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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Student Visas

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What is a visa?

A visa is document that is issued by the government of each individual country serves as a form of "entry permission" for you to enter your chosen exchange/education abroad and away country.  There are typically many different types of visas available depending on a visitor's reason for entering a country, i.e. study, tourism, business, professional athlete, diplomat, etc.  The visa will indicate a specific time frame in which the holder is allowed to enter, stay in, and leave a country (and in the case of what is known as the "Schengen Area" in Europe, a group of countries). Student visas are required by most countries for students staying longer than 90 days (including both study and travel 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.  Our office is happy to provide supplemental assistance/process verification whenever possible.


Country Guides for Visas

If you are going through a education abroad and away company for your international experience, the company will provide you with instructions and/or assistance in applying for your student visa. Please complete all required paperwork in a timely matter. You will be unable to leave the U.S. without properly being issued a visa.  Please also note that most student visas are affixed as stickers or stamps directly onto one of your passport pages.  Therefore, in most circumstances (with some exceptions), you will need to submit your entire passport along with your visa application.


If you will participate in an MSU exchange program, your host university will provide you with information on student visa and/or residence permit requirements, as well as guidelines on how to apply.  It is VERY important that you both read all emails you receive from your host university AND complete the instructions contained in the emails in a timely manner.  As you work through your visa and/or residence permit applications, to the best of our ability, our office is happy to answer any questions you have about the process.  Don't forget to also utilize the help lines available at the U.S. location(s) of your host country's Consulate(s)/Embassy.

QUESTIONS?   Please call the Center for Education Abroad and Away at 507-389-1341, 507-389-6669,, or visit us at Wissink Hall 379.