Arrival in the U.S.

*Reminder – International students with a "Initial Attendance" I-20 should not attempt to enter the United States more than thirty (30) days prior to the semester start date. This is marked as the "Earliest Admission Date" on your I-20.

Once an F-1 student has arrived in the United States and is processed through the Port of Entry, they should report to Lamar University and the International Student office for advisement (if not clarified below ).

The guidance below is meant to help guide new and returning Internatonal students in their efforts to be ready to register for classes in their new Program of Study. If you have been directed to this webpage by our office, then it is IMPORTANT that you closely follow the guidance below. Remember, our office is here to help you maintain your lawful visa status, but we cannot do that without your help.

1. Orientation (University Law Required – No Orientation, No Registration)

Orientation for new F and J visa status international students takes place prior to class registration and is mandatory. Students should plan to arrive in time to attend. This orientation entails important information about maintaining your immigration status, achieving academic success, and utilizing valuable on-campus services and resources. Students will have a chance to meet other new students within their degree program, as well as professors and the dean of their academic department.

Students will be notified of the Orientation schedule prior to the semester start date. The date of the Orientation typically in the week before the start of classes, so students should try to ensure they arrive into the US at least one week before their labeled "Start of Classes." on their I-20. You will receive an email within two months of the semester start date with further guidance.

Our office's class enrollment holds will only be lifted after your reserve your space for the International Student orientation. You may reserve your spot in that orientation by completing and submitting our online webform HERE.

International students who have already attended a previous F and J orientation with our office at Lamar University are not required to attend a second orientation. If asked to compete the webform above, you will have an option to indicate you have previously attended.

2. Vaccination Records

Ask at the U.S. embassy or consulate whether you must have a medical examination and/or immunization(s) before entering the United States. Regulations are different for each country of origin. Inform the U.S. embassy or consulate if you plan to visit other countries before going to the United States because this might affect the requirements for you. Major airlines often can supply information on U.S. entry requirements from other countries. Your doctor also might recommend additional immunizations.

Texas Senate Bill 1107 requires that all new students under age 22 who attend on-campus classes at an institution of higher learning either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before the first day of the semester. The requirement also applies to returning students under age 22 who were not enrolled in the previous long semester. A MenACWY vaccine, such as Menactra, Menveo, or MenQuadfi, are needed to fulfill this requirement.

All new or returning Lamar University students under age 22 who were not enrolled in the previous long semester must provide proof of a bacterial meningitis vaccination or exemption through one of the five methods listed below.

The law states that students who do not qualify for an exemption must be immunized no later than 10 days prior to the first class day. This vaccination is valid for a five-year period. Make sure that yours has not expired. Take action now in order to register on time.

How to provide proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination or exemption

  1. The Lamar University IMMUNIZATION RECORD/MEDICAL EXEMPTION FORM (PDF) that is completed and signed by a physician, his or her designee, or public health official.

  2. A document bearing the signature or stamp of a physician, his or her designee, or public health official. This record must state the name of the vaccination, the name and address of the medical facility, and the day, month and year that the vaccination was administered.

  3. An official immunization record generated by a state or local health authority. This record must state the name of the vaccination, the name and address of the medical facility, and the day, month and year that the vaccination was administered.

  4. An official school record that indicates a current bacterial meningitis vaccination. This record must state the name of the vaccination, the name and address of the medical facility, and the day, month and year that the vaccination was administered.

  5. An affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician's opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student. This document must state the name of the physician and the name and address of the medical facility.

  6. An affidavit, which must be signed by the student and notarized, stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, which may include a religious belief. The exemption form must be requested from the Texas Department of State Health Services and may take up to two weeks for delivery by mail -Request for Conscientious Objection Form (PDF).

Where to get the vaccination

Facilities where the vaccination may be available appear below.

Lamar University Student Health Center

857 E. Virginia
Beaumont TX 77705
(409) 880-8466
NOTE: Student must have a Lamar ID andStudent Identification Number to make an appointment


Most Walgreens pharmacies

CVS pharmacies at 2950 Dowlen Road, Beaumont, and 2712 Highway 365, Nederland

Your local health department

Submitting immunization/exemption documents

Immunization or exemption documentation may be submitted to Lamar University electronically, through the U.S. Postal Service, in person or by fax machine.

In Person: Records Office, Wimberly 102

By Mail: Lamar University

              Records Office
              P.O. Box 10010
              Beaumont TX 77710

By E-mail:

By Fax: (409) 880-7769

3. Tuberculosis Testing Policy

LU International students are required to provide evidence of an acceptable Tuberculosis test to the Lamar Student Health Center. Only the Student Health Center can remove medical-related holds from your student account, including this TB test, so you must clear this hold directly with their office to allow your class registration (NO EXCEPTIONS). Use the links below to go directly to their webpage, which provides guidance on submitting your expected test results.

4. SEVIS Registration with Office of International Education and Services

F visa students starting any new program of study with Lamar are required to complete the OIES SEVIS registration process and complete any required placement exams before they are eligible for academic advising or enrollment in classes.

It is mandatory for our OIES officials to keep record of specific documentation and report vast amounts of information to SEVIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A few examples of this are as follows:

  • Copies of immigration documentation (Passport, Visa, I-94 Card, SEVIS Forms, etc.)
  • Address Information and Updates
  • Periodic reporting to SEVIS regarding enrollment and OPT
  • Release information regarding the status of individual students to SEVIS and DHS officials
  • Report student's signature of understanding on required documents
F visa students changing Education Levels or transferring from other US schools are also required to report this information to our office. For these reasons, new program students will be required to complete our office's online webform regarding SEVIS Registration. If you do not complete this form to our office's satisfaction, then we cannot guarantee that you are in compliance with your Student Visa regulations.

Near the start of the semester, you will be emailed and given a weblink to our office's online webform when our office is accepting Registration requests. You must complete this form to the best of your ability. This form will require to submit the following document scans, which you can prepare ahead of time:

1. Your signed and dated I-20.

This must be your most recent I-20, for the program you plan to start in the given semester. First page must be signed and dated by you.

2. Your I-901 SEVIS fee receipt.

You must retrieve the I-901 by going to, clicking the "Check I-901 status" box, and then filling your information.

3. Your valid passport (biographical page) scan.

Passport must be valid (unexpired).

4. Your F-1 visa stamp scan.

Citizens of Bermuda and Canada not required. If you have been approved by USCIS to Change your Status to F-1, then upload the I-797 approval notice instead.

5. Your Most Recent I-94.

You must GO TO THIS CBP WEBPAGE and click "Get Most Recent I-94." You will need your detailed passport information. Once retrieved, you may print or screenshot the result. If you are inside the US, then you have an I-94 record.

5. Academic Advising and Enrollment

Upon completion of the OIES registration and placement exams, students should report to their respective Academic Department for advising and course enrollment. International students are required to be enrolled full-time during the regular semesters (Fall/Spring) unless approval has been received by the OIES and Department prior to the beginning of the semester.

Undergraduate International students:
Undergraduate students should refer to the Undergraduate Advising Center website, as this is a valuable resource for information and guidance for your enrollment preparation. With their website you can Find Your Advisor for scheduling an academic advisement appointment. You can also learn more information regarding any TSI (Texas Success Initiative) test you may be required to take. We strongly encourage our new Undergraduate students to fully review the information available from their office.

Graduate Students (Masters/Doctor) – 9 Semester Credit hours
Undergraduate (Bachelor/Associate) – 12 Semester Credit hours

Undergraduate – 6 Semester Credit hours (Summer I, II, and/or 3)
Graduate – 6 Semester Credit hours (Summer I, II, and/or 3)

*F-1 Students entering the Summer semester are required to enroll full-time in that semester, and must enroll full-time in the following Fall and Spring semesters to maintain their F-1 status.