Student Visa Information
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Office:
ISSS is an office at the University of Minnesota that serves all international students, and is the main contact for visa questions. Carlson exchange students should contact the ISSS office directly with any questions about obtaining their visa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before You Arrive at the Carlson School:
- Determine the type of visa you need
The J-1 visa is appropriate for almost all exchange students. You will receive a DS-2019 form from the Carlson Global Institute, which you will need to apply for the J-1 visa. Additional visa details can be found on our website: http://isss.umn.edu
Caution: do not enter the United States in visitor status (B1/B2 or Visa Waiver) or in F-2 (dependent of F-1) status. Individuals with these visa statuses are not eligible to register for classes.
- Locate the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country
- Pay the SEVIS fee
You must pay the SEVIS fee before applying for an entry visa or entering the United States. This fee is charged by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is not administered by the University of Minnesota. Keep in mind that you will not be able to pay the fee until you have your DS-2019 document in your possession. For more information about how to pay the fee, visit U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
- Schedule your visa interview appointment
Your local embassy or consulate will have specific instructions for scheduling an appointment. Keep in mind that waiting times for an appointment can be lengthy (several weeks or longer), especially during the busy summer months. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your visa documents.
- Prepare documents for your visa interview
All visa applicants must provide the following documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of application:
- Valid passport
- I-20 or DS-2019 document (the Carlson School will mail you these forms as part of the acceptance packet after you have submitted your complete application)
- Admission letter from the University of Minnesota (the Carlson School will mail you an admission letter as part of the acceptance packet after you have submitted your complete application)
- Documented proof of financial support for at least one semester (bank statement, etc.)
- Receipt of SEVIS fee payment
- Visa application forms (available from the U.S. embassy/consulate)
- Any other documents requested by your embassy/consulate