Tips for Reviewing Form I-20

Now that your Form I-20 has been issued, take the following actions right away: 

  1. Review the digital copy of your Form(s) I-20carefully to make sure all information is correct.
    • F-1 students who have chosen to receive only a digital copy of their Form(s) I-20 at this time are still required to sign and print the I-20.  
    • The I-20 can either be signed digitally before being printed or it can printed first and then signed in ink. 
  2. Sign (and print) your new I-20(s) 
    • The digital copy should be uploaded to the “Attached Documents” section of your I-20 request in Terra Dotta within 2 business days after your document is issued by ISSS. 
  3. Review all emails you receive from in a timely manner because ISS will continue to send you important information and updates that you won’t want to miss. 

A few tips about reviewing your Form I-20: 

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 I-20s) 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 I-20. 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 F-1/J-1 status. If this will be your first time entering the U.S. using the SEVIS ID that appears on the I-20, 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 I-20. For F-1 students, the earliest date you can enter the U.S. is indicated in the ‘Earliest Admission Date’ field on the I-20.

Program End Date: For most F-1 students, the span of time between the program start date and the program end date on the I-20 is determined by the average amount of time needed for the degree level [4 years for Bachelor’s, 3 years for Master’s, and 7 years for Doctoral]. Your specific academic program may have a different expected duration. 

Degree Level: Make sure your I-20 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, then you know that your major is correct in SEVIS. For F-1 students, if the CIP code is accurate then the text that appears next to it is accurate and cannot be edited because this text is auto-generated and reflects the national ‘name’ for your major. 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 

Campus: F-1 students should verify that the ‘School Name’ and ‘School Address’ fields accurately reflect their intended campus of study.  

Signed by DSO/ARO: Make sure the ISS advisor who processed your Form I-20 has signed it. 

Dependents: If you are planning to have F-2 dependents accompanying you, make sure their I-20(s) are processed & uploaded as well, all demographic information is accurate, and they are signed. For F-2 dependents, the F-1 student should sign all F-2 I-20(s).  

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 I-20, you are required to submit a Check-In program through Terra Dotta in order to have ISS register you in SEVIS and activate your F-1 status. Visit for more information.