Tips for Reviewing Form DS-2019


Now that your Form DS-2019 has been issued, take the following actions right away: 

  1. Review the digital copy of your Form(s) DS-2019 carefully to make sure all information is correct. 
    • The digital copy should be uploaded to the “Attached Documents” section of your DS-2019 request in Terra Dotta within 2 business days after your document is issued by ISSS. 
  2. Sign your new DS-2019(s) after you receive it in the mail 
    • J-1 students cannot use the DS-2019 copy for official purposes, so it is not necessary to print or sign the digital copy. 
  3. Review all emails you receive from iss@tamu.edu in a timely manner because we will continue to send you important information and updates that you won’t want to miss. 

A few tips about reviewing your DS-2019: 

Demographic Information: Verify that your name matches the name that appears on your passport. Keep in mind, however, that SEVIS (the system used to generate DS-2019s) does not allow any special characters. If your passport does not include data in multiple name fields, then your full name may appear in the “Surname/Primary Name” field on the DS-2019. Verify that your date of birth is accurate. Verify that your location of birth and country of permanent residence and/or citizenship are accurate. If any of this content is inaccurate, you should contact the Texas A&M Office of Admissions to verify that your information is accurate in their system in addition to contacting ISS. 


Program Start Date: The program start date should correspond to the 1st class day of the term during which you plan to begin enrollment in this new J-1 status. If this will be your first time entering the U.S. using the SEVIS ID that appears on the enclosed I-20/DS-2019, please note that you are not permitted to enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on the DS-2019.  

Program End Date: For J-1 students, the span of time between the program start date and the program end date should correspond either to the average amount of time needed for the degree level or to the length of time ISS could grant based upon the amount of financial evidence submitted, whichever is less. 

Degree Level: Make sure your DS-2019 accurately reflects if you will be studying at the Non-Degree, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral level. 

Major: To confirm that your major field of study is correct, you must verify that the number listed next to it is accurate. This number is called a CIP code. All majors at all U.S. schools are assigned a CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) code for standardization purposes. If the CIP code is accurate on the Form I-20/DS-2019, then you know that your major is correct in SEVIS. For J-1 students, you will need to check both the CIP code in the ‘Subject/Field Code’ field as well as the text in the ‘Subject/Field Code Remarks’ field. Verify that the text in the ‘Subject/Field Code Remarks’ field accurately represents your degree level, major, and (if applicable) your financial sponsor. Texas A&M major CIP codes can be found by searching Public Universities, then either Texas A&M University or Texas A&M University at Galveston, at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/apps/programinventory/ProgSearchForm.cfm 

Campus: J-1 students will all have Texas A&M University listed as the ‘Program Sponsor’ but should verify that the address in the ‘Primary Site of Activity’ field is accurate to reflect their intended campus of study. 

Signed by DSO/ARO: Make sure the ISS advisor who processed your Form DS-2019 has signed it. 

Dependents: If you are planning to have J-2 dependents accompanying you, make sure their DS-2019(s) are enclosed, all demographic information is accurate, and they are signed. For J-2 dependents who are age 16 and over, the J-2 should sign their own DS-2019. The J-1 should sign the J-2 DS-2019 for any J-2 dependents who are under the age of 16. 

Terra Dotta: Now that ISS has issued your I-20, there is new content available for you to see in Terra Dotta within the I-20 request program that you submitted in Terra Dotta.  If additional action related to your Initial I-20 is needed, please submit the request using the post-decision questionnaires that are now available to you. You will be required to interact with all post-decision questionnaires and then submit the entire request again as a post-decision request. 

Important Reminder about ISS Check-In Requirement: 

After you enter the U.S. using the DS-2019, you are required to submit a Check-In program through Terra Dotta in order to have ISS validate you in SEVIS and activate your J-1 status. Visit https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=J-1_Check-In for more information.