through the middle of September. Mankato gets heavy snow every year. Current weather conditions can be viewed at the main page.
The nearest airport to Mankato, Minnesota, is in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is an international airport in the region and is serviced by American Airlines, British Airways, NorthWest, AirTran, Delta Airlines, and United Airways to name a few. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul-Intl'-Airport (MSP) is about 90 minutes drive away from Mankato. http://www.mspairport.com/MSP/Travelers_Guide/Terminal_Maps/
There is a shuttle service that goes from the Minneapolis-SaintPaul-Intl'-Airport to Mankato. To schedule a ride, you can contact: Land to Air, Inc.
At the airport the ticket counter is located at the Ground Transportation Center (basement level)
Click here for shuttle schedule to/from airport to Mankato.
Mankato's City Bus provides bus services through various campus locations to different areas in town, including downtown and shopping malls.
Red Eye Shuttle service operates after the buses shut down when classes are in session.
Hours of operation: (507) 388-0879
Monday - Thursday 6:00pm - Midnight
Friday 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Sunday 5:00pm - 11:00pm
There is a cab service available 24 hours 7 days a week. Kato Cab's phone number is (507) 388 7433.
If you are lucky, friends with cars!
When coming to a new town, housing is usually one of the biggest worries. In case you have not already resolved this matter, we have some tips for you. There are two major types of housing available in this area: University Housing and Apartments. Should you wish to live on campus, contact Department of ResLife.
The list of the apartments our current students live is available. You will need to contact the apartment complexes and decide for yourself if they are the place for you. There are many other apartments available in Mankato. The ones listed have been recommended by our current students. If you have friends or family already in Mankato, check with them for a good recommendation.
Housing Advice: It is expensive to live alone! Most students live in dorms with a roommate, or they live in groups of two to four in two or three bedroom apartments. Besides being economical, living with roommates provides much-needed company and emotional comfort for international students. When assessing the rent of a place, take into account whether the utilities (heat, water, and gas) are covered or not. Also, inquire about the laundry facilities. To get furniture for your apartment, check out garage sales around town. Often, you can find furniture which used, in good condition, and at affordable prices. Pick up a copy of home magazine.
If you wish to be informed of news and events held by us, you can subscribe to ISO mailing list, listserve or updated information. The list of events is also posted outside the International Student & Scholar Services as well as at the notice board of International Student Center, 264 Centennial Student Union, MSU.
No, generally you cannot study on tourist visas.
Change of Status
Is it better to apply directly for the F-1 student visa at home or apply for a change to F-1 status here?
Every case is different. In some countries, visa issuance is extremely difficult. In those countries, the American Embassy may view a change to F-1 status in the U.S. as an attempt to avoid that process and will want to know why you didn't apply for the F-1 visa there instead.
If you are not sure which is the best for you, make an appointment at the International Student & Scholar Services for more information or use or contact form.
You are eligible for a change of status to F-1 student if you qualify for issuance of the Form I-20 by Minnesota State University, Mankato, are still maintaining your present non-immigrant status, and can present an unexpired Form I-94. [Exceptions: C, D, K, M or J (with home residency requirement) and visa waivers.
If your authorized stay in the U.S. is expired, you are not eligible to apply for a change of status to F-1 student unless you can prove that you had a special emergency circumstance which was beyond your control. Make an appointment with the International Student & Scholar Services for further information.
The International Student & Scholar Services provides assistance with many immigration matters. In some unusual cases, you may be advised by our office to use an immigration lawyer.
Yes, but if your primary purpose is now to pursue a full course of study, you should either change to F-1 student status or leave the U.S. to apply for the F-1 visa at home before your authorized stay expires.
If I decide to file an application with the U.S. Immigration Service to change my status, when should I apply?
Not too soon after your arrival and not too close to the expiration date on your Form I-94. You must maintain your current legal status in order to change status. An application must be filed prior to the expiration date on your I-94. About halfway through your authorized stay is ideal. Please be aware that approval by the Immigration and Naturalization Service is NOT guaranteed. Should you be denied the change of status, you may be required to leave the country quickly. You can then take your I-20's and go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country and apply for a new F-1 visa.
- Completed Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)
- Your Minnesota State University, Mankato I-20 Form signed by you
- Original Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record-the white card stapled in your passport)
- Current evidence of financial support
- A $200 fee in the form of a personal check or money order made payable to the SEVIS
- Copy of Bio page of passport and copy of original visa stamp
- Letter from you, the student describing your ties to home country, why and when you decided to apply to change your status, how your major will help you to find the employment in home country, etc.
- If you have a spouse or children with you in the U.S. who should change to F-2 status (dependents of an F-1 student), you must also submit the Supplement to Form I-539, your dependents' original Forms I-94, and an additional $10 for each dependent.
Bring your completed application (with all the documents described above) to the International Student & Scholar Services. After our review, you will send your application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service Center. When the SEVIS has made a decision on your application, your Minnesota State University, MankatoI-20 and a new I-94 card will be returned to you.
You will still be maintaining your present nonimmigrant status, even if the I-94 expires, while CIS is reviewing your application for a change to F-1.