New Student Check In

Texas A&M University defines an international student to be any student who is not a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident. If you believe your status is incorrect, please send an email to iss@tamu.edu with your full name and UIN (if applicable).

TAMUs International Student Services (ISS) is now using Terra Dotta software to manage international student records and has created a New Student Check-In program through Terra Dotta that is now available for you, as a student, to access! This new requirement went into effect on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

What does the New Student Check-In program through Terra Dotta include?

The New Student Check-In program through Terra Dotta contains the following major steps:

  1. Required Reading: Review important information and acknowledge that you have reviewed it
  2. Document Upload: Upload copies of your immigration documents. A full list of the required documents will be provided after you log in to Terra Dotta, but for most students the required documents will include the following:
  3. Passport
  4. Visa
  5. I-94 (attained after you arrive in the U.S.)
  6. Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (after you have signed it)
  7. Submit to ISS: After reviewing the required content and uploading the required documents, you will electronically submit the completed New Student Check-In program to ISS through the Terra Dotta System.

 How do I complete the New International Student Check-In process?

All international students who are required to complete the New International Student Check-In process must now complete the “New Student Check-In” program in Terra Dotta BEFORE arriving in person for their New International Student Check-In appointment with ISS. This includes meeting with TAMUGs International Student Liaisons. Detailed instructions and screenshots of the process can be found on the following webpages:

After completing the New Student Check-In program in Terra Dotta, students should still complete the in-person Check-In process with a TAMUG ISS Liaison. It is mandatory that you complete the online New Student Check-In program in Terra Dotta before you come in for your in-person Check-In appointment. Please contact Mr. Danny Roe to schedule your face-to-face Check-In appointment at roed@tamug.edu.

What is New International Student Check-In?

New International Student Check-In is a process through which International Student Services (ISS) confirms that an international student has arrived in the United States (U.S.) and has an accurate record with ISS, Texas A&M University, and (if applicable) with the U.S. government.

Why is New International Student Check-In important?

Once admitted to the University, all international students are blocked from course registration until they have completed their New International Student Check-In. For most new international students, it is necessary to complete the New International Student Check-In process in order to be able to enroll in coursework for your first semester.

Another important purpose of the New International Student Check-In is to verify that students in F-1 and J-1 status have accurate immigration records and documentation. Once the New International Student Check-In requirement has been met, ISS completes a reporting process in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This SEVIS reporting is essential because it changes the student’s immigration status to “Active” with Department of Homeland Security. If this step does not occur, the F-1 or J-1 student cannot maintain legal status in the U.S. or obtain any benefits of legal status, such as a driver license, Social Security Number (SSN), or employment authorization.

Who is required to complete the New International Student Check-In process?

The New International Student Check-In process is required for the following students:

  • Newly admitted students in F-1 or J-1 student status
  • Newly admitted students currently in the process of seeking F-1 or J-1 student status (i.e. applying to change to F-1/J-1 student status through the U.S. government or planning to do a new entry to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 student status)
  • Students in F-1 or J-1 student status returning to the U.S. with a new SEVIS ID
  • Students in F-1 or J-1 student status completing the process of entering a degree-seeking major through an Engineering Academy program or the Blinn TEAM program

 Who is not required to complete the New International Student Check-In process?

The New International Student Check-In process is not technically required for the following groups of students. However, these students will still receive an ISS Check-In registration hold on their University record upon admission to the University. Specific actions are required in order to have the ISS Check-In registration hold removed. If you have taken the steps outlined below for your specific situation and the ISS Check-In registration hold has not yet been removed from your University record, please send an email to iss@tamu.edu with your full name and UIN.

What do my F-2 or J-2 dependents need to do?

The spouse and children (under age 21) of an individual in F-1/J-1 status have the option to obtain a Form I-20/DS-2019 in order to reside in the U.S. in F-2/J-2 status. If you are required to complete the New International Student Check-In process and your F-2/J-2 dependent has received a Form I-20/DS-2019, then in addition to the “New Student Check-In” program in Terra Dotta, you are also required to complete the “Dependent Check-In” program in Terra Dotta. The F-1/J-1 student will be the one to log in to Terra Dotta to complete the “Dependent Check-In” program on behalf of their F-2/J-2 dependents. Detailed information about this process can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Side-Menu/TerraDotta#0-DependentCheck-in.

 What else do I need to do if I am a sponsored student?

If you are required to complete the New International Student Check-In process and you meet the University definition of a sponsored student (refer to http://iss.tamu.edu/Side-Menu/Sponsored-Students), then in addition to the “New Student Check-In” program in Terra Dotta, you are also required to complete the “Verify Sponsor Information” program in Terra Dotta. Detailed information about this process can be found at http://iss.tamu.edu/Side-Menu/TerraDotta#0-VerifySponsorInformation.

If you are a sponsored F-1/J-1 student who is required to complete the New International Student Check-In process and you also have F-2/J-2 dependents, you will be required to complete all three programs in Terra Dotta: New Student Check-In, Dependent Check-In, and Verify Sponsor Information.

What am I required to do if I already completed my ISS Check-In?

If you have already completed your ISS Check-In by meeting with a TAMUG International Student Liaison and your ISS Check-In registration hold has already been removed, then you are not required to complete the New Student Check-In program in Terra Dotta. You will receive an email later in the semester about how to utilize Terra Dotta as a currently enrolled student. No additional action should be required of you at this time.

How should I contact ISS if I have questions about Check-In or Terra Dotta?

The implementation of the Terra Dotta System is new for ISS and we are still learning. We want to hear from you regarding your experience! If you have questions, we strongly recommend you inquire via email so we can fully research your question before responding. Please send an email to iss@tamu.edu with your full name and UIN. If possible, please include screenshots to document any issues you are experiencing so we can more quickly assist you.