You will need a passport to enter any of the MSID countries. Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your program. If you have not already obtained your passport, apply for one immediately. Information about applying for a passport can be found on the US Department of State's website.
Mail your actual passport (not a photocopy) with your application to Perry International to obtain a student visa. Travel outside the US will not be possible while your visa is being processed. Make a photocopy of your passport before submitting your visa application.
US citizens studying in any of the MSID countries must obtain a student visa. Non-US citizens should check with the host country embassy to determine any special regulations pertaining entry into that country.
You are required to obtain a student visa through Perry International, a passport and visa processing company based in Chicago. The visa processing fee charged by Perry International is included in the MSID program fee. You pay Perry International the cost of the actual visa plus shipping costs and any additional fees. Instructions and application material can be found on Perry International's website . Enter ' MSID ' for the program name when selecting your visa country and type on Perry's website , and view MSID-specific instructions.
The Learning Abroad Center will send the required letter of acceptance directly to Perry International. Any photos required by Perry International are in addition to those you may have already submitted to the Learning Abroad Center.
If you have any questions about the visa process, contact Ty Collins, Thomas Heimdal or Tom Collins, either by email or by phone at 312.372.2703.
You do not need to pay Perry International to be registered with the US embassy. Perry International will automatically register you as part of the services they provide to the MSID program.
Check the visa in your passport when you receive it, particularly if it lists the dates of your stay abroad. Embassies have occasionally been known to make errors when entering in duration dates. Contact Perry International if you think that there may been an error in your visa.
For the Ecuador visa information, please read the visa application instructions carefully.
There are two required letters that may take extra time to obtain. They are:
- A letter from your physician (on official letterhead) indicating you are mentally and physically fit to participate on the program
- A letter from your home town police station (on official letterhead) indicating you do not have an arrest record
Additionally, the Ecuador visa process is actually a two-step process. After providing Perry International with all required forms and your passport, Perry International sends you one additional form that requires your signature. This needs to be returned to Perry International before the visa can be issued.
The Chicago Consulate of Ecuador requires one letter from the University of Minnesota and one letter from the organization in Ecuador (in your case CIMAS). We send both of these letters on your behalf. Start early and plan accordingly.