SEVIS and the I-20

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Preparing to Receive the I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility

Below are details pertaining to acceptance letters, issuance of SEVIS Forms I-20 and/or Forms DS-2019, mailing options – how immigration forms may be received, and information for the SEVIS Fee Payment.

 

Acceptance Letters

 Acceptance letters will be issued electronically by the Office of Admissions and the Department in which the student has been admitted.

After you have completed your application, been accepted, and submitted all required immigration information, Lamar University will mail you the appropriate certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019).


I-20 or DS-2019

The certificate of eligibility must be presented at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy when applying for your F-1 or J-1 student visa, along with your unexpired passport, evidence of financial support and SEVIS fee receipt.

If you do not receive the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or the visa waiver program. Doing so may prevent you from beginning your academic program on time, or make it necessary for you to leave the U.S. to change to student status.

You should at least prepare the following documents for your SEVIS form. Doing so can allow your requested immigration form to be issued after your formal acceptance to Lamar University.

  1. Copy of Passport Biographical Pages
  2. Proof of Financial Resources


SEVIS requirements for the Certificate of Eligibility issuance:

The following documentation should be forwarded to the Office of International Education and Services (international.recruitment@lamar.edu):

1. Financial Statement/Affidavit of Support

As an international student, you must prove that you have the financial resources to attend Lamar University. As part of the application process, you must submit an original Financial Statement Form that asks for personal, family, and/or sponsor financial information and a bank verification of financial holdings.

If you are receiving scholarship funding from either your academic department or the university’s Scholarship office, then you will need to forward a signed and dated offer letter from the respective office. You will need to cover any remaining amount of estimated expenses in your financial guarantee.

2. Copies of any available Immigration Documentation

For all students:

Passport Biographical Pages

For Students already inside of the US:

US Visa stamp
Most Recent I-94 (Retrieve and Print/Screenshot from the USCIS website here)
All SEVIS Forms I-20 Received (Initial/current) – Original documents will be required upon registration.

3. SEVIS Transfer-In Form

International students with F-1 or J-1 visas who are attending a school in the U.S. must make sure that this form is completed and submitted to the OIES at Lamar University before they will receive a transfer SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 or enroll. Copies of your current immigration documents (Active SEVIS I20(s)/DS2019, Passport, Biographical and Visa pages, and I-94 Card) must also be submitted by the student to our office. Completion of this side of the form authorizes your International Student Advisor at your school to verify the information the student has provided and to complete the bottom half of the form.

Download form (To be attached with application below)

Online Transfer-In Application

DO NOT HAVE YOUR SEVIS RECORD RELEASED OR TRANSFERRED TO LAMAR UNIVERSITY UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM OUR OFFICE TO DO SO.

After you have completed your application, been accepted and submitted all required immigration information, Lamar University will be able to issue you the appropriate certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019). Please note that you must stop enrollment at your current US school and ask their DSO to transfer your SEVIS record out to Lamar before the I-20 can be issued from our office.


I-20 / DS-2019 Mailing Options

Immigration documents may be released through one of the two options below.

1. Pick-up

You may pick-up your document directly from our office in person (bring a form of ID for our verification). You may also authorize a friend or relative to pick up your documents in your place. If you wish to do this, please send an email to international.recruitment@lamar.edu with the following information:

  • Your personal identifiable information:
    • Your name
    • LUID
    • Date of birth

  • Your authorized representative’s information:
    • His/her name
    • LU ID (if they are a student at Lamar University)
    • His/her date of birth

  • A clear statement authorizing them to pick up your documents from the International Student Services office. 

Any omission of the requested information above is not suitable, and you will be requested to re-send the email notice with all the information requested. With your email documented and stored in your file, we will use that information to verify the person’s identity once they arrive to pick up your documents (inform them to have a form of ID ready and available).

2. Express Mail Service

The International Student Services office uses an express mail service that will allow you to receive your I-20 or DS-2019 through courier services. Requesting your immigration documents through express mail is at YOUR expense. Your credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards only) will be charged upon requesting the service. To request express mailing of your documents, go to the following website (works best with Internet Explorer & Mozilla Firefox browsers).

eShip Global (https://study.eshipglobal.com/)

You must use the website provided above – do not go through the DHL or FedEx website directly. All communication will go through the eShipGlobal service, who will notify us that you are requesting your I-20 to be sent by express mail.

If you use this service, you will be required to create a username and password to set up an account. For newly admitted students requesting an initial or transfer I-20 in order to enroll into Lamar, make sure you choose the Department labeled International Admission/Office of Admission Services as the pickup location in Step 2 of your order.

To request shipment, you will need your LU ID (the letter “L” followed by an 8 digit number at top of your admissions letter), mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and credit card information. Please pay close attention to the information submitted, as errors in the credit card information or submitting incorrect or incomplete address information will result in a delay in the mailing of your I-20. If you experience any difficulty in registering and processing the shipment, please use the “FAQ” link in the site for assistance. If you have additional questions about how to use this service, please e-mail eShipGlobal directly at  studentsupport@eshipglobal.com.


Visa Interview

The information below has been provided to offer guidance regarding making the consulate appointment, vaccination records and requirements (Texas Senate Bill 1107), and the required health insurance.


SEVIS Fee Payment

You must pay the SEVIS fee before attending the Visa interview. Payments for SEVIS documents can be made here: FMJfee.com. Detailed information regarding the SEVIS I-901 fee can be found on the same website. Upon payment of the fee, eligible students will receive a I-901 fee receipt or Form I-797.  Students will need to retain a copy of the Form I-797 for submission during the OISPS registration process.


Consulate Appointment

Make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and be prepared to bring your valid passport (issued by your home country’s government), form I-20 or DS-2019, and evidence of adequate financial resources. You may also need to provide the consular officer with proof of ties to your home country such as job offers, evidence of ownership of residence or property, or copies of bank statements from a bank in your home country. Since visa application requirements vary from country to country please use the links below to obtain exact instructions.


US Embassy/Consulate links

For information regarding visa processes, preparation, and various embassy information visit the following links:

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ (Note: F, M, and J Visas are considered NON-immigrant Visas)
http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students
https://www.cbp.gov/travel
http://www.embassy.org