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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Immigration Advising

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General Information

MSU's 1000+ international students come from over 90 different countries. Our students enjoy comprehensive educational opportunities and exciting cultural and athletic events on a campus that is currently adding to and renovating its extensive facilities. MSU prepares students for life in a changing and competitive world.

More than anything else, students define the international experience. If you want to know why international students choose to come to Minnesota State University, Mankato, ask a student. Kearney Center for International Student Services has been around since 1972, and we're good at what we do: helping students for a lifetime of success and fulfillment in their professions, their communities, and their personal lives.

Depending on your visa (F-1 or J-1), specific resources are available (see drop downs below) - some issues involve both student visa types. Immigration related questions may be discussed with an advisor during walk-in hours (a 5-10 minute session for quick questions) or by calling 507-389-1281 to schedule a 30-minute appointment for lengthier immigration questions.

Immigration Advising Summer Walk-In Hours

  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • *No walk-in hours Thursday mornings

Tax Information

Tax Sessions

Information provided is only to guid you through the form and procedures - Disclaimer: we are not tax preparer professionals so for individual assistance with complex tax issues, you may need to seek professional tax help. We do not provide tax or legal advice.

What forms should I complete as an International Student?

A full listing of forms and instructions are available here. This page also includes information regarding Why you file taxes and Tax Filing Resources

Immigration Resources

Students in the United States are required by immigration law to follow certain regulations in order to maintain legal status in the United States. The Kearney International Center(CISS) is responsible for advising international students on immigration law, regulations, and for processing various immigration documents. When coming to the IC for immigration matters, we suggest that you bring your passport, I-94 card, and your I-20 or DS-2019.

It is your responsibility to know, understand and comply with immigration regulations. Please read e-mails sent to the Kearney International Center Listserve carefully. If you are not on the listserve, please contact the CISS to subscribe (staff updates the list each semester - you as an international student at Minnesota State University, Mankato should receive e-mails approximately once a week). If there is something you do not understand, contact the CISS. Do not rely on your friends for information on immigration matters.

Information on additional visa types and immigration-related topics

The IC website is organized seperating regulations/procedures on your F-1 or J-1 student status. Below are the links for the additional information.

Visa Information and Pointers

It is extremely important to enter the United States with the proper visa. Visa application procedures vary from country to country so we suggest that you call the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for specific instructions. Per federal regulations, "an applicant for a non immigrant visa shall be presumed to be an immigrant until the consular officer is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to a non immigrant status. The burden of proof is upon the applicant to establish entitlement for non immigrant status and the type of non immigrant visa for which application is made" [22CFR41.11] On the average, an applicant has three minutes to convince the consular official of their non immigrant intent. In preparation for the interview, we offer the following pointers:

  • Focus on how the U.S. training will help you with your employment at home.
  • Be familiar with job prospects at home.
  • Be prepared to discuss why you chose Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Do a practice interview with a friend, in English
  • Have proof of adequate financial resources.
  • Be prepared to show "ties" to your home country.
  • Generally, applicants should take with them the following information according to their visa type. There are special instructions for transfer students.

F-1 Student Visa

This is the most common visa for most international students coming to the United States. You will need to take the following documents to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

  • Your valid passport
  • Health clearance documents
  • The I-20 form issued by Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Proof of financial support
  • Some students may also be required to present proof of an advance tuition deposit
  • Proof of English(if not your native language)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not get a visa or enter the United States with an I-20 form from a different school. You must use the I-20 form from the school which you will be attending. Entry using another school's I-20 form will result in immigration problems.

J-1 Student Visa

A J-1 visa is usually issued to person who receive all or most of their funding from their government, Minnesota State University, Mankato, or a U.S. government agency. If you are sponsored by AID, LASPAU, AAI, IIE, or another U.S. government agency, you will receive a DS-2019 form directly from that agency. You will need to take the following documents to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

  • Your valid passport
  • Health clearance documents
  • DS-2019 form
  • Proof of financial support for the period of time indicated on the DS-2019.

If you enter the United States on a J-1 visa, you may be required to return to your home country for two years after you complete your academic program.

Other Visas

It is recommended that students enter on a proper "F" or "J" visa. If your country is on the "Visa Waiver" (W/T) program, do not enter the United States without a visa because this status cannot be changed to a student visa while you are in the United States. If you must enter on a B-2 tourist visa, make certain that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate stamps Prospective Student on it. Without this "Prospective Student" stamp, it will be impossible to change to a student visa in the United States. Change of status to F or J within the U.S. involves filing forms and fees

Canadians do not need a passport or visa, but must show an I-20 or DS-2019 form and proof of financial support to the officials at the U.S. Port of Entry

Immigration Lawyer Search

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Immigration Advising - Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for common questions regarding immigration