Prospective Students


What is a Prospective Student?

A prospective student is a student who may attend Texas A&M University in the future. International Student Services (ISS) represents a piece of the process for prospective students after they have been admitted to the University. We assist students in one of the following:
  1. issuing the necessary documents for students to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa
  2. assisting students in transferring their SEVIS record from a previous institution to Texas A&M University
  3. assisting students who wish to study in a status other than F or J remove an ISS Check-In Hold from their account
It is important for students to realize that ISS is not admissions and we are not able to assist with admissions issues. We hope that this page can be a single place to answer most of your questions on what is needed in order to study with us here at Texas A&M University as an international student.
 

STEP 1: Have you been officially admitted to Texas A&M University? 

​If you have not yet applied to A&M, please refer to the Office of Admissions website to start an application. If you have already applied and are pending a response, you may also contact the Office of Admissions to check the status of your application. 

Once you are fully admitted and have an active student record for an upcoming term, follow the steps below to receive your immigration documents, check-in, and enroll for courses. Welcome to the Aggie family!


Post Admissions and Pre-Arrival

STEP 2: You’re admitted, now what? Identify your immigration status.

Texas A&M University Definition of an International Student  
Any Texas A&M University student who is not a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident is considered an international student. Students who are in the process of applying for U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident status but have not yet been approved are still considered international students and must follow the instructions on this page that apply to their current immigration status. Newly admitted students who already have U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Status are not considered international students. These students should provide evidence of their Lawful Permanent Resident status to the TAMU Office of Admissions so that their University record is updated accurately. If necessary, the Office of Admissions can remove the ISS Check-In registration hold for new students if the student was already a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident at the time of application. 
 
Click on the section(s) that best pertains to your situation for detailed instructions on next steps to take. 


STEP 3: Start your request in Terra Dotta.

ISS uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student requests and records. All international  students at Texas A&M University will be able to use the software to initiate requests using their Net ID and password. Students can log-in to the Terra Dotta system after they have initiated a request. For most students, this request is one of the New F-1 Student Requests or New J-1 Student Requests, such as the Initial I-20 or Initial Ds-2019 request. Students in other visa statuses will most likely only need to submit the appropriate check-in found at Other Check-In Programs. Due to this limitation, students will not be able to directly log-in to the system until after they have started on of the requests available to them. 
 

Once you begin a request in Terra Dotta and log-in using your NetID and password to begin your request, you will be able to visit the User Home Page, where you can: 

  • View all your records (also known as requests) under the “Records” section. 
  • Verify your personal information to ensure your documents are issued accurately under “Profile.” 
  • View all messages from International Student Services that were sent through Terra Dotta. Please be advised that not all email correspondence from ISS is handled by Terra Dotta and sometimes ISS advisors will email you directly to your TAMU Gmail account. 

We have a dedicated page on Terra Dotta which includes video walkthroughs of the system at http://iss.tamu.edu/Terra-Dotta.   For a full list of requests that are available within Terra Dotta and general information on how to use the system, you can visit our public site at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/.


STEP 4: Review the information in Terra Dotta.  

Before you submit a request in Terra Dotta, it is essential that you review your Terra Dotta User Profile and confirm that all your personal information is accurate. Any errors may delay or cause an error in the issuance of your form I-20 or DS-2019 and should be corrected before you submit the request to ISS. 
 
Most personal information in the Terra Dotta systems come from information stored in the university system. Some of this information, taken from your initial application to the university, may transfer over incorrectly. Personal information cannot be verified by an ISS advisor, so it is the student's responsibility to review their profile and ensure information is correct. Please read the information below on how to identify errors, determine whether they need to be corrected, and what steps are needed to correct them. 
For F-1 and J-1 students, excluding those on a reciprocal exchange: We have created a detailed resource to explain all aspects of your Terra Dotta user profile that may contain an error that would impact our ability to process request. For information on reviewing your personal information and making corrections please visit https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=PublicDocuments.View&File_ID=43469.
 
For J-1 reciprocal exchange students: We have created a detailed resource to explain all aspects of your Terra Dotta user profile that may contain an error that would impact our ability to process request. For information on reviewing your personal information and making corrections please visit https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=PublicDocuments.View&File_ID=43476. If you notice information that is needed to be corrected, please contact the Education Abroad Office at:  
For students in statuses other than F and J: We have created a detailed resource to explain all aspects of your Terra Dotta user profile that may contain an error that would impact our ability to process request. For information on reviewing your personal information and making corrections please visit https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=PublicDocuments.View&File_ID=43489

For graduate students in Mays Business School: These students will not be in the Applicant Information System and should contact Kyle Broxon with any personal information correction requests.  Students should be prepared to provide them with a copy of their passport and must include their UIN. Their contact information can be found below: For students attending the School of Law: These students will not be in the Applicant Information System and should contact Jeff Green with any personal information correction requests. Students should be prepared to provide them a copy of their passport and must include their UIN. Their contact information can be found below:
After a correction has been made in the University database system, please allow a minimum of one business day for the information to populate correctly on your Terra Dotta user profile. 

If you have questions about content in your Terra Dotta User Profile not explained by the above information, please send an email with subject line "TDS Profile Information Error" including your full name, UIN, and specific question(s) to iss@tamu.edu.   


STEP 5: Complete your Request in Terra Dotta

After you have confirmed that the information found in your User Profile in Terra Dotta is now correct, you should complete the request you began. You can find this request in two ways:
  1. Once you log-in to Terra Dotta, you will see all requests under "Records" found on your User Home Page.
  2. Once you log-in to Terra Dotta, you can select "My Records" under the User Menu found in the top navigation bar.
For detailed information on navigating Terra Dotta, please review the walkthrough videos found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Terra-Dotta​

Detailed instructions on how to complete each request are found within the Terra Dotta Program. You will not be able to submit the request until all required items have been completed. 

Most students who are applying for Initial or Transfer documents from ISS will need to show necessary funding. Detailed information can be found at our dedicated page for Estimated Cost of Attendance at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance. The Estimated Cost of Attendance page details:
  • Estimated Cost of Attendance based on the admitted student's program and start of program
  • Acceptable Forms of Financial Documentation that can be used to submit initial and transfer immigration document requests within the Terra Dotta system.  
 

STEP 6: Complete Necessary Pre-Arrival Requirements (F-1 and J-1 students entering from outside the U.S. only)

Students who have completed their immigration document requests within Terra Dotta and have received their documents will need to take the necessary steps in order to enter the United States in the appropriate status. 

First, students should verify the information on their immigration document(s) issued by ISS are correct. If you suspect that there is an error on your documentation, please log-in to Terra Dotta and find the request you submitted to ISS to receive your document. Post-Decision content is available for you to notify ISS of any potential update or error. This should be done prior to booking a visa appointment

If no issue exists on your document, then students who are planning to travel to the United States should take the necessary steps to either:
  • Apply for a visa for the first time or
  • Apply to renew their visa if it has expired
ISS has a dedicated page on applying for a visa and the necessary steps required, which can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Applying-for-Visa​.
What if I am a Transfer Student within the United States?
Transfer students should still verify the information on their immigration document(s) issued by ISS are correct. If you suspect that there is an error on your documentation, please log-in to Terra Dotta and find the request you submitted to ISS to receive your document. Post-Decision content is available for you to notify ISS of any potential update or error. This should be completed prior to submitting their Transfer Check-In in Terra Dotta.

Arriving to the United States

STEP 7: Preparing to travel to the U.S.

Once students have the necessary immigration documentation to enter the United States, they need to prepare to arrive.  ISS has created a detailed page on arriving to the United States found at Arrival Information. Students who will be studying at a campus outside of the Bryan/College Station area should familiarize themselves with their ISS liaisons. This information can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Resources/Campuses

Students who are looking for information on what is available to them to do for recreation within Texas should visit ISS' dedicated page on exploring texas. This information can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Resources/Explore-Texas


STEP 8: Complete your Required Check-Ins

Checking in with the University:
If you are an Undergraduate Student you need to attend the mandatory New Student Conference (NSC) in order to enroll in classes. For details on the NSC, please visit New Student Conferences.
 
If you are a Graduate Student you may or may not have a mandatory orientation depending on your academic department and school. You should reach out to your department if you are unsure your program's requirements.
 
Checking in with ISS:

All students categorized as an international student under university records must complete one of the ISS check-in programs before registering for classes. All newly admitted international students are blocked from course registration at TAMU by the ISS Check-In Registration Hold. With a fully completed New Student Check-In, students can verify that they have arrived in the U.S. and are complying with federal regulations pertaining to their immigration status. Once your submitted check-in has been approved by an ISS advisor, the check-in hold will be removed and students are free to register for classes.

F-1 Student Check-Ins: https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=F-1 Check-In
J-1 Student Check-Ins: https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=J-1 Check-In
Other Check-In Programs: https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=Check-In Other


Frequently Asked Questions: