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:
The F-1 visa is appropriate for almost all exchange students. You will receive an electronic (pdf) I-20 form from the University of Minnesota, which you will need to apply for the F-1 visa. Additional visa details can be found on the ISSS website.
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 statues are not eligible to register for classes and you will not be able to change to students status within the US to begin studying.
Embassy and consulate information, including locations and document requirements, is available online at U.S. Dept. of State Travel Information or Embassy World.
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 I-20 pdf document in your possession. For more information about how to pay the fee, visit the SEVIS I-901 Fee website.
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.
All visa applicants must provide the following documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of application:
- Valid passport
- I-20 document
- (the Carlson School will email you this form as part of the acceptance packet after you have submitted your complete application)
- Admission letter from the University of Minnesota
- (the Carlson School will email 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