University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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IMA Visitor Information

International Visitors/Visas

90 Days or Fewer

If you are a foreign national staying at the IMA for 90 days or fewer, you may qualify for a Visa Waiver(WB) or travel with a B-1 business visa.

WB – You are eligible for the Visa Waiver program if you are a citizen of one of the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. More information can be found at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors_novisa.html.

Under the WB program, you must fill out an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/. You do not need to visit a US consulate or embassy before your trip. More information about ESTA is available at http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/. All visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (WB), MUST present machine -readable passports. Our staff will provide additional documents to assist you at the U.S. border.

B-1 – If you are not a citizen of one of the countries listed above, you will need to make an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain a visa. Each country's wait time for obtaining a visa is different and we recommend you start the process at least two months in advance of your trip. For a list of countries and their expected wait-times in obtaining a visa, visit this website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors_wait.php. Please contact the IMA at to request supporting documents. More information can be found at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1262.html.

Canadian citizens – Canadian citizens may request entry into the U.S. as a visitor for business without going to an embassy or consulate office. A Canadian citizen presents at the U.S. border:

  • Letter of invitation from the University of Minnesota department (Please contact our IMA staff at for this letter)
  • Passport

More than 90 Days

J1 Visa – If you come for more than 90 days, you may need a J1 visa. Please contact the IMA staff at

If you have entered the US in the J Professor or Research Scholar category within 24 months of your upcoming visit, you will not be able to reenter in this category. Please see our University International website at: http://www.isss.umn.edu/jscholar/pvisa.html. You will find passport & entry visa information, Health Care & Insurance requirements for J1 visa holders, Travel & Re-Entry with J-1 visa, J1 Scholar application form and the J1 Scholar handbook. if you think you may need a J1 visa.

J1 visa holders must check in within a day or two upon arrival at the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) offices located at 190 Humphrey Institute. They are the department that issued your J1 visa and they need to check your paperwork and record your arrival. Our IMA staff will assist you with directions. The records of J-1s that are not validated in the ISSS system within 30 days of the "program begin date" on their DS-2019s will be automatically inactivated and are extremely difficult to reactive.

It can take 5 weeks to process a DS-2019 for the J1 visa.

It can take 6-8 weeks to process a DS-2019 for Chinese scholars.

Important: If you will be traveling away from the IMA and expect to receive expenses from another Institution or Company, you will need to obtain a letter from the IMA Director and it will need to be approved by the ISSS office. A two-week notice is recommended. Please see http://www.isss.umn.edu/j/JTravelOUS.html.

If you come on a J1 visa you are also responsible for purchasing your own health and emergency exit insurance. J1 visitors are required to have health insurance for themselves and their family members who accompany them, within 25 days of their arrival. The insurance requirements are outlined in the welcome letter that is sent by the International Office along with the J1 visa forms. It is recommended that visitors purchase the Boynton Health Insurance located at the University of Minnesota if they need health insurance. To purchase your health insurance, please go to Room 323 Boynton Health Service Building and bring your DS2019 with you. See http://www.bhs.umn.edu/insurance/international.htm. This web site provides the most current cost, coverage, and other insurance details. Medical Evacuation & Repatriation Benefits are included in this insurance coverage. These estimates change each academic year.