What Is a Passport?
U.S. Passport Application/Renewal Information
International Students (F-1 Visa)
Permanent Resident (Green Card Holders)
- A passport is an official document issued by your national government proving your identity and citizenship, entitling you to travel under its protection to and from other countries.
- A valid passport is required for participation in all St. Olaf College international study abroad programs.
- For most international travel, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your study abroad program. If it will expire before then, you need to renew your passport.
- Application for a U.S. passport is filed in person at the nearest county courthouse (passport resources in Northfield).
- A representative of the county recorder of Rice County is available on the St. Olaf campus for one day in April and one day in October to receive applications for passports.
- Passport application procedures for international students vary by country of citizenship.
- For citizens of the United States, passports are issued by US Department of State.
- First time applicants should follow the instructions listed on the US State Department’s website. Applicants must bring their completed application, photos, required documents, and payment to one of many acceptance offices, which can be found on their website.
- Rice County provides passport services by appointment only, at the Rice County Satellite Office located at Northfield City Hall on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
- Those looking to renew an adult passport should follow the instructions listed on the US State Department’s website. Renewals can be submitted by mail, no in-person appointments necessary.
- U.S. Passport renewals can take between 4-8 weeks, so apply for a passport as soon as possible.
- The fee to receive or renew a passport is between $110 to $140, depending on type (see the US State Department’s website for fees). Expedited services are an additional $60.
- For U.S. citizens who applied for a passport when they were younger than 16 years of age, their passport is only valid for 5 years.
- Immigration law in the United States is rapidly changing, and if you have concerns about your country of citizenship or that your U.S. immigration status may be problematic for travel purposes. The Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion is committed to serving as the primary resource for the educational, personal, and professional growth and development of the diverse international student population at St. Olaf College. Immigration Status and Visa Processing for International Students is handled by the Visa Coordinator at 1-507-786-3060.
- It is your responsibility to research the travel requirements for citizens of your home country traveling to your study abroad country, and returning to the U.S.
- In addition you are responsible for knowing the re-entry requirements and documentation you will need to return to the U.S.
- The International and Off-Campus Studies Office can 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 of when you plan to submit your visa application.
- An F-1 student should maintain a valid passport at all times.
- Passports should be valid for at least six months into the future.
- Federal law does not allow an F-1 visa holder to enter the United States if their passport has expired.
- Students should contact their consulate in the U.S. for passport renewal information. Not all foreign passports can be renewed from the U.S. so international students might need to plan ahead and renew their passport while home during summer vacation.
- U.S. permanent resident (green card holder) students traveling abroad for study can find it difficult to navigate the ins-and-outs of the Passport process. You cannot travel abroad on a “green card” alone.
- If you do not have a passport from your home country but have the ability to obtain one, you must do so. Students should contact their consulate in the U.S. for passport renewal information.Not all foreign passports can be renewed from the U.S. so international students might need to plan ahead and renew their passport while home during summer vacation.
- If you are unable to obtain a passport from your home country due to political instability, refugee status, etc. you will need to apply for a U.S. Travel Document, also known as a reentry permit, from the U.S. government. You can find information on the I-131 “Application for Travel Document” on the USCIS website.
- Students should apply as early as possible for the U.S. Travel Document and even consider paying extra to rush the service, as the estimated application processing time can range from 4-6 months.
Please note: Information presented here was based on requirements available at the time of publication. All information is subject to change at any time. Always review the most current official documents and government websites, and rely on those specific details over anything presented here.