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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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What is a passport and Why do I need one?

A passport is an official document issued by the U.S. Department of State. It certifies the holder's identity and citizenship and entitles the holder to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries. A passport is required for EVERY student traveling abroad.  In most cases you will be required to submit a copy of your passport along with your education abroad and away application.  The processing of your passport application once you submit it can take anywhere from 1-3 months.  For both reasons, we HIGHLY recommend that you apply for your passport NOW, even if it will be 2-3 years before you study abroad.  Passports obtained from age 16 and beyond are valid for 10 years so it is almost never too early to apply for your passport.  Each student is responsible for obtaining passport photos and submitting a passport application via the submission instructions below. Your passport must be valid through a minimum of six months after the end of your program.


What do I need to apply for a passport?
  • Completed passport application (see below for information on where to obtain an application)
  • 2 identical passport photos (see below for information on where to obtain passport-quality photos)
  • Valid form of identification (driver's license)
  • Certified birth certificate or previous passport


Where do I apply for a passport?

For more information on passport requirements and access to the application form, please see the U.S. Department of State website.


In Mankato you can submit your passport application at the Blue Earth County Government Building at 204 South 5th Street, Mankato (telephone:507-304-4284 or 507-304-4251).


For locations outside Mankato that accept passport applications, please visit the U.S. Postal Services website.  Allow 6-8 weeks for passport processing after you submit your application.


In Mankato, you can have passport photos taken at the Blue Earth County Government Builidng, Walgreens or CVS.


IMPORTANT: If your education abroad and away, 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.  (Please see the "Student Visa" section on our website for more information on visas.)


QUESTIONS?   Please call the Center for Education Abroad and Away at 507-389-1341 or 507-389-6669.  You can also contact us at or visit us at Morris Hall 3 (lower level).