You are Admitted: Now What?


Prior to their arrival on campus and/or prior to enrollment, newly admitted international students should (1) request a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from International Student Services (ISS), if applicable, and (2) complete an online Check-In process with ISS. The purpose of this webpage is to explain the procedures for requesting a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from ISS. Information about the online Check-In process with ISS can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Check-in

Texas A&M University Definition of International Student
Any Texas A&M University student who is not a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident is considered to be 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 considered to be 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 Texas A&M University 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 if the student is already a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident.

Click on the section(s) that best pertain to your situation for detailed instructions on how to submit requests to International Students Services based on your particular situation.

Please note: All Initial Document Request Programs are currently disabled for Summer 2020.  Unfortunately, ISS will not be issuing I-20s and DS-2019s for students to enter the United States for the 2020 summer term.  Students wishing to TRANSFER their SEVIS record to Texas A&M University for Summer 2020 and are currently within the United States are not affected by this decision. 

Initial I-20 Requests ARE NOW LIVE FOR FALL 2020.
Transfer I-20 Requests ARE NOW LIVE FOR SUMMER 2020 AND FALL 2020.


The Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status", is an important document for all F-1 students and their F-2 dependents. It is a document that you should keep safe as you will need it throughout your time as an international student.  Most new international students who plan to pursue F-1 status must receive a Form I-20 from ISS after being admitted to Texas A&M and before enrolling in classes. They will also need their I-20 to obtain an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate outside of the U.S. to enter the United States.

To request a Form I-20 from International Student Services, international students must submit several documents and fulfill specific criteria.

Students must verify information found in their Howdy portal: All international students should verify that their information in the university student information system is accurate and correct. This information is automatically transferred to Terra Dotta, the system that ISS uses to issue immigration documents. Students will have access to Terra Dotta after they have initiated at least one request. More information can be found at ISS - Terra Dotta

Students must submit acceptable documentation of financial resources: F-1 students must show evidence of funding for either the length of their academic program or one year, whichever is shorter. ISS will accept evidence of financial resources from a variety of sources, including private funds, university funds, and sponsoring company, agency, or government funds. More information on the acceptable forms of financial documents may be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation.

Tuition and fees are dependent on program and program length. ISS has provided estimates for students based on their program on our Estimated Cost of Attendance page located at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance.

For detailed estimates of tuition and fees, please use the tuition and fees calculator provided by Texas A&M located at https://tuition.tamu.edu/.

Disclaimer: If ISS is unable to process verifiable financial documentation within a week before classes start for your semester of admission, then you will likely need to make plans to defer your admission to a later semester.

Students must fulfill English language proficiency requirements:  ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.

Students must have specific addresses and phone numbers in Howdy:  Students should review their address and phone numbers present within Howdy. They should:

  1. Verify or add a valid "International Permanent" address.
  2. Verify or add a valid "Student Local Physical" address. [Transfer students only]
  3. Verify a valid foreign number or add a domestic phone number.
  4. Verify that you have not entered any special characters into any of your addresses in the Howdy Portal. Including these will cause an error with our data feed and delay the processing of your Form I-20.

Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf

Special Note for Students in Non-Degree Seeking programs or certificate programs: These students will need a completed International Non-Degree or Special Program Department Information Form to include in their Terra Dotta request. This form must be completed and signed by your academic department. This form can be found athttp://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Prospective%20Students/NDS.pdf

Newly admitted international students who plan to enroll in F-1 status with an I-20 issued by Texas A&M University should follow the procedures outlined in this section to apply for a Form I-20.   Students who plan to study at Texas A&M University on F status fall into three categories. Depending on their specific situation, the application for a Form I-20 will be different. The three types are:

  1. Students who are currently outside the United States and are requesting a Form I-20 to apply for a visa. These students should complete the Initial I-20 request through the Terra Dotta System. A summary of requirements and a direct link to that request can be found in the Initial I-20 section below.
  2. Students who are currently in the United States studying on F-1 status and will be transferring their current SEVIS record to Texas A&M University. These students should complete the Transfer I-20 request through the Terra Dotta System. A summary of requirements and a direct link to that request can be found in the Transfer I-20 section below.
  3. Students currently in the U.S. on another non-immigrant status who wish to change their status to F-1 by application OR travel. These students are not currently able to apply directly through the Terra Dotta system. Since each individual's immigration history is unique, International Student Services require all students considering a Change of Non-Immigrant status to have an appointment with an advisor in International Student Services.  More information about changing your status can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Current-Students/F-1-Status#4-ChangeofStatustoF-1.

Please note: All Initial Document Request Programs are currently disabled for Summer 2020.  Unfortunately, ISS will not be issuing I-20s and DS-2019s for students to enter the United States for the 2020 summer term.  Students wishing to TRANSFER their SEVIS record to Texas A&M University for Summer 2020 and are currently within the United States are not affected by this decision. 

Initial I-20 Requests ARE NOW LIVE FOR FALL 2020.

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
International Student Services reviews requests on a first-come, first-served basis. In peak season, Initial I-20 processing time is two weeks and will ONLY begin after ALL required steps have been completed correctly in Terra Dotta. Keep in mind that the processing time of two weeks does not include mail delivery time. Please note that our office handles requests for over 8,000 new, current and former international students and that we will work diligently to get your request completed in a timely manner.
 

Requesting an Initial I-20 from ISS

International Student Services (ISS) uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. You will complete your I-20 request on ISS Terra Dotta using your NetID and password.
  1. Valid Passport: Most Recently Issued
    1. If you will have any F-2 dependents, you must upload a valid passport for each F-2 dependent.
    2. You will also have to complete questionnaires to provide us with their information.
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.
    1. Information about English Proficiency requirements can be found on the Office of Admissions website: http://admissions.tamu.edu/international/english
  3. Financial Documents:  Please reference our webpage dedicated to acceptable forms of finances at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation
  4. Update address & phone number in Howdy portal: Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf
  5. You may be required to prepare Additional Documents based on your situation.
    1. International Non Degree or Special Program Department Information Form
    2. Approved Waiver for Two Year Residency Requirements

Detailed instructions on how to submit these items to us can be found within your Terra Dotta New F-1 Student I-20 request.

You may request your Initial I-20 at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Students.Apply&Program_ID=10067 or by clicking apply now below.

Transfer I-20 Requests ARE NOW LIVE FOR SUMMER 2020 and FALL 2020

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
International Student Services reviews requests on a first-come, first-served basis. In peak season, Initial I-20 processing time is two weeks and will ONLY begin after ALL required steps have been completed correctly in Terra Dotta. Keep in mind that the processing time of two weeks does not include mail delivery time. Please note that our office handles requests for over 8,000 new, current and former international students and that we will work diligently to get your request completed in a timely manner.

Transferring an Active SEVIS Record to Texas A&M University

Students who will have their F-1 SEVIS record transferred to Texas A&M from another U.S. institution will need to communicate with the institution that currently manages their active F-1 SEVIS record to request that they transfer the SEVIS record to the appropriate campus below. Please note that ISS cannot issue the Form I-20 until the SEVIS record has been transferred and successfully received by Texas A&M University. You may begin a Transfer I-20 request before your record is transferred however you will not be able to complete the request until transfer students have communicated their intent to transfer with their current school and have a SEVIS transfer release date.

In certain situations, transfer students may instead elect to leave the United States and request an Initial I-20 instead. Please be advised that if a student chooses to request an initial document, they will be unable to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date on their Form I-20. Ultimately it is the student's decision which request they should submit.

F-1 SEVIS School Codes managed by ISS:

When working with your school to transfer your SEVIS record to Texas A&M University, please provide the correct campus code based on the campus you will be attending. We have provided a list of campus codes below.

Texas A&M University SNA214F00334000 (located in College Station, TX)
Texas A&M University Galveston SNA214F00334001
Texas A&M University School of Law SNA214F00334003
Texas A&M Health Science Center Kingsville HLG214F09976000
Texas A&M Health Science Center McAllen HLG214F09976001
Texas A&M Health Science Center Houston HOU214F00582000
Texas A&M Health Science Center Bryan SNA214F00127000
Texas A&M Health Science Center College Station SNA214F00127003
Texas A&M Health Science Center Round Rock SNA214F00127002
Texas A&M Health Science Center Temple SNA214F00127001
Texas A&M College of Dentistry DAL214F00190000

Requesting a Transfer I-20 from ISS:

International Student Services (ISS) uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. You will complete your I-20 request on ISS Terra Dotta using your NetID and password. You will need to prepare the following for your TransferI-20 request:

  1. Valid Passport: Most Recently Issued
    1. If you will have any F-2 dependents, you must upload a valid passport for each F-2 dependent.
    2. You will also have to complete questionnaires to provide us with their information.
  2. I-94: If you entered the United States on F-1 status, you will need to upload this document.
  3. Port of Entry Stamp(s): If present on the visa pages of your passport you will need to upload these
  4. Proof of English Proficiency: ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.
    1. Information about English Proficiency requirements can be found on the Office of Admissions website: http://admissions.tamu.edu/international/english
  5. Financial Documents: Please reference our webpage dedicated to acceptable forms of finances at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation
  6. Update address & phone number in Howdy portal:  Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf
  7. You may be required to prepare Additional Documents based on your situation.
    • International Non Degree or Special Program Department Information Form
    • Approved Waiver for Two Year Residency Requirements
    • Past Change of Status Approval Notices

Detailed instructions on how to submit these items to us can be found within your Terra Dotta Transfer I-20 request.

You may request your Transfer I-20 at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Students.Apply&Program_ID=10068 or by clicking apply now below.

Please note: All Initial Document Request Programs are currently disabled for Summer 2020.  Unfortunately, ISS will not be issuing I-20s and DS-2019s for students to enter the United States for the 2020 summer term.  Students wishing to TRANSFER their SEVIS record to Texas A&M University for Summer 2020 and are currently within the United States are not affected by this decision. 

Initial DS-2019 Requests ARE NOW LIVE FOR FALL 2020.
Transfer DS-2019 Requests ARE NOW LIVE FOR SUMMER 2020 AND FALL 2020.

 

The Form DS-2019, "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status", is an important document for all J-1 students and their J-2 dependents. It is a document that you should keep safe as you will need it throughout your time as an international student.  Most new international students who plan to pursue J-1 status must receive a Form DS-2019 from ISS or from a designated program sponsor after being admitted to Texas A&M and before enrolling in classes. They will also need their DS-2019 to obtain an J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate outside of the U.S. to enter the United States.

To request a Form DS-2019 from International Student Services, international students must submit several documents and fulfill specific criteria.

Students must verify information found in their Howdy portal: All international students should verify that their information in the university student information system is accurate and correct. This information is automatically transferred to Terra Dotta, the system that ISS uses to issue immigration documents. Students will have access to Terra Dotta after they have initiated at least one request. More information can be found at ISS - Terra Dotta

Students must submit acceptable documentation of financial resources: J-1 students must show evidence of funding for either the length of their academic program or one year, whichever is shorter. ISS will accept evidence of financial resources from a variety of sources, including private funds, university funds, and sponsoring company, agency, or government funds. More information on the acceptable forms of financial documents may be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation.

Tuition and fees are dependent on program and program length. ISS has provided estimates for students based on their program on our Estimated Cost of Attendance page located at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance.

For detailed estimates of tuition and fees, please use the tuition and fees calculator provided by Texas A&M located at https://tuition.tamu.edu/.

Disclaimer: If ISS is unable to process verifiable financial documentation within a week before classes start for your semester of admission, then you will likely need to make plans to defer your admission to a later semester.

Students must fulfill English language proficiency requirements:  ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.

Students must have specific addresses and phone numbers in Howdy:  Students should review their address and phone numbers present within Howdy. They should:

  1. Verify or add a valid "International Permanent" address.
  2. Verify or add a valid "Student Local Physical" address. [Transfer students only]
  3. Verify a valid foreign number or add a domestic phone number.
  4. Verify that you have not entered any special characters into any of your addresses in the Howdy Portal. Including these will cause an error with our data feed and delay the processing of your Form DS-2019.

Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf

Special Note for Students in Non-Degree Seeking programs or certificate programs: These students will need a completed International Non-Degree or Special Program Department Information Form to include in their Terra Dotta request. This form must be completed and signed by your academic department. This form can be found athttp://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Prospective%20Students/NDS.pdf

Newly admitted international students who plan to enroll in J-1 status with a DS-2019 issued by Texas A&M University should follow the procedures outlined in this section to apply for a DS-2019.   Students who plan to study at Texas A&M University on J status fall into three categories. Depending on their specific situation, the application for a Form DS-2019 will be different. The three types are:

  1. Students who are currently outside the United States and are requesting a Form DS-2019 to apply for a visa. These students should complete the Initial DS-2019 request through the Terra Dotta System. A summary of requirements and a direct link to that request can be found in the Initial DS-2019 section below.
  2. Students who are currently in the United States studying on J-1 status and will be transferring their current SEVIS record to Texas A&M University. These students should complete the Transfer DS-2019 request through the Terra Dotta System. A summary of requirements and a direct link to that request can be found in the Transfer DS-2019 section below.
  3. Students currently in the U.S. on another non-immigrant status who wish to change their status to J-1 by application OR travel. These students are not currently able to apply directly through the Terra Dotta system. Since each individual's immigration history is unique, International Student Services require all students considering a Change of Non-Immigrant status to have an appointment with an advisor in International Student Services. Please complete the Change of Nonimmigrant Status Intake Form prior to your appointment. The form can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/COS-Intake-Form,-JT-1-25-2019.pdf

International Student Services is updating the process for new students requests for I-20s and DS-2019s.   In response to COVID-19, ISS has shifted it’s paper based processes to digital.  In order to do this, we had to shift resources from launching the new student I-20 and DS-2019 requests.  We will send out notices when they are launched.​

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
International Student Services reviews requests on a first-come, first-served basis. In peak season, Initial I-20 processing time is two weeks and will ONLY begin after ALL required steps have been completed correctly in Terra Dotta. Keep in mind that the processing time of two weeks does not include mail delivery time. Please note that our office handles requests for over 8,000 new, current and former international students and that we will work diligently to get your request completed in a timely manner.

Requesting an Initial DS-2019 from ISS

International Student Services (ISS) now uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. You will complete your I-20 request on ISS Terra Dotta using your NetID and password.
  1. Valid Passport: Most Recently Issued
    • If you will have any J-2 dependents, you must upload a valid passport for each J-2 dependent.
    • You will also have to complete questionnaires to provide us with their information.
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.
  3. Financial Documents:  Please reference our webpage dedicated to acceptable forms of finances at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation
  4. Update address & phone number in Howdy portal: Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf
  5. You may be required to prepare Additional Documents based on your situation.
    • International Non Degree or Special Program Department Information Form
    • Approved Waiver for Two Year Residency Requirements
Detailed instructions on how to complete the request are found within the Terra Dotta Program. You may start this request at any time but will not be able to submit the request until all required items have been completed.

Submit an Initial DS-2019 Request at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Students.Apply&Program_ID=10072 or click "Apply Now" below. 


International Student Services is updating the process for new students requests for I-20s and DS-2019s.   In response to COVID-19, ISS has shifted it’s paper based processes to digital.  In order to do this, we had to shift resources from launching the new student I-20 and DS-2019 requests.  We will send out notices when they are launched.​

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
International Student Services reviews requests on a first-come, first-served basis. In peak season, Initial I-20 processing time is two weeks and will ONLY begin after ALL required steps have been completed correctly in Terra Dotta. Keep in mind that the processing time of two weeks does not include mail delivery time. Please note that our office handles requests for over 8,000 new, current and former international students and that we will work diligently to get your request completed in a timely manner.

Transferring an Active SEVIS Record to Texas A&M University

Students who will have their J-1 SEVIS record transferred to Texas A&M from another U.S. institution will need to communicate with the institution that currently manages their active J-1 SEVIS record to request that they transfer the SEVIS record to Texas A&M University's J-1 Program. Please note that ISS cannot issue the Form DS-2019 until the SEVIS record has been transferred and successfully received by Texas A&M University. Students may begin a Transfer DS-2019 request before their record is transferred. However, they will not be able to complete the request until they have communicated their intent to transfer with their current school and set a SEVIS transfer release date. 

In certain situations, transfer students may instead elect to leave the United States and request an Initial DS-2019 instead. Please be advised that if a student chooses to request an initial document, they will not be allowed to enter the country until up to 30 days before the program start date on their DS-2019. Ultimately it is the student's decision which request they should submit.

J Program Number managed by ISS: Texas A&M University P-1-00260

Requesting a Transfer I-20 from ISS

International Student Services (ISS) now uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. You will complete your I-20 request on ISS Terra Dotta using your NetID and password. You will need to prepare the following for your Transfer DS-2019 request:

  1. Valid Passport: Most Recently Issued
    • If you will have any J-2 dependents, you must upload a valid passport for each J-2 dependent.
    • You will also have to complete questionnaires to provide us with their information.
  2. I-94: If you entered the United States on J-1 status, you will need to upload this document. Instructions on how to access this document are available in the Terra Dotta program.
  3. Port of Entry Stamp(s): If present on the visa pages of your passport you will need to upload these
  4. Proof of English Proficiency: ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.
  5. Financial Documents: Please reference our webpage dedicated to acceptable forms of finances at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation
  6. Update address & phone number in Howdy portal:  Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf
  7. You may be required to prepare Additional Documents based on your situation.
    • International Non Degree or Special Program Department Information Form
    • Approved Waiver for Two Year Residency Requirements
    • Past Change of Status Approval Notices

Detailed instructions on how to complete the request are found within the Terra Dotta Program. You may start this request at any time but will not be able to submit the request until all required items have been completed.
Submit a Transfer DS-2019 Request at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Students.Apply&Program_ID=10073 or click "Apply Now" below. 

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
International Student Services reviews requests on a first-come, first-served basis. In peak season, initial document processing time is two weeks and will ONLY begin after ALL required steps have been completed correctly in Terra Dotta. Keep in mind that the processing time of two weeks does not include mail delivery time. Please note that our office handles requests for over 8,000 new, current and former international students and that we will work diligently to get your request completed in a timely manner.

Students must verify information found in their Howdy portal: All international students should verify that their information in the university student information system is accurate and correct. This information is automatically transferred to Terra Dotta, the system that ISS uses to issue immigration documents. Students will have access to Terra Dotta after they have initiated at least one request. More information can be found at ISS - Terra Dotta

Requesting an J-1 Reciprocal Exchange DS-2019 from ISS

International Student Services (ISS) now uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. You will complete your DS-2019 request on ISS Terra Dotta using your NetID and password.
  1. Valid Passport: Most Recently Issued
    • If you will have any J-2 dependents, you must upload a valid passport for each J-2 dependent.
    • You will also have to complete questionnaires to provide us with their information.
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.
    • English Proficiency requirements for students participating in exchange programs are met as part of your application with the Education Abroad office. 
    • If there are any issues with verifiying English Proficiency requirements, ISS staff will work with Education Abroad staff to resolve. No action is required by the exchange student.
  3. Financial Documents:  Please reference our webpage dedicated to acceptable forms of finances at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation
  4. Update address & phone number in Howdy portal: Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf

Detailed instructions on how to complete the request are found within the Terra Dotta Program. You may start this request at any time but will not be able to submit the request until all required items have been completed.

Students who will be participating in a J-1 Reciprocal Exchange with Texas A&M University will receive an email with the direct link to the Terra Dotta Program. 

International Student Services is updating the process for new students requests for I-20s and DS-2019s.   In response to COVID-19, ISS has shifted it’s paper based processes to digital.  In order to do this, we had to shift resources from launching the new student I-20 and DS-2019 requests.  We will send out notices when they are launched.​

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
International Student Services reviews requests on a first-come, first-served basis. In peak season, initial document processing time is two weeks and will ONLY begin after ALL required steps have been completed correctly in Terra Dotta. Keep in mind that the processing time of two weeks does not include mail delivery time. Please note that our office handles requests for over 8,000 new, current and former international students and that we will work diligently to get your request completed in a timely manner.

Requesting an F-1 Reciprocal Exchange I-20 from ISS

International Student Services (ISS) now uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. You will complete your I-20 request on ISS Terra Dotta using your NetID and password.
  1. Valid Passport: Most Recently Issued
    • If you will have any F-2 dependents, you must upload a valid passport for each F-2 dependent.
    • You will also have to complete questionnaires to provide us with their information.
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: ISS will not issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for any student who has not met the Office of Admissions requirements for English proficiency.
  3. Financial Documents:  Please reference our webpage dedicated to acceptable forms of finances at http://iss.tamu.edu/Prospective-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance#0-AcceptableFormsofFinancialDocumentation
  4. Update address & phone number in Howdy portal: Detailed instructions for updating your address can be found: http://iss.tamu.edu/ISS/media/ISS-Files/ISS-PDF/Current%20Students/Updating-Your-Local-Address-Phone.pdf

Detailed instructions on how to complete the request are found within the Terra Dotta Program. You may start this request at any time but will not be able to submit the request until all required items have been completed.

Students who will be participating in an F-1 Reciprocal Exchange with Texas A&M University will receive an email with the direct link to the Terra Dotta Program. 

NOTE: This section also applies to Texas A&M University College Station students who need a new SEVIS record and Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 because they are returning to College Station after a semester or more studying at Texas A&M University at Qatar. If a College Station student maintains F-1 status during their enrollment at the Qatar campus, it may not be necessary to follow the steps below.

International students who will be resuming enrollment at Texas A&M after a leave of absence should follow the instructions outlined below. 

International students in any status other than F-1 or J-1 who are returning after a leave of absence do not need to request a Form I-20 or DS-2019. Visit the ISS Check-In webpage for details about how to have the ISS Check-In registration hold removed. 

Undergraduate international students in F-1 or J-1 status who are returning after a leave of absence should follow the same procedures as newly admitted international students with respect to I-20/DS-2019 issuance. Refer to the applicable section(s) above for detailed instructions. 

Graduate international students in F-1 or J-1 status returning after a leave of absence are further categorized into 2 groups: 

  1. Those who have been officially readmitted through the Office of Admissions should follow the same procedures as newly admitted international students with respect to I-20/DS-2019 issuance. Refer to the applicable section(s) above for detailed instructions. 
  2. Those who were not required to be officially readmitted through the Office of Admissions should not request their I-20/DS-2019 through Terra Dotta at this time. Instead, these students must request their new I-20/DS-2019 by taking the following steps: 
    • Send an email to iss@tamu.edu with their full name and UIN
    • Attach copies of the most recent immigration documentation for the F-1/J-1 student and any F-2/J-2 dependents
    • Attach proof of financial resources 
    • Attach a letter from the academic department that includes:
      • the student’s specific major and degree level
      • a statement to confirm the term for which the student will resume enrollment
      • a statement to confirm whether the student is in good academic standing
      • a description of the academic requirements remaining for the student
      • the estimated graduation term for the student. 
Digital I-20s and DS-2019s
Under normal circumstances, the United States government does not allow I-20s and DS-2019s to be sent electronically.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, exceptions are being made.  Only the Primary Designated School Official or the Designated School Officials may sign and send the I-20 in the following methods.
  • Physically sign the I-20 and email a scanned version
  • Digitally sign the I-20 using electronic signature software or a digitally reproduced copy of a physical signature and email the I-20.
The Department of State has not issued permission to electronically sign DS-2019s.  Students should not electronically sign I-20s or DS-2019s.

ISS will continue to issue Form I-20s and DS-2019s, physically sign them and upload copies into the ISS Terra Dotta system. The digital copy of the Form I-20/DS-2019 is a convenience copy.  The United States government has not stated how the digital I-20 or DS-2019 can be used.  The Department of State has stated that the original DS-2019 is needed for visa issuance or port of entry.

Students will be able to download the digital I-20 in the ISS Terra Dotta system.  In rare cases, ISS will email the digital I-20.  The I-20 can only be emailed to the student’s email address in SEVIS.  While it is possible to send the I-20 or DS-2019 electronically, until we have further guidance from the Department of Homeland Security and/or the Department of State, we recommend that you do not use the digital I-20 or DS-2019 for any official purposes. 

As such, ISS will be mailing these original documents to students in the following manner:
  • Students who are requesting a Transfer I-20 or Transfer DS-2019: These students will be able to request regular mail through the United States Postal Service, Express Shipment through eShipGlobal or schedule a specific time to pick up their documents from ISS. 
  • Students who are requesting an Initial I-20 or Initial DS-2019: students will only be able to request their documents to be shipped via eShipGlobal express shipments.
More information about this shift can be found in the section below.

Required Express Mail for International Shipments 

The United States Postal Services has announced that they are temporarily suspending international mail service to multiple countries because of service disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A list of these countries can be found at the following link  https://www.usps.com/international/mail-shipping-services.htm#readmore

Additionally, the United States Postal Service continues to suspend the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International going to China and Hong Kong.  https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/
For this reason, International Student Services will temporarily be sending I-20s and DS-2019s outside the United States through express mail only, such as through Fed Ex, United Parcel Services (UPS), and DHL.  Please follow the instructions for eShipglobal that are included in the records in Terra Dotta.
 
Third Party Shipments

The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) states that “at no time should the Form I-20 be issued to a third party.”  International Student Services must request permission from SEVP to send I-20s to a third party.  ISS will not be able to send the I-20 until receiving SEVP approval.  This could take 2 weeks to a month. 

SEVP will only grant exemptions from this policy only when circumstances prevent direct issuance.  Examples include:  

  • Students who are in countries where U.S. courier services do not operate. 
  • Students who are in areas with inadequate infrastructure or services that make deliveries generally difficult or would be insecure. 
For students wanting ISS to request an exemption from the Third Party Shipments rule on their behalf, they may submit a request at  https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=OneStep.Apply&Program_ID=10134.

ISS will then contact the Student Exchange Visitor Program and request permission to express mail it to the third party.  The I-20 or DS-2019 will not be shipped until SEVP permission is received.  

 
 
Students submitting initial document requests through the Terra Dotta system will be completing a mailing options questionnaire. This questionnaire informs ISS staff how you plan to receive your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. 

The Department of Homeland Security has stated that I-20s can only be released "directly to the nonimmigrant students, their dependents, or, for minors, to their parent or legal guardian, as stated in the following guidance located at https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2019/Guidance-FormI-20.pdf.   

As a result, ISS will no longer release Form I-20s or Form DS-2019s to third parties which include friends or academic departments. ISS has consulted the Texas A&M University System General Counsel regarding this policy. 

The following options are available through the mailing options questionnaire found in initial document programs:
  1. [Transfer Request Only] - You may personally pick up the document from ISS (You must bring proof of photo identification to ISS)
  2. [All Current Student Requests OR Transfer Document Requests] - You may ask ISS to mail you the document(s) by regular U.S Postal Service mail or airmail to the specific address you provide (inside or outside the U.S.).
    • There is no cost to you but also no tracking service available if you choose this option.
    • ISS cannot provide any time estimate and cannot guarantee delivery if you choose this option. The length of time it may take to receive your document(s) is highly dependent on the address where it will be mailed. 
  3. [All requests] - You may ask ISS to send you the document(s) via express mail at your expense. To do so, you must use the eShipGlobal service to have your document(s) express mailed to you through either FedEx, UPS, or DHL at your own expense. 
    • Visit https://study.eshipglobal.com/  (do not visit the FedEx, UPS, or DHL websites directly) to create a user name and password and to set up an account. 
    • To request shipment, you will need your Texas A&M UIN, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and credit card information.
    • If you have questions about how to use this service, review the Help section of the eShipGlobal website or e-mail support@eshipglobal.com.

Some newly admitted international students will not need a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from ISS and therefore they will not have to complete any of the Terra Dotta programs explained on this webpage. These students will, however, still be required to complete the online Check-In process with ISS. These students should visit the ISS Check-In webpage for details about how to have the ISS Check-In registration hold removed. 

In most cases, the following groups of students do not need an I-20 or DS-2019 issued by ISS: 

  • Students who plan to enroll in any immigration status other than F-1 or J-1 

  • Students who are newly admitted to a Texas A&M University Co-Enrollment Partnership program (i.e. an Engineering Academy or TEAM). Visit http://iss.tamu.edu/Side-Menu/Campuses/Co-enrollment-Partnerships for details. 

  • J-1 students who will obtain their Form DS-2019 from another program sponsor, such as Fulbright 

  • Students who will fully complete their academic program from outside of the U.S. 

  • Students who already have their I-20/DS-2019 issued by another U.S. institution and will be co-enrolling at Texas A&M University (i.e. NOT doing a SEVIS Transfer)