UofM Students

Visas

Learning Abroad Center Visa Services

The Learning Abroad Center provides visa services to current undergraduate students participating in a credit-bearing learning abroad program through the Learning Abroad Center.

If you are participating in an affiliate program, the Learning Abroad Center may be able to provide you with verification information necessary for your visa however, you will receive visa instructions from and direct your questions to your affiliate.

If you are participating in a Global Campus Partner program, the Learning Abroad Center may be able to provide you with verification information necessary for your visa, however you will receive visa instructions from and direct your questions to your program leader or administrator.

The Learning Abroad Center is not able to provide visa services regarding tourism, interning, volunteering, or working abroad.

What Is a Visa?

A visa is an official document contained within your passport that a foreign government issues to you, allowing you to travel to, from, and within that particular country or region legally. Countries typically break visas down into types that reflect the purpose of your visit—tourism, studying, and working, among many others.

The requirements to obtain a visa depend on country, type, duration and nationality of the applicant. A country’s consular office should be able to provide you with a list of requirements based on these factors.

Being granted a visa is a privilege, not a right. A consular office may deny your visa application, so it is best to adhere to their requirements and apply as early as possible.

How Do I Apply for a Visa?

Obtaining a visa is your responsibility. It is important that you know what is required of you before attempting to enter a country. Failing to obtain a visa (or the correct visa) could result in a denial of entry into a country, and even criminal charges.

If you are enrolled in a Learning Abroad Center program, you will receive more information from your program team, in your program handbook, or at orientation. For all other programs, check with the program sponsor for visa instructions.

Each country has different visa application requirements. All visas require that you have a valid passport in order to apply for your visa. Because of this, it is crucial that you apply early for your passport. As part of your visa application, you may be required to gather the following materials: student verification, proof of economic solvency, letter of invitation from your host university/country, passport photos, travel information and itinerary, visa fee, and more. You may also be required to apply for your visa at an in-person appointment at the consular office. In some cases, you may be able to apply in person in the Twin Cities, or you may need to visit the nearest consular office, which could be in Chicago or elsewhere in the US.

You can find the most up-to-date visa information by contacting the consulate or embassy of your host country. US Citizens can also find current visa information at the US Department of State's Study Abroad—Visa. Additionally, should the process become too overwhelming, many visa-processing agencies exist to help research and submit visa applications. The Learning Abroad Center recommends Perry International to provide these services.

Non US-Citizens

Immigration law in the United States is rapidly changing, and if you have concerns about your country of citizenship or that your U.S. immigraiton status may be problematic for travel purposes, you should contact the University of Minnesota's Immigration Response Team.

It is your responsibility to research the entry requirements and complete the visa application for citizens of your home country traveling to your study abroad country. Navigate to Visa Resources on this page to check basic entry requirements and research visa processing services.

The Learning Abroad Center can usually provide you with a verification letter, proof of enrollment, and some other supplemental visa application materials, upon request. Requests need to be made at least five business days in advance.

Be aware that it may take non-US Citizens longer to obtain a visa, so research this information early on in your planning.

International Students

International students at the University of Minnesota should follow the instructions to study abroad as laid out by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). International students must contact ISSS prior to studying abroad to verify reentry requirements and to update their I-20 form, if needed.

It is your responsibility to research the entry requirements and complete the visa application for citizens of your home country traveling to your study abroad country. Navigate to Visa Resources on this page to check basic entry requirements and research visa processing services.

The Learning Abroad Center can usually provide you with a verification letter, proof of enrollment, and some other supplemental visa application materials, upon request. Requests need to be made at least five business days in advance.

Be aware that it may take non-US Citizens longer to obtain a visa, so research this information early on in your planning.

Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)

It is your responsibility to research the entry requirements and complete the visa application for citizens of your home country traveling to your study abroad country. Navigate to Visa Resources on this page to check basic entry requirements and research visa processing services.

The Learning Abroad Center can usually provide you with a verification letter, proof of enrollment, and some other supplemental visa application materials, upon request. Requests need to be made at least five business days in advance.

Green Card Holders: Visa and Passport information specific for permanent resident (green card-holding) students traveling abroad for University study

USCIS International Travel as a Permanent Resident: Information from US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Reentry permit or refugee travel document (I-131) application: Application for Travel Document

Be aware that it may take non-US Citizens longer to obtain a visa, so research this information early on in your planning.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The Learning Abroad Center recommends that you consult with both your program team and the University of Minnesota's Immigration Response Team to discuss resources and your travel plans. View Updates on Immigration Policy Changes. The National Immigration Law Center has detailed information for those with DACA status. 

Undocumented Students

The Learning Abroad Center recommends that you consult with both your program team and the University of Minnesota's Immigration Response Team to discuss resources.

Students with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The Learning Abroad Center recommends that you consult with both your program team and the University of Minnesota's Immigration Response Team to discuss resources.

Visa Resources

These resources are helpful for checking basic entry requirements. Visa processing services are also listed.

NAFSA's Visas for EA

US Deptartment of State Travel

CIBT, Visa HQ, Travisa

Perry Visa

Consulate-specific web pages

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a visa?

Can you help me with my travel/work/intern/volunteer abroad visa?

Due to limited resources, the Learning Abroad Center is able to assist only current undergraduate students participating in a credit-bearing learning abroad program through the Learning Abroad Center.

What is a Money Order? Where can I get one?

What’s a passport photo? Can I use a scanned copy?

What is Schengen?

I’m traveling before my study abroad program or after my study abroad program ends. Does my visa cover that travel?

You will need to check with your consulate regarding travel before or after your study abroad program. Whether or not you will be able to travel before or after will depend on your study abroad country, type of visa, and your citizenship.

I want to travel outside of my study abroad country during my program. Does my visa allow for this?

You will need to ensure that you have a multiple entry visa that allows you to depart your study abroad country and re-enter throughout your program dates. Check with your consulate for further details.

I need a form notarized. How can I do this?

University Student Legal Services at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus can provide notary services free of charge.

I’m not participating in a program through the Learning Abroad Center and need an enrollment verification letter. How can I do this?

You can request enrollment verification through One Stop.

Can I leave the United States while my visa application is in process?

If you submitted your passport as part of your visa application, you will need to wait to receive your passport before you travel internationally. In rare cases, you may be able to apply for a second passport

I am currently abroad and need to apply for a visa to travel to another country. Can I mail my US passport back to the United States to apply for my visa? 

No. You should never be separated from your passport while you are abroad.