What is a visa?
A visa is document that is issued by the government of each individual country, and it 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 or, (as is the case with the "Schengen Area"in Europe), a group of countries). Student visas, or sometimes Residence Permits 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 an education abroad and away program providerfor your international experience, the providerwill often timesprovide you with instructions and/or assistance in applying for your student visa. Please complete all required paperwork in a timely manner. For programs where a visa or residence permit is required, 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 passport along with your visa / residence permit application to the visa processor. They will return your passport to you when the process is completed.
If you are participating in aMinnesota State Mankatoexchange program, your host university and/or our office (Center for Global Engagement) 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 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. Please also utilize the help lines available at the U.S. location(s) of your host country's Consulate(s)/Embassy.
Once you complete the student visa application, e-mail the Honorary Italian Consul in St. Paul, Mr. Marco Pavoloni, to set up an appointment to have your application verified. With Mr. Pavoloni's verification, you will be allowed to mail your visa application and materials for formal approval and processing to the Italian Consulate in Chicago (MN and area states only – check the website for full area of jurisdiction) instead of having to travel to Chicago to present your application in person. Email: email@example.com