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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Passport & Visa

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What is a passport?

A passport is an official document issued by the U.S. Department of State. It certifies the holder's identity and citizenship and entitles them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries. A passport is required for EVERY student traveling abroad. Each student is responsible for obtaining passport photos and submitting a passport application to the U.S. Department of State. Your passport must be valid through six months after the end of your study abroad program.


What do I need to apply for a passport?

A current list of required application materials can be found on the U.S. Department of State passports page.


Where do I apply for a passport?
  • APPLICATION FORM: For more information on passport requirements and access to the application form, please see the U.S. Department of State website:
  • PASSPORT PHOTOS: In Mankato, you can have passport photos taken at the Blue Earth County Government Builidng, Walgreens or CVS.
  • SUBMIT YOUR APPLICTION: In Mankato you can submit your passport application at the Blue Earth County Government Building at 204 S. 5th St. (ph: 507-304-4284507-304-4251)For locations outside Mankato that accept passport applications, please visit the U.S. Postal Services website or the U.S. Department of State website.  Allow 6-8 weeks for passport processing after you submit your application.


IMPORTANT: If your study abroad, international internship or international volunteer program requires you to obtain a study or work visa permit from the country to which you will be traveling, you are required to have a valid passport as part of your visa application. Therefore, it is important that you acquire your passport early to ensure enough time for your visa to be processed.



What is a visa?

A visa is document that is separate from your passport. Visas are granted by a foreign government and are designated specifically for study, tourism, or business (among others). The document will indicate a specific time frame in which the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay in a country. Visas are required by most countries for students staying longer than 90 days and some countries require a visa regardless of the duration of stay. It is up to YOU to do the research and learn whether you will need a student visa and how to apply for one.


Country Guides for Visas

If you are going through a study abroad company for your international experience, the company will give you assistance in applying for a student visa. Please complete all required paperwork in a timely matter. You will be unable to leave the U.S. without proper visa documentation.

If you are going on an MSU exchange program, click on your country below to see an instructional handout on applying for your student visa. We strongly advise you to print it and carefully read through the entire guide.

QUESTIONS?   Please call the Kearney International Center at 507-389-1281507-389-1281 and ask for Mandy.  You can also contact us at or visit us at CSU 250.