Terra Dotta


What is Terra Dotta?

International Student Services (ISS) now uses Terra Dotta software to manage international student records. All international students at Texas A&M University will be able to use the software to initiate requests using their NetID and password.  

You may navigate to our public Terra Dotta directly at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/. If you have never submitted a request through Terra Dotta before, you will not have a profile and your CAS log-in credentials will not work.

At this time paper requests submitted via email to iss@tamu.edu will be converted into digital requests on behalf of the student. Effective October 1, 2020 we will no longer accept paper requests. Please review our updates listed below or details at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/.
 

Terra Dotta Walkthrough Videos


Program Launch Timeline

Programs Planned to Launch on a yet to be determined future date

ISS is still striving to launch Terra Dotta programs for all of our processes during the Fall 2020 term. At this time, however, we cannot estimate specific dates when the remaining programs will launch. Work is already well underway on several more Terra Dotta programs that we are hoping will be made available for students to access by the end of October 2020. ISS will continue to share updates as new programs become available and as estimated timelines for program launch become more clear. 
 
  • Change of Status Requests (to F-1 or J-1 Status)
  • Academic Training (J)
  • H-1B and Cap Gap Extensions
  • Add New Dependent (F-M)
    • Students requesting to Remove a dependent can do so as Post-Decision Content within the Add New Dependent (F-M) program
  • Add New Dependent (J)
    • Students requesting to Remove a dependent can do so as Post-Decision Content within the Add New Dependent (J) program
  • Add New Dependent (J)
  • On-Campus Employment at an Off-Campus Location (F)
  • Re-instatement / New Entry Requests (F-1)
  • Re-instatement / New Entry Requests (J-1)
  • Re-instatement / New Entry Check-In (F-1)
  • Re-instatement / New Entry Check-In (J-1)
  • Research / Study Abroad Requests (F-1)
  • Severe Economic Hardship Requests (F-1)
  • SEVP Portal Reset Requests (F-1)

Fall 2020 Implementation Updates

 

October 12, 2020

International Student Services (ISS) is ready with another update on our Fall 2020 Terra Dotta Implementation. In this update, we will cover some of the finer details of records created in Terra Dotta, details about website updates, and updates to our implementation timeline.
 

Programs Now Available for Immediate Use within the Terra Dotta System:  
The following programs are available to students to start submitting through the Terra Dotta system effective immediately, accessible at tamu-iss.terradotta.com/. ISS will still accept emailed requests for the following programs through 5:00pm on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Any submissions to iss@tamu.edu for these programs on or after 5:00pm on October 14, 2020 will be returned to the student to submit using the Terra Dotta system. Please plan accordingly.  


The following Terra Dotta programs are now available to F-1 students: 

 
  • Program Information Update (F-M) (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=Academic_Program_Update) is intended for F-1 students in the following situations: 
    1. The student will change to another major and/or degree level on the same SEVIS campus without graduating and the student has not been admitted to begin a new academic program; or 
    2. The major and/or degree level is incorrect on the student's Form I-20, the correct academic program information is affiliated with the same SEVIS campus that appears on the I-20, and the student has already completed the ISS Check-In process. 
 
  • Change of Education Level (F-M) (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=Academic_Program_Update) is intended for F-1 students in the following situations: 
    1. The student will graduate from their current academic program and has been admitted to start a new academic program at the same SEVIS campus; or 
    2. The student will stop pursuing their current academic program without graduating from it and has been admitted to start a new academic program at the same SEVIS campus. 
 
  • Change of SEVIS Campus (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=Academic_Program_Update) is intended for F-1 students in the following situations: 
    1. The student will graduate from their current academic program and has been admitted to start a new academic program at a different SEVIS campus managed by ISS; or 
    2. The student will stop pursuing their current academic program without graduating from it and has either been admitted or will change to a new academic program on a different SEVIS campus managed by ISS; or 
    3. The major and/or degree level is incorrect on the student's Form I-20, the correct academic program information is affiliated with a different SEVIS campus that appears on the I-20, and the student has already completed the ISS Check-In process. 
 
  • Change of Financial Support (F-1) (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=F-1 CoFS) is intended for F-1 students with an I-20 issued by ISS at Texas A&M University who have experienced a change to their financial resources and would like to receive a new Form I-20 to reflect this change. 
 
The following Terra Dotta programs are now available to J-1 students: 
 
  • Change of Major (J) (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=J-1 CoM) is intended for J-1 students with a DS-2019 issued by ISS at Texas A&M University who will be changing their major and remaining at the same degree level and need to obtain an updated Form DS-2019.  
     
  • Matriculation (J) (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=Matriculation) is intended for J-1 students with a DS-2019 issued by ISS at Texas A&M University who will be changing to a higher degree level and need to obtain an updated Form DS-2019.  
     
  • Change of Financial Support (F-1) (accessible at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/?go=J-1 CoFS) is intended for J-1 students with a DS-2019 issued by ISS at Texas A&M University who have experienced a change to their financial resources and need to obtain a new Form DS-2019 to reflect this change.   
We appreciate your patience as we continue to improve Terra Dotta to meet your needs. If you have any feedback about these programs, please email our Technology Coordinator, Martin Rosales, at mrrosales@tamu.edu.  

October 2, 2020

International Student Services (ISS) is ready with another update on our Fall 2020 Terra Dotta Implementation. In this update, we will cover some of the finer details of records created in Terra Dotta, details about website updates, and updates to our implementation timeline. 

Programs Now Available for Immediate Use within the Terra Dotta System: 
The following programs are available to students to start submitting through the Terra Dotta system effective immediately, accessible at tamu-iss.terradotta.com/. ISS will still accept emailed requests for the following programs through 5:00pm on Monday, October 5, 2020. Any submissions to iss@tamu.edu for these programs on or after 5:00pm on October 5, 2020 will be returned to the student to submit using the Terra Dotta system. Please plan accordingly. 
 

 

 
Academic Department Recommendation Now Required 
Both the OPT and CPT programs that went live today include the Recommendation feature. After October 5, 2020, the OPT Department Form and CPT Department Forms currently available on the ISS website will be retired and no longer accepted. Academic departments will be able to submit their recommendations for OPT and CPT applications directly through Terra Dotta once a student send the recommendation request.  The individual who completes the recommendation must be a faculty or staff member who is able to answer questions about the student's academic progress. Most likely, this individual will be the Academic Advisor, Graduate Advisor, or Department Head. Detailed instructions for both students and academic departments have been built into each program to explain how to use the Recommendation feature. Faculty and Staff interested in learning more about their role as a recommender are encouraged to review the recent Ask ISS webinar recording from our September presentation, available at iss.tamu.edu/Resources/Past-Webinar-Recordings#0-AskISSWebinars

Delay in Launch of Program Information Update and Change of Education Level:

Review of the Program Information Update and Change of Education Level programs by ISS included an overhaul of our processes for these requests. As part of this overhaul, we identified a key demographic of students who would not have a request to submit within the Terra Dotta system. In order to address this need, a third program is being created. As a result, Program Information Update and Change of Education Level are being reworked to include a third program called Change of SEVIS Campus. In order to ensure that these three programs launch at the same time, we are delaying Program Information Update and Change of Education Level until our proposed October 12, 2020 date.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to improve Terra Dotta to meet your needs. If you have any feedback about these programs, please email our Technology Coordinator, Martin Rosales, at mrrosales@tamu.edu
 


September 28, 2020

International Student Services (ISS) is ready with another update on our Fall 2020 Terra Dotta Implementation. In this update, we will cover some of the finer details of records created in Terra Dotta, details about website updates, and updates to our implementation timeline. 

Explanation of Records on the Student Profile 

Now that we are mostly using requests found within Terra Dotta, students have noticed that there are different records appearing on their User Profiles within the Terra Dotta system. We wish to explain in detail what is occurring. 
 

Explanation of the two types of records

 

There are two types of records that students will see within the User Profile within Terra Dotta. They are: 

  1. Records that are linked to SEVIS 

  2. Records that are NOT linked to SEVIS 

As we complete our implementation of Terra Dotta in Fall 2020, we are building out the records that are linked to SEVIS so that students can submit them.  In some cases, the student will be filling out the information that ultimately is placed in the SEVIS database.  These records usually have (F-M) or (J) at the end of their names.  

Records that are not linked to SEVIS are programs that were created due to the complexity of the request. After ISS staff process these requests, there are instances where a SEVIS linked record is created automatically through the interaction between Terra Dotta and SEVIS. For these requests, two records are visible to the student after the request has been processed. The first record is the student-submitted request. The second record is the SEVIS- linked record indicating that the process has been completed within the SEVIS database. 

A good example of this process is STEM Validation Reporting. There are 5 distinct student-submitted Terra Dotta programs used for STEM Reporting; however, there is only one SEVIS-linked record that relates to STEM employment reporting.  A student who submits a STEM 6 Month Validation Reporting request (or record) within the Terra Dotta system will end up with two records when the request is complete. One is the STEM 6 Month Validation Reporting record that the student submitted. The other is the SEVIS-linked record indicating that the process was completed in SEVIS, called Report STEM OPT Participation (F-M).  Students are not expected to know what process creates which records, but we wanted to explain this to everyone as this is by design and can be confusing. 


Why are the names of our requests different? 

Terra Dotta does not allow for programs (or records) to share names. Since we had built out multiple programs in response to COVID-19 in March, we had to use different names for requests for our full implementation of the software. In some instances, students are now submitting the records that would be created when ISS staff processed the request within the SEVIS database. These records have extremely specific names that we cannot change. We apologize for the confusion, but we tried to keep the names everyone was used to on our public site at tamu-iss.terradotta.com.  Once we have completed the implementation of Terra Dotta for Fall 2020, we plan to revamp iss.tamu.edu/terra-dotta to house a comprehensive list of programs. This list will include how to submit a request, which requests require an appointment first, and details on where to find more information about the request across the many websites on iss.tamu.edu. It will take some time write this content. We appreciate your patience as we gather all the necessary information and updates.
 

ISS Website is out-of-date. What is going on?

 

We have received many reports from students that the information on our website detailing information about each type of request is out of date. Due to the transition period we had built into our programs launching, we did not want to remove certain elements from our website to facilitate the continued submission of some requests via e-mail. Unfortunately, this caused some confusion about how to submit a request and what the requirements were. As stated above, we plan to completely revamp the iss.tamu.edu/terra-dotta webpage to be a one-stop shop detailing how to submit a request to International Student Services. We appreciate your patience as we work to update areas across our website. There are currently 57 pages that require substantial edits, and we are focusing our efforts on ensuring that tamu-iss.terradotta.com is accurate and accepting your requests. We appreciate your patience as we work towards getting everything up to date.
 

Terra Dotta Fall 2020 Implementation Timeline Update

We have been working diligently behind the scenes to get Terra Dotta up and running for as many student requests as possible.  As we created more programs, we realized a few challenges that we had to address first. Those were:

  • Unclear requirements for both students and their academic departments

  • Identification of areas where we could simplify the process

  • Identification of areas where we needed to include campus partners in our decision making

It is still our goal to fully implement Terra Dotta for student submissions. However, we had to reexamine our timeline to ensure that the transition was as smooth as possible. As a result, we must delay full implementation beyond the originally stated October 1st launch date. Below we will be going into great detail about our launch plans and what students and departments can expect.

Programs Launching September 28, 2020

The programs listed below will be launching on Monday, September 28th 2020. Once launched, students must prepare to use the new process through Terra Dotta by October 1st. Any submissions to iss@tamu.edu for these programs after on or after October 1, 2020 will be returned to the student to submit using the Terra Dotta system. Please plan accordingly.

  • Reduced Course Load Requests

    • Reduced Course Load Academic Difficulty (F-1 Students)

    • Reduced Course Load Medical Reasons (F-1 Students)

    • Reduced Course Load Final Term (F-1 Students)

    • Reduced Course Load – Bona Fide Academic Reason (J-1 Students)

    • Reduced Course Load – Medical Condition (J-1 Students)

    • Reduced Course Load – Final Term (J-1 Students)

  • Program Extension (F-M)

  • Program Extension (J)

  • Leave of Absence (F-M)

  • Leave of Absence (J)

  • On-Campus Employment (J)


Programs Planned to Launch October 1, 2020

The programs listed below are planned to launch on Thursday, October 1st 2020.  Once launched, students must prepare to use the new process through Terra Dotta on October 1st. Any submissions to iss@tamu.edu after 5pm on October 2, 2020 for the programs listed below will be returned to the student to submit using the Terra Dotta system. Please plan accordingly.

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (F-M)

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (F-M)

  • Program Information Update (F-1 Students)

  • Change of Education Level (F-M)


Programs Planned to Launch October 12, 2020

The programs listed below are planned to launch on, Monday, October 12, 2020.  Once launched, students must prepare to use the new process through Terra Dotta on October 12th. Any submissions to iss@tamu.edu on or after October 12th for the programs listed below will be returned to the student to submit using the Terra Dotta system. Please plan accordingly.

  • Change of Status Requests (to F-1 or J-1 Status)

  • Matriculation (J)

  • Academic Training (J)

  • H-1B and Cap Gap Extensions

  • Add New Dependent (F-M)

    • Students requesting to Remove a dependent can do so as Post-Decision Content within the Add New Dependent (F-M) program

  • Add New Dependent (J)

    • Students requesting to Remove a dependent can do so as Post-Decision Content within the Add New Dependent (J) program

  • Add New Dependent (J)

  • Change of Major (J)

  • Change of Financial Support (F)

  • Change of Financial Support (J)


Additional Programs Launching in Fall 2020

There are additional programs that have no definite launch date but are actively being developed by ISS. The goal is to have these launched prior to the end of Fall 2020 for use in Spring 2021 requests. Once these requests are closer to being launched, additional information will be shared.
 


September 14, 2020

International Student Services (ISS) is proud to announce the completion of Stage 2 of the Fall 2020 Terra Dotta Implementation! Unlike previous stages, new programs have been launched within the system for immediate use.  

Programs Now Live for Use (found at https://tamu-iss.terradotta.com/):

  • Immigration Document Replacement / Copy Request (F-1 Students) 

  • Immigration Document Replacement / Copy Request (J-1 Students) 

  • Travel Signature Request (F-1 Students) 

  • Travel Signature Request (J-1 Students) 

  • Co-Enrollment / Other School Enrollment (F-1 Students Only

  •  Social Security Endorsement (F-1 Students Only) 

  • Optional Practical Training Employment Reporting 

  • 24 STEM Extension of OPT Request 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 6 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 12 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 18 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 24 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT Material Change of Employment Reporting 

  • Transfer Out (F-1 Students) 

  • SEVIS to SEVIS Transfer (J-1 Students) 

  • J-2 Health Insurance Document Verification 

  • Sponsored Student Letter Requests 

  • Lawful Permanent Resident Update 


Stage 2 FAQs:

What if I already submitted a program directly to ISS@tamu.edu? 

These requests are still being created on student’s behalf within the Terra Dotta system using the old version of these programs. Students should not submit a duplicate request within Terra Dotta. This will cause significant delays in processing your request. 
 
Is there a grace period to submit requests directly to iss@tamu.edu? 

Students may submit their requests via email that are listed as launching on September 11 above until 5pm on September 18th. After 5pm on September 18th, students will be required to use the new process by submitting their requests directly through the Terra Dotta system. Please plan accordingly.  
 
Why do I see TWO records when my request is complete? 

The intent behind the implementation was to use the system to deliver information directly to SEVIS. Unfortunately, this was not feasible for all requests. As a result, students may see two records as part of our process in completing your request. In most cases, you will see the request you submitted as one record and the record Terra Dotta uses to mark SEVIS actions, usually marked with (F-M) or (J) at the end. This is by design. Some examples of programs that will have two records as part of their process are listed below: 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 6 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 12 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 18 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT 24 Month Validation Reporting 

  • STEM Extension of OPT Material Change of Employment Reporting 


We are very excited for students to start using this system. We appreciate your patience as we continue to build on and improve on Terra Dotta to meet your needs. If you have any feedback about these programs, please email our Technology Coordinator, Martin Rosales, at mrrosales@tamu.edu 


August 28, 2020

Stage one is complete! The TDS public site is now built and ready. You can find our site in the same location at tamu-iss.terradotta.com You can read and interact with our official announcement below.


You will also notice that a lot of content on this website is now "gone." This content has shifted over to the public TDS site. We will be updating this page to better serve as a central repository of knowledge for the Terra Dotta system. 

Please direct all questions about this update to our technology coordinator, Martin Rosales, at mrrosales@tamu.edu 
 


August 14, 2020

Big changes are coming our way for Terra Dotta! We aim to launch most of our requests to be student initiated submissions by October 1st! This means this page as you know it will be going away soon. 

This page is set to update on August 28, 2020 to provide additional information and resources for departments and students. All the content that is currently on this page will be part of our new student facing portal within Terra Dotta. Check out our detailed announcement below.


 

You can also access this announcement at https://sway.office.com/RZ9A9yI69heKZQW1?ref=Link 
 

Please direct all questions about this update to our technology coordinator, Martin Rosales, at mrrosales@tamu.edu