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Questions from Designated School Officials: Am I Required to Transfer an F-1 Student’s SEVIS Record?

September 29, 2015

Questions from Designated School Officials is a blog series on Study in the States for designated school officials (DSOs). Each month, we will answer a question that will help you advise your F and/or M students. If you are a DSO and would like to submit a question, you can email us or ask us via social media, your Field Representative or the SEVP Response Center. We may edit questions for clarity and consistency and may not feature all submissions on Study in the States.

F-1 students are eligible to transfer from one Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school to another as long as they consistently maintain their student status and follow the correct transfer procedures. The student must work with their current designated school official (DSO) who, upon request, must transfer their Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record to the new SEVP‑certified school of the student’s choice.

A DSO cannot refuse to transfer an F-1 student’s SEVIS record, nor can a DSO terminate an F-1 student’s SEVIS record because of a transfer request. SEVIS records are government property, so a DSO cannot refuse to transfer SEVIS records even for financial or business reasons. However, because academic records, such as student transcripts, are not government property, the decision to transfer academic information is strictly a matter of school policy.

If an F-1 student requests a transfer, all three parties (the student, the current school and the school the student wishes to transfer to) should work together to determine the best date to release the F‑1 student’s SEVIS record from the current school to the new school. Before the current DSO transfers the F-1 student’s SEVIS record to the new school, the current DSO must receive proof that the F-1 student has been accepted to the new SEVP-certified school.

If your students want more information about transferring, please refer them to the Transfer page on Study in the States. If you have additional questions about a transfer situation, contact the SEVP Response Center.

Help us share this important information regarding transfers with your social network using the hashtag #StudyintheStates.

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